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Montcada: Indian invasion of Spain

by Priyadarshan Banjan - 02/07/2016

XXIV Open Internacional Ciutat De Montcada began on 25 June 2016 at Montcada, a municipality in Catalonia, Spain. The Indians, traditionally, have made a beeline for playing the Catalonian circuit, often going in groups to play and enjoy. The year 2016, though, saw Indians invade Spain. A total of 117 players are participating in the Montcada tournament and 32 of them are Indians, that is, 27%! Indian grandmaster Shyam Sundar M. is in the lead with three others at 5.0/6. An illustrated report.

Montcada: Indian invasion of Spain

Himal had been playing some impressive chess in the past six months, making a jump of more than a hundred points in this period. He was one norm short of becoming an international master. He finished third, ahead of a line of grandmasters, in the Mumbai Mayors Cup tournament, and despite that, thanks to a hilariously tragic technicality, had missed out on a deserving norm. Visakh Nr., the winner, too, missed a GM norm. A host of talents, also, missed their IM norms. The culprit was the same technical detail—they hadn't played enough players of foreign federations.

 

Sitting in a hotel in Mumbai, towards the end of the event, I seriously questioned Himal, why wouldn't he make a trip outside India, to Spain for example, and compete for norms and titles? Himal gave a characteristic smile and left the whole table in splits when he answered, "Man, I think tours and travels agencies should open special packages for chess players, naming it 'Chess Tournaments Tour to Spain'!"

 

There is a grain of truth in Himal's joke, and I decided that I will take up this opportunity next year and do the needful by opening a travel package to Spain for Indian players. I was excited by the prospects until I realized that Indians don't need a tours and travels agency.

 

The playing arena at the XXIV OPEN INTERNACIONAL CIUTAT DE MONTCADA

XXIV Open Internacional Ciutat De Montcada began on 25 June 2016 at Montcada, a municipality in Catalonia, Spain. The charm of this tournament is that it is a part of the Catalonian circuit of chess tournaments that are all held in the same region, one after the other. For a travelling chessplayer, a centralized rented apartment would mean he/she gets a series of back-to-back chess events, for a reasonably small investment. A quality tournament with an average rating of 2200, with only one round per day, is indeed a dream scenario for enjoying a chess tournament and at the same time do a  bit of tourism.

 

The Indians, traditionally, have made a beeline for playing the Catalonian circuit, often going in groups to play and enjoy. The year 2016, though, saw Indians invade Spain. A total of 117 players are participating in the Montcada tournament and 32 of them are Indians! The group is second-highest by numbers, behind the Spanish themselves. The day is not far when the Indian contingent will make for the most number of players in a non-Indian tournament.

 

More than anything, this speaks volumes about chess in India. Nevertheless, quality wise, Indians do have a lot of catching up to do.

IM Anurag Mhamal (2392) is on 4.0/6. He had actually moved to 4.0/5 after a win in the fifth round over Spanish GM Marc Narciso Dublan (2520).

 White to play

The game had been a see-saw battle, arising out of a strange opening. The Spanish GM had to decide between taking on e7 and b5. What would you choose?

[Event "XXIV OPEN INTERNACIONAL CIUTAT DE MONTC"]
[Site "Hotel Sercotel Ciutat de Mont"]
[Date "2016.06.29"]
[Round "5.11"]
[White "Narciso Dublan, Marc"]
[Black "Anurag, Mhamal"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D80"]
[WhiteElo "2520"]
[BlackElo "2392"]
[PlyCount "82"]
[EventDate "2016.06.25"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ESP"]
[SourceDate "2003.06.08"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. e3 Bg7 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Nxd5 Qxd5 7. Ne2 O-O 8.
Nc3 Qd8 9. Be2 c5 10. d5 e6 11. e4 exd5 12. exd5 Qb6 13. O-O Na6 14. d6 Be6 15.
Nb5 Rad8 16. Bg5 Rd7 17. Qa4 c4 18. Bxc4 Nc5 19. Qc2 a6 20. Be3 Bxc4 21. Qxc4
Qxb5 22. Qxb5 axb5 23. Bxc5 Bxb2 24. Rae1 Ra8 25. Re7 Rxe7 26. dxe7 f5 27. Rd1
Bf6 28. Rd7 Kf7 29. Be3 Re8 30. Rxb7 Rxe7 31. Rxb5 $4 (31. Rxe7+ Kxe7 $11)
31... f4 32. Rb3 fxe3 33. Rxe3 Rxe3 34. fxe3 Ke6 35. Kf2 Ke5 36. Kf3 Bd8 37. g3
Bb6 38. h4 h6 39. a4 Ba5 40. g4 Bd8 41. h5 g5 0-1

 

In the sixth round, Anurag went down to GM Shyam Sundar M. (2530) is marched into joint lead with three others on 5.0/6. (Photo: Chess Illustrated)

Round 05: Shyam, playing white, made an adventurous pawn sacrifice in order to make headway against FM Miguel Santos Ruiz (2427).

