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Qatar 01: Shardul Gagare beats Wei Yi

by Priyadarshan Banjan - 21/12/2015

The first round of the 2015 Qatar Masters Open came to a close. While the news will certainly be dominated by Carlsen's draw, the biggest upset of the day has to be IM Shardul Gagare's spirited victory over his much higher-rated peer Chinese GM Wei Yi! Indians, who made up 21% of the players competing at Qatar, displayed some entertaining chess on most of the boards. A complete report with pictures, supplemented by games and interesting positions.

Qatar 01: Shardul Gagare beats Wei Yi

In a tournament where in the very first round, grandmasters and International Masters rated in the 2400-2600 range play super-GMs in the 2600-2700 range, it is not entirely surprising to witness upsets. One would expect a World Champion, at least, to be a towering God among mere mortals, but so was not the case today as even Magnus settled for a draw with IM Nino Batsiashvili (2498).

 

Was this the biggest upset of the day?

 

Nay. IM Shardul Gagare (2470) has been making steady progress in the rating charts, but he had not beaten many players of world class in the past, due to the lack of tournaments of a high caliber. However, with an opportunity like this one, playing in the strongest Open in chess history, Shardul grabbed his chance, just as he had in the 2014 edition of the same tournament where he defeated Arkadij Naiditsch.

IM Shardul Gagre (2470)

This time around, Shardul managed to put it across Chinese phenom Wei Yi in what is sure to be a memorable game for the Maharashtrian lad. Playing white, he managed to enforce a squeeze on Wei Yi's position, winning a pawn in the process. Wei Yi resigned on move 53, where he had one final trick up his sleeve, however, even that was not enough for a draw.

[Event "Qatar Masters Open 2015"]
[Site "Doha QAT"]
[Date "2015.12.20"]
[Round "1.12"]
[White "Gagare, Shardul"]
[Black "Wei, Yi"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E10"]
[WhiteElo "2470"]
[BlackElo "2730"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "106"]
[EventDate "2015.12.20"]
[SourceDate "2003.06.08"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 c5 4. d5 b5 5. Nc3 b4 6. Na4 Bb7 7. Bg5 h6 8. Bxf6
Qxf6 9. e4 d6 10. a3 Nd7 11. axb4 cxb4 12. Qd2 Rb8 13. Be2 Be7 14. O-O O-O 15.
Nd4 Rfc8 16. b3 Bf8 17. Rae1 Re8 18. Bd1 g6 19. Nc2 a5 20. Nd4 h5 21. g3 Rbc8
22. f4 e5 23. Nb5 exf4 24. gxf4 Ba6 25. Na7 Rc7 26. Nc6 Bh6 27. Qf2 Bc8 28. Kh1
Qg7 29. Qg3 Bb7 30. Nxa5 Ba8 31. Bf3 Kh8 32. Bg2 Qd4 33. Rd1 Qa7 34. Nc6 Bxc6
35. dxc6 Rxc6 36. e5 Ra6 37. exd6 Re3 38. Qf2 Rxb3 39. Qxa7 Rxa7 40. Bc6 Nb8
41. Bb5 Ra3 42. Rfe1 Kg7 43. Re8 Rb7 44. Re7 Rxb5 45. cxb5 Rxa4 46. Rb7 Ra8 47.
d7 Nxd7 48. Rbxd7 Rb8 49. R7d5 Kf6 50. R1d4 Bf8 51. Rd8 Bc5 52. Rxb8 Bxd4 53.
Rd8 {Wei Yi resigned the game at this point seeing that his bishop is attacked
and if he moves it b6 followed by b7-b8 is threatened. To b6 he cannot play
Bxb6 as then Rd6+ will pick up the piece. Yet, here Black has a miraculous
defence which was overlooked by the Chinese grandmaster.} -- (53... Bb6 $3 {
Can you believe this! This is the only way in which Black can fight on.
Although most probably even this is objectively lost. But it is not so easy to
prove it.} 54. Rd6+ Ke7 55. Rd2 (55. Rxb6 $2 b3 $1 {The a and c-files are
useless as a1 and c1 will be covered after b2. And there are no other squares
available.} 56. Rb7+ Ke8 57. Rb8+ Ke7 $11) 55... Ke6 56. Kg2 {Slowly White
should win this as he will activate his king and break the fortress. However,
this sequence starting with Bb6 was definitely worth trying over the board by
Wei Yi.}) (53... Be3 $2 54. b6 $1 Bxb6 (54... b3 55. b7 b2 56. b8=Q $18) 55.
Rd6+ $18) (53... b3 $2 54. Rxd4 b2 55. Rb4 $18) 1-0

