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Norms galore for Indians in Zalakaros

by Srinath Narayanan - 24/06/2016
The open in Zalakaros has a long tradition and there are a number of good reasons why people like to visit the small Hungarian spa town to play chess. The surroundings are beautiful, the tournament is well organized and the field is strong. Naturally, the Indians made a beeline to play this event. The 35th edition of the Zalakaros Open was won by the Serbian GM Ivan Ivanisevic with 7.0/9 and for Indians, it rained norms.

 

Norms galore for Indians in Zalakaros

The 35th Zalakaros Open was played from 27th May to 4th June in the Hotel Karos Spa in Zalakaros, a beautiful little spa town in the Balaton lake region of Hungary. Zalakaros is the smallest town in the country: 1791 people live on an area of just 17.17 square kilometers.

 

 

IM Abhimanyu and IM Aryan were in contention to register their GM norms, and they drew safely in the penultimate to secure the same. While IM Abhimanyu drew comfortably against GM Harika in the eighth round, things were not so simple for IM Aryan.

Medvegy-Aryan — white to play and win. Can you find what GM Medvegy missed in time trouble?

IM Aryan survived through the game and finished off with a draw against GM Peter Prohaszka to finish successfully for his 8th place and second GM Norm.

Anyway, Aryan was kind enough to share his thoughts on his wins against GM’s Erdos and Romanov and has annotated it for us.

Aryan-Erdos

[Event "Zalakaros Chess Festival Group A"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2016.05.29"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Aryan, Chopra"]
[Black "Erdos, Viktor"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C96"]
[WhiteElo "2459"]
[BlackElo "2577"]
[Annotator "Aryan"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "2rq2k1/3n1pbp/p2p2p1/np1P4/3N4/1P5P/PBBQ1PP1/R5K1 b - - 0 24"]
[PlyCount "86"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2003.06.08"]
24... Qb6 $2 ({during the game, I was mainly thinking about} 24... Rc5 25. Be4
Nf6 26. Bf3 ({the engine suggests} 26. Qe1 Nxe4 27. Qxe4 {and White is better})
26... Nxd5 27. Rd1 {but White still has the initiative}) 25. Bf5 $1 (25. Re1 {
is also better for White but 25.Bf5 is even better}) 25... Rd8 26. Bxd7 Rxd7
27. Re1 $18 Qd8 ({if} 27... Rd8 {I would have played} 28. Nf5 Bxb2 29. Ne7+ Kg7
30. Qxb2+ f6 31. Nf5+ {White is winning}) 28. Bc3 $6 ({I also thought the
engine's suggestion} 28. Re4 h6 29. Qe3 Kh7 30. Re8 Qb6 {I did not see much
for White, but} 31. Qd2 {with the idea of Nf5 is just winning}) 28... Nb7 29.
Nc6 Qf8 30. Bxg7 Kxg7 31. Qc3+ f6 32. Nd4 Nd8 33. Qc8 Re7 {a little trick} 34.
Rc1 ({if} 34. Rxe7+ $2 Qxe7 35. Qxd8 $2 (35. Kf1 {White is still better}) 35...
Qe1+ 36. Kh2 Qe5+ $11) 34... Qe8 35. Kf1 Kh6 36. Nc6 $2 {a very wrong decision
in time pressure} (36. Qxa6 $18 {Black's pawns are falling}) 36... Nxc6 37.
Qxe8 Rxe8 38. Rxc6 {now I am not even sure that the endgame is winning} Kg5 39.
Rxa6 Kf5 40. Rxd6 Ra8 41. Rb6 Rxa2 42. Kg1 {I thought it was good to take the
king to a non-checkable distance but it was not important} (42. Rxb5 {was much
better}) 42... Ra5 43. b4 Ra1+ 44. Kh2 Rd1 45. Rxb5 Ke5 46. Kg3 Rd3+ 47. f3 Rd4
48. h4 ({after} 48. Rb7 {Komodo 10 suggest the variation} g5 $1 49. Re7+ Kf5
50. Kf2 $1 Rxd5 51. Ke3 {30 White has surely made improvement by giving a pawn.
+1.10 at Depth}) 48... h6 49. Kh3 g5 50. hxg5 $6 {this lessens a weakness to
exploit for White} (50. g3 $1 {h6 is still a weakness}) 50... hxg5 51. Kg3 Rd2
52. Rc5 Rd4 (52... Rb2 53. Rb5 Rd2 {is the same as the game}) 53. Rb5 Rd2 54.
Kh3 Rd4 55. g3 Rd3 $2 (55... f5 {was better} 56. d6+ Kf6 57. Rb6 Ke6 {and
Black can probably hold}) (55... Kf5 56. d6+ Ke6 57. Rb6 f5 {is the same as
the variation in 55...f5}) 56. Kg4 $2 (56. d6+ $1 {was winning according to
the engine} Kxd6 (56... Ke6 57. Kg4 Rxd6 58. f4) 57. Kg4) 56... f5+ $1 57. Kxg5
Rxf3 58. Kh4 Rd3 59. d6+ Ke6 60. Rb6 Rd4+ 61. Kh3 Rd2 62. b5 Rd3 $2 (62... Rb2
$1 {White has to give a pawn} 63. Rb8 (63. Kh4 Rb4+ 64. Kh5 Rb3) 63... Kxd6 {
is a tablebase draw. For eg.} 64. b6 Rb1 65. b7 Kc6 66. Kh4 Rh1+ 67. Kg5 Rg1
$11) 63. Kg2 $2 (63. d7+ $1 {is winning for White} Kxd7 (63... Ke7 64. Kg2 {
is an even easier win for White}) 64. Rf6 Rd5 65. b6 {is a tablebase win
(White mates in 51). Though it is not easy when humans are playing}) 63... Rb3
64. Rb8 Kxd6 {it's a tablebase draw now!} 65. b6 Kc6 66. Rf8 {after this move,
Black had around 40 seconds on clock} Kxb6 $4 (66... Kd6 $3 {draws with
surprise} 67. Rxf5 (67. Rb8 Kc6 $11) 67... Ke7 $1 68. Kh3 Rxb6 69. Kh4 Rb8 70.
g4 Rh8+ 71. Rh5 Rg8 $11) 67. Rb8+ 1-0