Though objectively it may not be the strongest idea—16... hxg4!1 17. h5 Ne4 18. Nxe4
f6 19. Qh4 g5 20. h6+ Kh7 21. Qh5 Bxe4 22. Nd3 Bxh1, not good—but Black took with the bishop, instead, and the game ended in a blistering attack on the kingside.

[Event "MONTCADA"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2016.06.29"]
[Round "5.9"]
[White "Shyam, Sundar M"]
[Black "Santos Ruiz, Miguel"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A45"]
[WhiteElo "2530"]
[BlackElo "2427"]
[PlyCount "51"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]
[TimeControl "5400+30"]
[WhiteClock "0:02:51"]
[BlackClock "0:00:31"]
1. d4 {390} Nf6 {0} 2. Bf4 {5} g6 {12} 3. Nc3 {116} d5 {41} 4. Qd2 {5} Bg7 {66}
5. h4 {58} c5 {1030} 6. e3 {271} cxd4 {402} 7. exd4 {17} Nc6 {22} 8. Bb5 {82}
Qb6 {708} 9. Nge2 {930} h5 {821} 10. O-O-O {1077} O-O {792} 11. Bh6 {243} a6 {
206} 12. Bxg7 {121} Kxg7 {3} 13. Bxc6 {13} Qxc6 {51} 14. Qg5 {44} b5 {89} 15.
Nf4 {190} Bf5 {62} 16. g4 {554} Bxg4 {269} (16... hxg4 $1 17. h5 Ne4 18. Nxe4
f6 19. Qh4 g5 20. h6+ Kh7 21. Qh5 Bxe4 22. Nd3 Bxh1 23. Rxh1 $19) 17. Rde1 {43}
e6 {555} 18. Rhg1 {1040} Rfe8 {433} 19. Qe5 $11 {464} b4 {114} 20. f3 $1 {5}
bxc3 {144} (20... Bf5 21. Nxh5+ Kf8 22. Nxf6 bxc3 23. b3 $16) 21. fxg4 {2}
cxb2+ {12} 22. Kb1 $18 {1} Rac8 {36} 23. Re2 {56} hxg4 {66} 24. Rxg4 {125} Rh8
{36} 25. Rf2 {49} Rc7 {149} 26. Nxg6 {108} 1-0

 

Round 06: Anurag vs. Shyam; the opening was woozy; Black just captured the pawn on e4. White had to play very accurately from here on, in a complicated melee.

The balance swung like a pendulum in a grandfather clock, and in the end, Shyam took the round.

[Event "MONTCADA"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2016.06.30"]
[Round "6.5"]
[White "Anurag, Mhamal"]
[Black "Shyam, Sundar M"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A00"]
[WhiteElo "2406"]
[BlackElo "2530"]
[PlyCount "82"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]
[TimeControl "5400+30"]
1. Nc3 d5 2. e4 d4 3. Nce2 g6 4. c3 c5 5. h4 Nf6 6. Ng3 h5 7. Bb5+ Nc6 8. N1e2
Bg7 9. d3 O-O 10. Bxc6 bxc6 11. c4 Ng4 12. Qa4 Qb6 13. Bg5 f6 14. Bc1 f5 15.
Nf4 fxe4 16. Nxg6 Nxf2 17. O-O e3 18. Nxf8 Bxf8 19. Bd2 Bg4 20. Be1 Bh6 21. Ba5
Qb7 22. Qa3 Qd7 23. Nh1 Rf8 24. Qxc5 Rf5 25. Qb4 Nxd3 26. Qb8+ Kh7 27. Ng3 Bf4
28. Rxf4 Rxf4 29. Qb3 Ne5 30. Qb8 Ng6 31. Bc7 Rf8 32. Qxa7 d3 33. Qxe3 d2 34.
Ne4 d1=Q+ 35. Rxd1 Qxd1+ 36. Kh2 Rf1 37. Ng3 Rf8 38. Ne4 Qd7 39. Ng5+ Kg8 40.
Bg3 Rf1 41. Qe4 Bf5 0-1

 

IM Himanshu Sharma is performing at 2583 and is on 4.5/6. (Photo: Chess Illustrated)