GM S.L. Narayanan, our 41st grandmaster, took on the might of Anish Giri (2784) with the black pieces

Narayanan uncorked a beautiful move in this position...

22...Nxf2! was the fine shot, which Anish had obviously forseen as well. White cannot play 23. Kxf2 because of Qxe3+, nor can he go 23. Qxf2, becase then the Bishop would hang. White played 23. Bxh7+ Kg7 and now...

Anish had been pinning his hopes on 24. O-O!

Here, Narayanan had only one way to wriggle out, and it is quite difficult to calculate. Unfortunately, the Kerala lad missed it and played 24...Nd3, and plummeted to a defeat. Can you find the correct idea?

Analysis by IM Sagar Shah

[Site "Doha QAT"]
[Date "2015.12.20"]
[Round "1.3"]
[White "Giri, Anish"]
[Black "Sunilduth Lyna, Narayanan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A28"]
[WhiteElo "2784"]
[BlackElo "2494"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "59"]
[EventDate "2015.12.20"]
[SourceDate "2003.06.08"]
1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. e3 Bb4 5. Qc2 O-O 6. Nd5 Re8 7. Qf5 d6 8.
Nxf6+ gxf6 9. Qc2 e4 10. Ng1 d5 11. a3 Bf8 12. cxd5 Qxd5 {Diagram [#] Look at
the position after 12 moves! None of Giri's pieces have been developed and
Black has nearly four of them playing. Yet White is doing ok mainly because he
has no weaknesses.} 13. Ne2 Bf5 14. b4 $5 {Highly ambitious play. Anish hasn't
completed his development but finds time to push another pawn!} a5 15. Nc3 Qe6
16. b5 Ne5 17. Nxe4 $1 {Making a move like Nxe4 requires a lot of belief on
your calculating abilities. f3 and d3 is coming up and hence Black doesn't
have a good discovery.} Nd7 18. d3 Bxe4 19. dxe4 Nc5 20. Bb2 Rad8 21. Rc1 $6 (
21. f3 $5 {Would have retained an advantage for White as now Be2 followed by
0-0 is coming up and there is no real good way for Black to take advantage of
his lead in development.} f5 $2 22. Qc3 $1 $18) 21... Nxe4 22. Bd3 Nxf2 $1 {
A fine shot which puts the ball back in the Dutch GM's court. What does he do
now?} 23. Bxh7+ (23. Kxf2 $2 Qxe3+ $19) (23. Qxf2 Rxd3 $17) 23... Kg7 24. O-O
$1 {This was the resource which Giri had pinned his hopes on. Black has only
way to wriggle out of the mess but unfortunately is unable to find it.} Nd3 $2
(24... Ng4 $1 {would have given Black an equal position. But this is far from
easy to calculate.} 25. Rf3 (25. Bf5 Qxe3+ $1 26. Kh1 Nxh2 $1 27. Kxh2 Bd6+ 28.
Kh1 Rh8+ $19) 25... Nxe3 26. Rxf6 Nxc2 27. Rxe6+ Kxh7 28. Rxe8 Rxe8 29. Rxc2
Bd6 $11) 25. Bxd3 Qxe3+ 26. Kh1 Rxd3 (26... Qxd3 27. Bxf6+ Kg8 28. Bxd8 $18)
27. Rxf6 $1 {A deadly discovered check is difficult to prevent.} Kg8 28. Rcf1
Qe2 29. Qc4 $1 Rd7 30. Rg6+ {A very interesting battle but it must be said
that the Dutch super GM was surely given a scare by his young Indian opponent.}
1-0

 

