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London 09: Karthik stays undefeated and scores an IM norm

by Priyadarshan Banjan - 13/12/2015

GM Vishnu Prasanna scored a victory in the final round to aggregate 6.5/9 and had the best score among the Indians. IM Swayams Mishra and IM Sagar Shah lost their games with the black pieces to be stuck at 5.5/9. IM Crg Krishna needed a win in the final round game to register a GM norm, however, he lost as well. The star of the tournament for India was the untitled V. Ap Karthik, who stayed undefeated and scored a seven-game IM norm. An illustrated report.

 

London 09: Karthik stays undefeated and scores an IM norm

Dutch GM Benjamin Bok win the London Chess Classic FIDE Open with 8.0/9, a point clear of the remaining field. GM Vishnu Prasanna scored a victory in the final round to aggregate 6.5/9, finishing joint third, placing fourteenth in the main prize list. IM Swayams Mishra and IM Sagar Shah lost their games with the black pieces to be stuck at 6.0/9 and 5.5/9 respectively. IM Crg Krishna needed a win in the final round game to register a GM norm, however, he lost as well.

 

IM Tania Sachdev won her game to reach 6.0/9, remaining undefeated throughout the tournament. However, the star of the tournament for India was the untitled V. Ap Karthik, who stayed undefeated and scored a seven-game IM norm. 

 

V. Ap Karthik (2310) scored the second IM norm of his career

Karthik won three games, including against the fourth seed GM Romain Edouard (2627), and drew the remaining six games to reach a solid 6.0/9. He scored a seven-game IM norm when he defeated IM Jonathan Westerberg (2497) in the seventh round. His rating has already crossed the 2400 mark and he needs just one more norm to become an International Master.

 IM Tania Sachdev (2357) also stayed undefeated and scored 6.0/9

 IM Crg Krishna (2367) suffered yet another heartbreak, as he lost his second consecutive game when he needed on point to earn a GM norm

GM Vishnu Prasanna (2514) was the best among the Indians, as he scored 6.5/9

IM Swayams Mishra lost the final round game to remain at 6.0/9

 A final round loss left IM Sagar Shah (2441) stranded at 5.5/9 as well

V. Haribalu had a very good finish moving to 5.5/9, as he beat FM Giampaolo Buchicchio (2313)

 Smiling Assassins: White Crg missed a GM norm, Karthik is ecstatic as he stayed unbeaten and earned his second IM norm

Final Rankings:

Rk. SNo     Name Rtg Pts.
1 8   GM Bok Benjamin NED 2594 8,0
2 1   GM Postny Evgeny ISR 2670 7,0
  7   GM Jumabayev Rinat KAZ 2599 7,0
  9   GM Hansen Eric CAN 2577 7,0
  10   GM Hawkins Jonathan ENG 2569 7,0
  13   GM Vakhidov Jahongir UZB 2546 7,0
  18   IM Sadzikowski Daniel POL 2506 7,0
8 2   GM Gharamian Tigran FRA 2654 6,5
  3   GM Melkumyan Hrant ARM 2654 6,5
  5   GM Lenderman Alex USA 2626 6,5
  11   GM Dragun Kamil POL 2564 6,5
  14   GM Baron Tal ISR 2544 6,5
  15   GM Hillarp Persson Tiger SWE 2521 6,5
  16   GM Vishnu Prasanna V IND 2514 6,5
  17   IM Gledura Benjamin HUN 2513 6,5
  22   GM Fodor Tamas Jr HUN 2492 6,5
  29   IM Galyas Miklos HUN 2465 6,5
  34   GM Wells Peter K ENG 2442 6,5
  63     Nguyen Piotr POL 2329 6,5
20 4   GM Edouard Romain FRA 2627 6,0

View the complete standings here.

Classic: Birthday Boy loses again...

Vishy was in a cheerful mood before the game... 

 The game began as a 6.Be2 Najdorf Anand was fine until a crude blunder left him staring at a lost position...
[Event "7th London Classic 2015"]
[Site "London ENG"]
[Date "2015.12.11"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B92"]
[WhiteElo "2803"]
[BlackElo "2765"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "68"]
[EventDate "2015.12.03"]
[SourceDate "2003.06.08"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 {MVL goes for the Najdorf
after having successfully employed it against Grischuk.} 6. Be2 $5 {Anand had
played h3 against Topalov but on his birthday he plays something more
classical!} e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. Be3 Be6 9. Nd5 Nbd7 (9... Nxe4 10. Bb6 $16) 10.
Qd3 O-O 11. c4 $5 (11. O-O {was played in the famous game Carlsen-Grischuk in
which the Russian had won in the Sinquefield Cup 2015.}) 11... b5 $1 12. Nd2 $5
{This is Anand's preparation for the game. He played it quite quickly. It has
only been played in two games before and GM Vorobiov had played it against
Farrukh Amanotov and lost.} (12. cxb5 axb5 13. O-O Bxd5 14. exd5 Nb6 15. Bxb6
Qxb6 16. Qxb5 Qa7 $1 {With excellent compensation for Black.}) 12... Nc5 13.
Bxc5 dxc5 14. b3 (14. O-O Nxd5 15. cxd5 c4 {The move 14.b3 prevents this.})
14... Bxd5 15. cxd5 Ne8 16. O-O Nd6 17. a4 {Anand would be happy with the
position he has got. He has a small edge and for sure he is still in his
preparation.} Bg5 $1 18. Nf3 Bf4 $1 {A very strong maneuvre by Maxime. By
defending his e5 pawn what he is basically trying now is to attack the white
centre with f5!} 19. axb5 f5 $1 20. Nd2 Qg5 $6 (20... axb5 $11 {was much
better.}) 21. Rad1 (21. Nc4 $1 {would have given White a clear advantage.} fxe4
(21... Nxe4 22. d6 $1 $18) 22. Qh3 Nxb5 23. Nb6 Rad8 24. Nd7 $16) 21... axb5
22. exf5 Ra3 23. Ne4 c4 $1 24. Qc2 $2 (24. Nxg5 $2 cxd3 25. Bxd3 Bxg5 $19) (24.
Qf3 $1 Qh6 25. g3 Rxb3 26. Qg2 $13 {And White is pretty much in the game.})
24... Qxf5 $1 25. Qb2 (25. bxc4 Qxe4 $19) 25... Rxb3 26. Qxb3 {White
sacrifices the queen, but the position is already lost.} (26. Nxd6 Bxh2+ $1 27.
Kxh2 Qf4+ 28. g3 Qh6+ $19) 26... cxb3 27. Nxd6 Qg6 28. Nxb5 e4 29. d6 b2 30.
Nd4 Qxd6 31. Bc4+ Kh8 32. Ne6 Bxh2+ 33. Kh1 Rxf2 $1 34. Ng5 (34. Rxd6 Bxd6 $1
$19 (34... Rxf1+ $2 35. Kxh2 $1 $16 (35. Bxf1 $2 Bxd6 $19))) (34. Rxf2 Qxd1+
$19) 34... Bg3 $1 {A nice finishing shot. Qh6+ is threatened and the queen
cannot be taken on d6 as the b2 pawn would queen. All in all a fine game by
Maxime.} (34... Bg3 $1 35. Rxd6 Rxf1+ 36. Bxf1 Bxd6 37. Nf7+ Kg8 38. Nxd6 b1=Q
$19) 0-1

 

 The tournament has gone wrong, however, new battles await the Indian maestro

Links:

Full report on the Classic

All games of FIDE Open in PGN

All photos by Amruta Mokal