White broke through Black's defenses with the e6-break.
[Event "XXIV OPEN INTERNACIONAL CIUTAT DE MONTC"]
[Site "Hotel Sercotel Ciutat de Mont"]
[Date "2016.06.27"]
[Round "3.15"]
[White "Himanshu, Sharma"]
[Black "Karthikeyan, Murali"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C67"]
[WhiteElo "2389"]
[BlackElo "2517"]
[PlyCount "89"]
[EventDate "2016.06.25"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ESP"]
[SourceDate "2003.06.08"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5
8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. Nc3 Ke8 10. h3 h5 11. Ne4 Be7 12. Bg5 Be6 13. Rad1 Bd5 14.
Rfe1 Bxg5 15. Nfxg5 Ke7 16. Nc5 b6 17. Na6 Bc4 18. Nb4 Rh6 19. e6 Rxe6 20.
Nxc6+ Ke8 21. g4 hxg4 22. hxg4 Nd6 23. f4 Kf8 24. Nxe6+ Bxe6 25. Rxe6 fxe6 26.
Kf2 a5 27. a4 Kf7 28. Rh1 Re8 29. Kf3 Kg8 30. b3 Nf7 31. Re1 Kf8 32. g5 Nd6 33.
g6 Nf5 34. Kg4 Ne7 35. Rxe6 Nxc6 36. Rxc6 Re7 37. Kf5 Rd7 38. Ke6 Re7+ 39. Kd5
Rd7+ 40. Ke5 Re7+ 41. Re6 Rd7 42. f5 Rd2 43. Rc6 Re2+ 44. Kd5 Rd2+ 45. Ke6 1-0

 

Indian champion M. Karthikeyan has managed to play at home away from home—in six rounds, he has faced five Indians. He is on 4.0/6. (Photo: Chess Illustrated)

India's brand new international master K. Raghunandan held GM Marc Narciso (above) to a draw and later had a lucky win against GM Alvar Alonso.

 

The first few rounds witnessed many Indians taking on each other. The trend continues, with 27% of the players being Indians!

 

Indian Pairings for Round 07:

Rd. Bo. No.     Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts.   Name Rtg   No.
7 1 10   GM Shyam Sundar M. 2530 5   5 GM Cori Jorge 2602   3
7 7 36   IM Himanshu Sharma 2389   4 IM Oliva Castaneda Kevel 2500   14
7 9 13   GM Karthikeyan Murali 2517 4   4 GM Akesson Ralf 2445   27
7 10 18   IM Rios Cristhian Camilo 2479 4   4 IM Anurag Mhamal 2392   35
7 11 22   IM Swayams Mishra 2465 4   4   Yashas D. 2201   62
7 12 38     Iniyan P 2336 4   4 IM Gurevich Daniel 2464   23
7 13 26   GM Munoz Miguel 2454 4   4   Snehal Bhosale 2174   66
7 14 52     Yogit S 2252 4   GM Alonso Rosell Alvar 2550   6
7 17 50   FM Ramirez Garcia Jorge Alberto 2264   IM Prasanna Raghuram Rao 2466   21
7 19 63     Jayakumaar S 2198   GM Debashis Das 2459   25
7 20 28   GM Herraiz Hidalgo Herminio 2437   FM Raghunandan Kaumandur Srihari 2295   45
7 21 93     Ojas Kulkarni 2000   WGM Cori T. Deysi 2435   29
7 22 30   IM Aguero Jimenez Luis Lazaro 2424   CM Prince Bajaj 2279   49
7 23 74     Arjun K 2137     Fernandez Fernando 2410   33
7 26 40   CM Rathanvel V S 2315 3   3 FM Sanchez Jerez Emilio Miguel 2195   65
7 27 67     Dahale Atul 2170 3   3 FM Teichmann Erik O M C 2312   41
7 28 43     Antonio Viani D'cunha 2305 3   3   Harikrishnan.A.Ra 2149   72
7 29 75     Niraj Saripalli 2133 3   3 CM Dalo Hermes 2282   47
7 30 48     Patil Pratik 2282 3   3   Godbole Atharva 2088   81
7 31 82     Yohan J. 2085 3   3   Garcia Ramos Daniel MK 2231   53
7 33 98     Mulay Pratik 1983 3   3   Banos Oscar MK 2215   58
7 38 90     Likhit Chilukuri 2012     Porta Tovar Guillem 2210   60
7 41 99   CM Suasnabar Jesus 1982   WIM Parnali S Dharia 2160   70
7 42 78     Moreto Quintana Alex 2109     Gaikwad Siddhant 1965   101
7 43 80   FM Huguet Sergio 2101 2     Kakumanu Kautil 1956   102
7 52 106   WCM Sapale Saloni 1929     Kunal Kakumanu 1903   108
7 54 114     Nandhini Saripalli 1716 1   1   Clanchet Olle Josep 1733   113
Complete Pairings
Photos: IM Arturo Vidarte Morales
PGN