The ninth board witnessed an Indian derby, of sorts, when the new world no. 14 in the live rating list took on the ever-resourceful Aravindh Chithambaram (2486)

Harikrishna took on f5 and is a pawn up, or is he?
[Event "Qatar Masters Open 2015"]
[Site "Doha QAT"]
[Date "2015.12.20"]
[Round "1.9"]
[White "Harikrishna, P."]
[Black "Aravindh, Chithambaram Vr"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B30"]
[WhiteElo "2743"]
[BlackElo "2486"]
[PlyCount "107"]
[EventDate "2015.12.20"]
[SourceDate "2003.06.08"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 e5 4. Bc4 Be7 5. d3 Nf6 6. Ng5 {A novel Sicilian!}
O-O 7. f4 exf4 8. Bxf4 d5 9. exd5 Nd4 10. O-O b5 11. Nxb5 Nxb5 12. Bxb5 Nxd5
13. Ne4 Nxf4 14. Rxf4 Kh8 15. Bc4 f5 {Things have been forced until now and
White decides to put his knight on g3.} 16. Ng3 Rb8 17. Qf1 (17. Rb1 Bg5 18.
Rf1 Qd4+ 19. Kh1 Rxb2 20. Rxb2 Qxb2 $11) 17... Bd6 18. Rf2 Rxb2 19. Nxf5 {
Looks like White has won a pawn, or has he?} Bxf5 20. Rxf5 Bxh2+ $1 {and it is
a draw.} 21. Kh1 {"Not so fast," says Hari, as he enters a worse position,
just to prolong the game.} Rxf5 22. Qxf5 Rb6 23. Be6 Bg3 24. Rf1 Qh4+ 25. Qh3
Qf4 26. Qf5 Qh6+ 27. Qh3 Qf4 28. Qf5 Qh4+ 29. Qh3 Qf4 30. Qf5 Qxf5 {Now,
Aravindh declines the draw!} 31. Bxf5 g6 32. Be4 Rb2 33. Bd5 Rxc2 34. Kg1 Kg7
35. Rf3 Rc1+ 36. Rf1 Rc3 37. Rf3 Rc1+ 38. Rf1 Rc3 39. Rf3 Rc1+ 40. Rf1 {
But with opposite coloured Bishops, it most probably is a draw.} Bh2+ 41. Kf2
Bg3+ 42. Ke2 Rxf1 43. Kxf1 Kf6 44. Ke2 Ke5 45. Bg8 h5 46. Bf7 Kf6 47. Be8 Kf5
48. Bd7+ Ke5 49. Be8 Kf5 50. Bd7+ Kf4 51. Be8 Kf5 52. Bd7+ Ke5 53. Be8 Kf5 54.
Bd7+ 1/2-1/2

The value of playing such a tournament can be gauged from IM Sagar Shah's view: "Before arriving in Doha, I played at the London Chess Classic. Over there, too, the World Champion was present, and so were other great players like Anish Giri, Levon Aronian, Vishy Anand, Alexander Grischuk. But I wasn’t playing in the same tournament as them. While the ten players faced each other in the elite section, mortals like me battled it out in the FIDE Open. The best I could manage was sitting in the second row of the auditorium at a distance of ten meters from these big guys."

Sagar-Fedoseev and a kibitzer

He continues, "At the Qatar Masters, things are completely different! You get to play in the same tournament as the world-class super GMs. This means that you can casually walk over to their boards and watch their games in close proximity. Sometimes these top players come over to your board to kibitz your game! For many of us, just playing in the same event as these legends and being in the same tournament hall as them is enough to get our money’s worth."

Sagar had to be extremely careful in an imbalanced position

He found a bunch of tricky resources to hang on and survive against Russian GM Vladimir Fedoseev (2664).

White found a practically tricky idea, that helped him save the game

Sagar: "I got thirty minutes after 40 moves to find it. If I hadn't, I might well have lost that position!"

