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Qatar 02: Aravindh misses his chance

by Priyadarshan Banjan - 21/12/2015

A very solid day for the Indians as a number of players settled for draws in the second round of the Qatar Masters Open, 2015. Magnus Carlsen escaped Aravindh, who botched up his position in time-trouble. Don't feel pity -- can you guess how much time he spent on his fourth move? Among the women, Harika held the world's strongest female Hou Yifan to a draw. A complete report with pictures, annotations and video interviews.

Qatar 02: Aravindh misses his chance

The top tables witnessed many draws, as players like Kramnik, Karjakin, Mamedyarov decided to split the point with their lower-rated opponents. Magnus had been relegated to the twenty-third table (!) after his first round draw, and was now facing our very own Aravindh Chithambaram.

 

Aravindh has always been an original player, debunking opening theory on a regular basis. His fancy approach didn't seem to be working against the World Champion, against whom, would you believe, he had an even score before this game! Magnus had drawn with the Tamil Nadu Boy in a simultaneous exhibition prior to the 2013 Chennai World Championship. In this game, though, Carlsen got a pleasant position with a substantial edge.

 

For a man known to convert worse and equal positions into full points, you would expect Magnus to display that impeccable technique that made him the champion of the world. Moreover, he had a better position. It was not so straightforward, as he went wrong against the wily Indian, who managed to outplay him. But Aravindh was in time-trouble and let Magnus escape with a win anyway.

 

Too bad you say? The time-trouble was self-inflicted, because Aravindh, woozily, spent thirty-nine minutes on his fourth move!

Analysis by IM Sagar Shah:

[Event "Qatar Masters Open 2015"]
[Site "Doha QAT"]
[Date "2015.12.21"]
[Round "2.23"]
[White "Aravindh, Chithambaram Vr"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B20"]
[WhiteElo "2486"]
[BlackElo "2834"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "74"]
[EventDate "2015.12.20"]
1. e4 {Aravindh is famed in the Indian chess circuit for his unorthodox
openings. But against the World Champion, he decides to play it safe with 1.e4.
} c5 2. b3 $5 {Well, so much for the well-trodden paths! The 16-year-old had
beaten Alexei Shirov with 1.b3 a year ago. This time he tries to catch a
bigger fish with that move, but 1.e4 c5 2.b3 is much different than 1.b3.} g6 $5
{After the game in an interview Carlsen said that he had considered playing
this line with White but did not like this 2...g6 move. And hence he tried it.
This is the same line recommended by Peter Heine Nielsen in his book experts
against the Anti-Sicilians.} 3. Bb2 Nf6 {Here Aravindh sank into a deep
thought. He was of course out of theory and wanted to clarify the position as
much as he could.} 4. e5 Nd5 {There is a chance that the e5 pawn would become
weak and hence he decides to advance the pawn.} 5. e6 $6 (5. d4 Qa5+ 6. Qd2
Qxd2+ 7. Nxd2 cxd4 8. Ngf3 Bg7 $11 {might be a better way for White to play
but I think Black has absolutely no problems in this position as well.}) 5...
f6 $1 6. exd7+ Qxd7 {The e-pawn made four moves and exchanged itself for the
d7 pawn which hadn't moved even once in the game.} 7. Nc3 Nc6 8. Bb5 Nc7 9.
Bxc6 Qxc6 $15 {Black already has a bishop pair and the possibility to
establish a strong center with e5. He is clearly better. One would have
assumed the World Champion to win quite easily from this point onwards, but
Aravindh doesn't give up easily.} 10. Qf3 Bd7 11. O-O-O e5 12. Qxc6 Bxc6 13. f3
Ne6 14. Nge2 Be7 15. Rhf1 b5 16. Rde1 Kf7 17. Nd1 a5 {Things are going
excellently for Black as he slowly but steadily builds up his position. White
has nothing much that he can do other than to wait and hope for the opponent
to go wrong.} 18. Ne3 Bd6 $6 {The problem with this move is that the bishop is
a little exposed on d6 and can be hit with the move Nc4 or Ne4.} (18... Rhe8 {
was much better.}) 19. Nc3 h5 $6 (19... a4 {was necessary to stop White from
going a4.}) 20. a4 $1 {Securing the c4 square for the knight.} b4 21. Ne4 Bc7
22. Nc4 {Suddenly things are not at all clear. White has an excellent square
for his knight on c4 and the Black pawns which were once very strong now look
like targets.} h4 23. g4 hxg3 24. hxg3 Rh3 25. g4 (25. f4 $5 {Trying to open
the position could have been a possible option.} exf4 26. gxf4 Bxe4 27. Rxe4
$13) 25... Rd8 $2 {A gross miscalculation by the World Champion. If one were
to ask what is it that White threatens here, it is easy to see that the move
is g4-g5. Carlsen overlooks that and allows White to take over the advantage.}
(25... g5 $1 $17) 26. g5 $1 Bxe4 (26... f5 27. Bxe5 $1 $18) 27. fxe4 Nf4 (27...
Nxg5 28. Bxe5 Bxe5 29. Nxe5+ Kg7 30. Nc4 $14 {is surely a slight edge for
White.}) 28. gxf6 $1 Ke6 29. Ne3 (29. d3 g5 30. f7 Rf8 31. Rg1 Kf6 32. Kd1 Rxf7
33. Bc1 Rg7 34. Rg4 Rh4 35. Ne3 $14 {was a possible way to continue the game
when White has a pleasant position thanks to the more compact pawn structure.})
29... g5 30. Nd5 (30. d3 $14) 30... Bd6 31. Rg1 Rg8 32. Rg4 Rh4 33. Rgg1 g4 34.
Ne3 g3 {The position has changed a bit in the last few moves and White has
lost his edge.} 35. Nf5 Rhh8 $1 (35... Rh3 36. f7 Kxf7 37. Nxd6+ $18) 36. f7 (
36. Nxg3 Rh3 $1 $19) (36. f7 Rg4 $1 {and the rook on h8 controls the f8 square.
}) 36... Rg6 37. Kd1 g2 {And here Aravindh's flag fell although most probably
the position is already lost as Nh3 winning an exchange is coming up. An
interesting game where Magnus was once again put under some strong pressure by
his 300 points lower rated opponent.} 0-1