 

Romanov-Aryan

[Event "Zalakaros Chess Festival Group A"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2016.06.01"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Romanov, Evgeny"]
[Black "Aryan, Chopra"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D43"]
[WhiteElo "2641"]
[BlackElo "2459"]
[Annotator "Aryan"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "r7/1p4bk/2bR1rpp/pNPBqp2/P3p3/8/1PQ2PPP/3R2K1 w - - 0 28"]
[PlyCount "28"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2003.06.08"]
28. Nc7 $2 ({during the game, I was a little worried about} 28. Bxc6 bxc6 29.
Nd4 Rc8 {is a position with play for both sides} ({engine's suggestion} 29...
e3 {is also interesting} 30. Nxc6 Qe8 31. fxe3 Ra6 32. Rxf6 Bxf6 33. Nd4 Qxe3+
34. Qf2 Bxd4 35. Rxd4 Qc1+ 36. Qf1 Qe3+ 37. Qf2 $11 {though it is too far from
the game})) 28... Rc8 29. Ne6 (29. Bxc6 bxc6 30. Na6 f4 {Black has the
initiative}) 29... f4 $2 ({I had some time to think about} 29... Bxd5 $1 30.
R1xd5 Rxe6 31. Rxe5 {the move I actually missed was} Rxd6 ({I only saw} 31...
Rxe5 $2 {which is just bad for Black}) 32. f4 $1 {is difficult to find} (32.
Qb1 $2 Rd2 33. Re6 (33. Re7 $2 Rcd8 $19) 33... Rxc5 $19 {is winning for Black}
(33... Rcd8 $4 34. Rd6 $11)) 32... Rd7 {Black is better. On the 29th move I
thought that saving time for the upcoming moves was better and I did not
consider Bxd5 much}) 30. Qb3 $2 (30. Bxc6 bxc6 31. Nxg7 Kxg7 32. Rd7+ Kh8 {
+/-/+/=}) 30... e3 $1 {I was thinking less and just pushing pawns} 31. Bxc6
Rxc6 32. Rxc6 bxc6 33. Nxg7 e2 34. Re1 Kxg7 {White can only be worse here and
should have avoided Black's f3 and gone for equality with 35.Qc2} 35. Qb7+ $2 (
35. Qc2 Re6 36. Qd2 Qxc5 37. Qxf4 $11) 35... Rf7 $1 (35... Kg8 $2 36. Qa8+ Kg7
37. Qxa5 Qxb2 {engine's evaluation is 0.00 but I would rather call this unclear
}) 36. Qxc6 $4 (36. Qb3 {recognising the mistake and coming back was the best}
Re7 {Black is better} (36... f3 37. gxf3 Qg5+ 38. Kh1 Qd2 39. Qc3+ Qxc3 40.
bxc3 Rxf3 41. Rxe2 Rxc3 {Black is also better here})) 36... f3 $1 $19 {now its
just losing for White} 37. Qd6 ({if} 37. gxf3 Qg5+ 38. Kh1 Qd2 39. Rg1 e1=Q 40.
Qxg6+ Kf8 41. Qg8+ Ke7 {I saw until here while playing 35...Rf7!}) 37... Qg5
38. Qd4+ Kh7 39. g3 Qf5 40. Qc4 Rd7 41. Qb3 Qd3 0-1