[Event "Qatar Masters Open 2015"]
[Site "Doha QAT"]
[Date "2015.12.20"]
[Round "1.24"]
[White "Sagar, Shah"]
[Black "Fedoseev, Vladimir"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A28"]
[WhiteElo "2441"]
[BlackElo "2664"]
[PlyCount "138"]
[EventDate "2015.12.20"]
[SourceDate "2003.06.08"]
1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. d4 exd4 5. Nxd4 Bb4 6. Bg5 O-O 7. Rc1 Ne5 8.
e3 h6 9. Bxf6 {9.Bh4 has been seen before with positive results.} Qxf6 10. Be2
Qb6 11. Qb3 Bxc3+ 12. Qxc3 Qg6 13. O-O d5 14. cxd5 {White deicides to
imbalance the position.} Bh3 15. g3 Bxf1 16. Bxf1 c6 17. dxc6 Nxc6 18. Nxc6
Qxc6 19. Qxc6 bxc6 20. Rxc6 $11 Rfc8 21. Ra6 Rc7 22. b3 Rd8 23. Bc4 Rd2 24. a4
Kh7 25. g4 Rcd7 26. Kg2 Rb2 27. Kg3 g5 28. Rf6 Kg7 29. Rf5 Rb1 30. Kg2 Kg6 31.
e4 Re1 32. Kf3 f6 33. Ra5 h5 34. gxh5+ Kxh5 35. Bd5 Rc7 36. Bc4 Re7 37. Bd5 Kh4
38. Ra6 g4+ 39. Kg2 Rc7 $1 {Black is actually threatening a mating net with ...
Rc1 and ...Rg1!} 40. Bc4 Rd7 41. Bd5 f5 $1 {The point, of course. Thankfully,
White has made the time control and finds a beautiful resource.} 42. Rf6 $1 {
Black is still better, but this is practically a very good idea.} fxe4 43. Rf5
{And now, White is creating a mating net with Bf7, Rh5! He will be one move
ahead of Black's ...Rd1, ...Rg1.} Rh7 44. Rf4 Kg5 45. Rxe4 Rxe4 46. Bxe4 Re7
47. Bd5 Rd7 48. Bc4 Kf4 49. Be6 Rd6 50. Bc4 a5 51. Bf7 Rd3 52. Bc4 Rf3 53. Bd5
Rc3 54. Be6 Rh3 55. Bc4 Kf5 56. Bf7 Ke5 57. Bc4 Rf3 58. Bg8 Kd6 59. Bc4 Rc3 60.
Bf7 Rh3 61. Bc4 Rf3 62. Bg8 Ke5 63. Bc4 Rh3 64. Bf7 Ke4 65. Be6 Kd4 66. Bc4 Rc3
67. Be6 Rf3 68. Bc4 Kc3 69. Be6 Kd4 1/2-1/2

Meanwhile, GM. B. Adhiban tried, but his opponent IM Abhimanyu Puranik (2442) was up to the task, as they played on until only the kings were left on the board
[Event "Qatar Masters Open 2015"]
[Site "Doha, Qatar"]
[Date "2015.12.20"]
[Round "1.23"]
[White "Adhiban, B."]
[Black "Puranik, Abhimanyu"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A05"]
[WhiteElo "2669"]
[BlackElo "2442"]
[PlyCount "104"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2003.06.08"]
[WhiteClock "0:11:10"]
[BlackClock "0:28:37"]
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. h4 Bg7 6. e4 Nxc3 7. dxc3 Qxd1+
8. Kxd1 Bg4 9. Be3 Nd7 10. Kc2 e5 11. Bc4 Bxf3 12. gxf3 h5 13. Rad1 Nb6 14. Bb3
Bh6 15. a4 Nc8 16. Rd5 f6 17. Rhd1 Nd6 18. Bc5 O-O-O 19. Bxa7 g5 20. Be3 gxh4
21. Bxh6 Rxh6 22. Rh1 c6 23. Rdd1 f5 24. exf5 Nxf5 25. Rde1 Re8 26. Kc1 Kd7 27.
Re4 Rf6 28. Re2 Ng7 29. Re3 Nf5 30. Re2 Ng7 31. Bd1 Rf4 32. Re4 Rxe4 33. fxe4
Rf8 34. Rxh4 Rxf2 35. Bxh5 Rf4 36. Rxf4 exf4 37. Bg4+ Kd6 38. a5 Ne6 39. Kc2
Nc5 40. Bf5 Ke5 41. Bc8 f3 42. Kd1 Nb3 43. Ke1 Kxe4 44. Kf2 Nxa5 45. b4 Nc4 46.
Bxb7 Kd3 47. Bxc6 Kxc3 48. b5 Kb4 49. Kxf3 Kc5 50. Ke4 Nd6+ 51. Kd3 Nxb5 52.
Bxb5 Kxb5 1/2-1/2

Untitled Harshit Raja (2325) also managed to win against GM Rasmus Svane (2529).

[Event "Qatar Masters Open 2015"]
[Site "Doha, Qatar"]
[Date "2015.12.20"]
[Round "1.58"]
[White "Raja, Harshit"]
[Black "Svane, Rasmus"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B13"]
[WhiteElo "2325"]
[BlackElo "2529"]
[PlyCount "113"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2003.06.08"]
[WhiteClock "0:25:06"]
[BlackClock "0:04:48"]
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. c4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Nf3 e6 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8.
Bd3 Be7 9. O-O O-O 10. a3 Nxc3 11. bxc3 b6 12. Qc2 g6 13. Bh6 Re8 14. Be4 Bb7
15. Rad1 Bf6 16. d5 exd5 17. Bxd5 Qc7 18. Ng5 Ne5 19. h3 Bxd5 20. Rxd5 Rad8 21.
Ne4 Bg7 22. Rxd8 Rxd8 23. Bg5 Rd5 24. Nf6+ Bxf6 25. Bxf6 Nd7 26. Bh4 Qc4 27.
Bg3 Kg7 28. Re1 Qd3 29. Qb2 Qd2 30. Qa1 Rd3 31. c4+ Qc3 32. Qxc3+ Rxc3 33. Rd1
Rxg3 34. fxg3 Ne5 35. c5 bxc5 36. Rd5 Nc4 37. Rxc5 Nxa3 38. Ra5 Nc4 39. Rxa7 h5
40. Kf2 Kf6 41. Kf3 Kg5 42. Rc7 Ne5+ 43. Ke4 Kf6 44. Ra7 Nc4 45. Ra6+ Kg5 46.
Kd3 Ne5+ 47. Kd4 Kf5 48. Ra5 f6 49. Kd5 Nf7 50. Ra1 g5 51. Rf1+ Kg6 52. Ke6
Nd8+ 53. Kd7 Nf7 54. Ke7 f5 55. Rxf5 Nh6 56. Rf6+ Kg7 57. Rxh6 1-0

IM Eesha Karavade held Italian GM Daniele Vacaturo (2597)
[Event "Qatar Masters Open 2015"]
[Site "Doha QAT"]
[Date "2015.12.20"]
[Round "1.49"]
[White "Vocaturo, Daniele"]
[Black "Karavade, Eesha"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C15"]
[WhiteElo "2597"]
[BlackElo "2379"]
[PlyCount "117"]
[EventDate "2015.12.20"]
[SourceDate "2003.06.08"]
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Nge2 dxe4 5. a3 Be7 6. Nxe4 Nf6 7. N2c3 O-O 8.
g3 Nbd7 9. Bg2 Rb8 10. Bf4 Nxe4 11. Nxe4 b6 12. Nc3 Ba6 13. Bc6 Bd6 14. Qd2 Bb7
15. Bxb7 Rxb7 16. O-O-O Bxf4 17. Qxf4 Nf6 18. Qf3 Nd5 19. Ne4 c6 20. Rd3 Rd7
21. Rhd1 Qc7 22. Nd2 Ne7 23. Nc4 Rd5 24. Ne3 Rd7 25. Nc4 Rd5 26. Ne3 Rd7 27.
Qe4 Rfd8 28. f4 h6 29. Nc4 Rd5 30. Ne5 c5 31. dxc5 Qxc5 32. Qe2 Rxd3 33. Rxd3
Rxd3 34. Qxd3 Qg1+ 35. Qd1 Qxd1+ 36. Kxd1 f6 37. Nf3 Kf7 38. Kd2 Nc6 39. b4 Ke7
40. Kd3 Kd7 41. c3 a6 42. Nd2 Ne7 43. Nb3 Nc6 44. Nd2 Ne7 45. c4 Nc6 46. Ne4 f5
47. Nc3 Kc7 48. Ne2 e5 49. Nc3 e4+ 50. Ke3 Kd6 51. Na4 Kc7 52. Nc3 Kd6 53. Na4
Kc7 54. c5 b5 55. Nc3 Kd7 56. g4 g6 57. gxf5 gxf5 58. Nd5 Ne7 59. Nxe7 1/2-1/2