 

IM Abhimanyu Puranik (Photo: Chess Illustrated)

Although IM Abhimanyu secured his first GM norm with a round to spare, he didn’t have the smoothest of ends against GM Vladimir Onischuk.

Onischuk-Abhimanyu

[Event "35th Zalakaros Open 2016"]
[Site "Zalakaros HUN"]
[Date "2016.06.04"]
[Round "9.6"]
[White "Onischuk, V."]
[Black "Puranik, A."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C78"]
[WhiteElo "2628"]
[BlackElo "2452"]
[Annotator "Srinath,N"]
[PlyCount "51"]
[EventDate "2016.05.27"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "HUN"]
[SourceDate "2003.06.08"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O b5 6. Bb3 Bc5 7. Nc3 d6 $6 (
7... O-O {this move order would just avoid this problem} 8. d3 (8. Nd5 Nxe4 (
8... h6 $6 9. c3 {would save White a tempo}) 9. d3 Nf6 10. Bg5 Be7) 8... h6 9.
Nd5 d6 10. c3 {is a typical position in such lines.}) 8. Nd5 {A tricky
situation for Black. Even very strong players like Caruana were unable to
equalise.} O-O $2 {Walking right into it....} (8... Na5 {A rare move. Black
would like to remove the b3 B, but he allows White's next move.} 9. d4 $1 {
An important principle. When your opponent's piece goes to the edge of the
board, you should attack in the centre!} Nxb3 (9... exd4 $5 {was the
alternative} 10. Bg5 c6 11. Nxf6+ gxf6 12. Bh4 Rg8 13. Nxd4 Bxd4 14. Qxd4 c5 {
followed by c4. This is the point, why Black doesn't take on b3.}) 10. axb3
Nxd5 $146 {The new move in the game.} (10... exd4 $6 {was dubious, as} 11. Bg5
c6 12. Nxf6+ gxf6 13. Bh4 Rg8 {(Satyapragyan-Deshmukh, Tirupati 2012)} 14. Nxd4
Rg4 15. Bg3 Rxe4 16. Nxb5 $1 {and Black's position is hopeless, for example:}
cxb5 17. Qd5 $18) 11. exd5 exd4 12. Re1+ Kf8 13. Nxd4 {White has gained some
space. His position looks comfortable, because the black K didn't castle,
that's why it is not so easy to finish the development for Black.} Bd7 {
Otherwise Nc6.} 14. Be3 Qf6 15. Qd2 {0-1 (15) Topalov,V (2793)-Caruana,F (2774)
Thessaloniki 2013 CBM 155 [Szabo,Kr]}) ({In the event of} 8... Rb8 9. c3 Nxd5
10. Bxd5 Ne7 11. Bb3 O-O 12. d4 exd4 13. cxd4 Bb6 14. h3 h6 15. Re1 c5 16. Be3
Bb7 17. Rc1 Rc8 18. dxc5 Bxc5 19. Nh4 Qb6 20. Rc3 $14 {White was slightly
better, Grischuk-Lenic, Porto Carras 2011.}) (8... Nxe4 9. d3 Nf6 10. Bg5 $44)
9. d4 exd4 10. Bg5 Na5 11. Nxd4 Re8 12. Nf5 Bxf5 13. exf5 Nxb3 14. axb3 {
Black's position is just bad. So bad that even IM Puranik, who has shown a
tendency to extricate himself from all kinds of terrible positions couldn't
escape.} c6 15. Nxf6+ gxf6 16. Bh6 Kh8 17. b4 Bb6 18. Qg4 Rg8 19. Qh4 Rg5 20.
Bxg5 fxg5 21. Qe4 d5 22. Qe5+ Kg8 23. f6 h6 24. Rfe1 Qd7 25. h4 g4 26. Qf4 1-0

 

GM Harika finished off steadily with quick draws and secured the best woman prize and 10th overall. 