So what is it with the Maharashtra players, all of whom, except IM Abhishek Kelkar, are off to a rollicking start, in this edition of the Qatar Masters?

 

Indian National Champion IM Padmini Rout (2437) held the fort against GM Akopian (2648)
[Event "Qatar Masters Open 2015"]
[Site "Doha"]
[Date "2015.12.20"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Akopian, Vladimir"]
[Black "Padmini, Rout"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B40"]
[WhiteElo "2648"]
[BlackElo "2437"]
[PlyCount "75"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]
[EventCountry "QAT"]
[TimeControl "40/5400+30:1800+30"]
1. e4 {0} c5 {0} 2. Nf3 {0} e6 {0} 3. b3 {29} b6 {12} 4. c4 {288} Bb7 {53} 5.
Nc3 {20} Nf6 {132} 6. Bd3 {129} Nc6 {99} 7. Bb2 {115} Qb8 {532} 8. O-O {220}
Ng4 {442} 9. g3 {1123} h5 {466} 10. Nd5 {130} h4 {728} 11. Qe2 {324} hxg3 {817}
12. hxg3 {108} Nge5 {221} 13. Nxe5 {1873} Nxe5 {12} 14. Bc2 {43} Nc6 {181} 15.
Kg2 {93} Nd4 {94} 16. Bxd4 {13} cxd4 {2} 17. Nf4 {111} g5 {389} 18. Nd3 {176}
Qc7 {276} 19. Rh1 {44} Rxh1 {419} 20. Rxh1 {5} O-O-O {10} 21. Ne1 {8} Bc5 {314}
22. Rh7 {366} f5 {120} 23. Kf1 {5} Rf8 {539} 24. exf5 {11} exf5 {4} 25. Qh5 {
125} f4 {155} 26. Rh8 {242} fxg3 {35} 27. Rxf8+ {75} Bxf8 {2} 28. Qe8+ {30} Qd8
{5} 29. Qxd8+ {10} Kxd8 {2} 30. fxg3 {12} d5 {161} 31. cxd5 {360} Bxd5 {10} 32.
Bf5 {74} Ke7 {81} 33. Ke2 {10} Kd6 {34} 34. g4 {116} Ke5 {35} 35. Nd3+ {18} Kd6
{33} 36. Nf2 {43} a5 {24} 37. Ne4+ {127} Bxe4 {20} 38. Bxe4 {14} 1/2-1/2

IM Vignesh Nr

 

IM Vignesh Nr settled for a draw with GM Ngoc Truong Son Nguyen (2642), who did not bother to confuse Vignesh with his moves, although there is a good chance he may have with his name.