Harshit Raja (Photo: Chess Illustrated)

15-year-old Harshit Raja was the other impressive Indian player in the array, as he came off successfully with an IM Norm. It’s funny when I think that Harshit was rated just 2110 when I played against him in October 2015.

And little Nihal was 2217 when I played against him in January this year. At the moment, both of them are rated above 2350!

What is pleasant to know is that such performances are not isolated instances, but are coming in waves at the moment. These waves represent the coming two-three generations, which points towards the Indian scene having a completely different appearance in the coming two decades. It seems to me that Indian Chess has reached such a stage where like Indian Cricket we have an auto-producing assembly line of talents.  At the moment, India is placed No. 05 in the world, not something many disciplines in India can boast of.

GM Shyam Sundar recovered well to 5.5/9 but won’t be too happy with his performance. (Photo: Chess Illustrated)

IM Nitin was impressive throughout with 5.5/9 and a rating gain of 25 points. (Photo: Chess Illustrated)

Michelle Catherina began well, but lost a bit of steam in the middle to end up with 4/9 and a 28 point gain.

My own tournament doesn’t contain much to write home about. (Photo: Chess Illustrated)

Although, I had a few fortunate wins to begin with, the quality of games were below par throughout. Eventually, I got what I deserved as the second half were filled with losses and draws. It wasn’t the brightest of ideas to combine report writing with playing. It wasn’t the lack of time that was the primary problem. Rather, it was simply that, both playing chess and writing demands a considerable amount of cognitive exertion and creativity. Indulging in both at the same time left me insipid and plain in both disciplines and I just struggled throughout. It won’t give me any delight to highlight and replay the terrible, repeated mistakes, nor are these memories something I want to strengthen by reliving. However, the games are out there for all to see.

 

Even so, I wouldn’t call the trip completely nugatory as the experiences themselves were worth it. Zalakaros is one of the beautiful places I’ve been to, and traveling is simply a pleasure by itself. On the whole, it was an enriching experience.

 

So on behalf of the Organizers I recommend for all of you regardless of age, gender or rating points to join another horde of talented Indians for the next year’s edition!

Nature...

...in...

...Zalakaros.

Final standings

Rk. SNo   Name FED Rtg Pts.  TB1 
1 3 GM Ivanisevic Ivan SRB 2646 7,0 52,0
2 12 GM Vajda Levente ROU 2581 6,5 52,0
3 7 GM Berkes Ferenc HUN 2636 6,5 49,0
4 8 GM Onischuk Vladimir UKR 2628 6,5 48,0
5 4 GM Kravtsiv Martyn UKR 2641 6,5 45,0
6 1 GM Efimenko Zahar UKR 2656 6,5 44,0
7 9 GM Banusz Tamas HUN 2621 6,0 50,5
8 32 IM Aryan Chopra IND 2459 6,0 49,5
9 2 GM Rakhmanov Aleksandr RUS 2654 6,0 48,5
10 22 GM Harika Dronavalli IND 2514 6,0 47,5
11 11 GM Prohaszka Peter HUN 2593 6,0 47,0
12 19 IM Svane Rasmus GER 2526 6,0 46,5
13 25 IM Deac Bogdan-Daniel ROU 2501 6,0 45,0
14 59 IM Hnydiuk Aleksander POL 2381 6,0 42,0
15 6 GM Perunovic Milos SRB 2639 6,0 41,5
16 54 IM Ben Artzi Ido ISR 2399 6,0 40,5
17 35 IM Puranik Abhimanyu IND 2452 5,5 50,5
18 10 GM Papp Gabor HUN 2596 5,5 47,0
19 5 GM Romanov Evgeny RUS 2641 5,5 46,5
20 23 GM Andersen Mads DEN 2505 5,5 45,5
21 13 GM Erdos Viktor HUN 2577 5,5 45,0
22 60 IM Nitin S. IND 2377 5,5 45,0
23 14 GM Medvegy Zoltan HUN 2553 5,5 44,5
24 26 GM Mihok Oliver HUN 2498 5,5 44,5
25 17 GM Shyam Sundar M. IND 2530 5,5 43,5
26 21 GM Horvath Adam HUN 2515 5,5 43,0
27 15 GM Szabo Gergely-Andras-Gyula ROU 2548 5,5 43,0
28 41 GM Lalic Bogdan CRO 2431 5,5 39,5
29 45 IM Vertetics Attila HUN 2425 5,5 36,5
30 46 IM Kantor Gergely HUN 2424 5,5 35,5

...113 players

Check the complete standings here.

 

Games in PGN

Official Website