[Event "Qatar Masters Open 2015"]
[Site "Doha"]
[Date "2015.12.20"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Vignesh N R"]
[Black "Nguyen, Ngoc Truong Son"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C67"]
[WhiteElo "2422"]
[BlackElo "2642"]
[PlyCount "64"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]
[EventCountry "QAT"]
[TimeControl "40/5400+30:1800+30"]
1. e4 {0} e5 {0} 2. Nf3 {10} Nc6 {2} 3. Bb5 {94} Nf6 {140} 4. O-O {76} Nxe4 {24
} 5. Re1 {42} Nd6 {165} 6. Nxe5 {22} Nxe5 {88} 7. Rxe5+ {8} Be7 {12} 8. Bf1 {
116} O-O {74} 9. Nc3 {166} Ne8 {312} 10. Nd5 {79} Bd6 {82} 11. Re1 {33} c6 {100
} 12. Ne3 {26} Bc7 {151} 13. Nf5 {81} d5 {178} 14. Ne7+ {13} Kh8 {8} 15. Nxc8 {
8} Rxc8 {63} 16. d4 {81} Nf6 {452} 17. Bd3 {414} Qd6 {439} 18. g3 {63} Rce8 {
112} 19. Bf4 {201} Qd8 {269} 20. Bg5 {163} h6 {404} 21. Bxf6 {208} Qxf6 {128}
22. Qh5 {344} Kg8 {334} 23. c3 {243} Re6 {852} 24. Qf5 {303} Qxf5 {119} 25.
Bxf5 {9} Rxe1+ {113} 26. Rxe1 {7} Bd6 {7} 27. Bd7 {396} Rd8 {80} 28. Re8+ {11}
Rxe8 {4} 29. Bxe8 {4} Kf8 {9} 30. Bd7 {6} Ke7 {12} 31. Bc8 {7} b6 {10} 32. Kf1
{132} Bc7 {153} 1/2-1/2

GM K. Sasikiran, who is back in the grind after a long period of rest

Of course, many Indians did lose, but all to their higher-rated opponents. The only other reversal, besides Hari's draw with Aravindh and Adhiban's with Abhimanyu, was Sasikiran's half-point, the other half of which he shared with English IM Ravi Haria(2416).

[Event "Qatar Masters Open 2015"]
[Site "Doha"]
[Date "2015.12.20"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Haria, Ravi"]
[Black "Sasikiran, Krishnan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A06"]
[WhiteElo "2416"]
[BlackElo "2638"]
[PlyCount "84"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]
[EventCountry "QAT"]
[TimeControl "40/5400+30:1800+30"]
1. Nf3 {0} d5 {0} 2. g3 {0} e6 {0} 3. Bg2 {24} f5 {10} 4. O-O {35} Nf6 {28} 5.
d3 {108} Nc6 {272} 6. c4 {735} dxc4 {117} 7. dxc4 {18} Bd6 {50} 8. Nc3 {19} O-O
{69} 9. e4 {195} e5 {675} 10. exf5 {704} Bxf5 {573} 11. Be3 {320} Kh8 {547} 12.
c5 {452} Be7 {163} 13. Qb3 {135} Rb8 {773} 14. Ng5 {310} Nd4 {351} 15. Bxd4 {
235} exd4 {163} 16. Ne2 {109} Bxc5 {750} 17. Nf4 {688} Qd7 {235} 18. Nge6 {71}
Bb6 {281} 19. Nxf8 {30} Rxf8 {5} 20. Rad1 {170} c6 {482} 21. Nd3 {181} Qd6 {100
} 22. Rfe1 {395} Nd7 {86} 23. Qc4 {348} Qf6 {216} 24. Be4 {250} Bg4 {96} 25.
Rd2 {196} Qd6 {45} 26. b4 {75} Be6 {57} 27. Qc2 {20} Nf6 {3} 28. Nc5 {78} Bg8 {
59} 29. Bg2 {141} Nd5 {30} 30. a3 {28} Qc7 {32} 31. Rxd4 {26} a5 {8} 32. Rde4 {
107} axb4 {22} 33. axb4 {1} Qf7 {59} 34. Rf1 {89} h6 {21} 35. Qd2 {32} Ra8 {33}
36. Rd4 {43} Qf6 {26} 37. Bxd5 {41} Bxd5 {15} 38. Rxd5 {36} cxd5 {20} 39. Qxd5
{6} Qc6 {50} 40. Qxc6 {0} bxc6 {0} 41. Rc1 {480} Bxc5 {106} 42. Rxc5 {81} Ra4 {
38} 1/2-1/2

Video Report by Vijay Kumar

Round 02

You can view the Round 02 pairings here. Some very exciting games lined up as India's No. 2 Dronavalli Harika takes on GM Hou Yifan. GM Aravindh Chithambaram will play the World Champion Magnus Carlsen. The games will begin at 5.30 PM IST. You can watch the games on the Playchess server with engine evaluations and analysis LIVE

 

Links:

Official website and PGN

All photos by Amruta Mokal