 

Harikrishna essayed a strange set-up against Georgian IM Nino Batsiashvili (2498), who probably missed her chance to press for an advantage.

Analysis by IM Sagar Shah:

[Event "Qatar Masters Open 2015"]
[Site "Doha QAT"]
[Date "2015.12.21"]
[Round "2.24"]
[White "Batsiashvili, Nino"]
[Black "Harikrishna, Pentala"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A40"]
[WhiteElo "2498"]
[BlackElo "2743"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "54"]
[EventDate "2015.12.20"]
{The hero of round one Nino Batsiashvili who drew Magnus Carlsen faced another
stiff challenge in the form of Pentala Harikrishna today.} 1. d4 Nc6 $5 {
Harikrishna decides to avoid well-known paths and instead go for original play.
} 2. c4 e5 3. d5 Nce7 4. Nc3 Ng6 5. a3 (5. g3 {Dominating the knight on g6
could have been a much more useful move than a3.}) 5... f5 6. e4 fxe4 7. Nxe4
Nf6 8. Bg5 d6 9. Bd3 Be7 10. Bxf6 (10. Bd2 $1 $14) 10... gxf6 {Of course
Harikrishna recaptures the bishop with the pawn. The knight on e4 no longer
feels so secure.} (10... Bxf6 11. Ne2 $14 {Followed by Ng3 or Nc3 is a risk
free edge for White who has complete control of the e4 square.}) 11. Ng3 Nf4
12. Bf5 $2 {After this it all goes downhill for White.} (12. Be4 $1 {This
strong move would have allowed White to gain a substantial edge. What is the
reason for the same? First of all White threatens N1e2 to evict the knight
from f4. So Black has to be quick and must do something immediately but what
is it that he can do?} f5 (12... h5 $5 13. N1e2 h4 14. Nxf4 hxg3 15. Ng6 gxf2+
(15... Rxh2 16. Rxh2 gxh2 17. Qh5 $18) 16. Kxf2 $16) (12... O-O $5 {This is
what Hari had planned. However, White now has the counterintuitive move} 13.
Nf5 $1 Bxf5 14. Bxf5 Nxg2+ 15. Kf1 Nf4 16. Ne2 $1 $16 {With a firm grip on the
light squares White is clearly better.}) 13. Nxf5 $1 Nxg2+ 14. Kf1 Nf4 15. Ne2
$1 $14 {is a clear edge for White.}) 12... Bxf5 $1 13. Nxf5 Qd7 14. Nxe7 $2 (
14. g4 {was relatively better.}) 14... Nxg2+ $1 15. Kf1 Nf4 $1 {The knight on
e7 is not running away anywhere. Black is clearly better.} 16. Rc1 Kxe7 $1 {
Connecting the rooks.} 17. Rc3 Rag8 18. Ne2 Nxe2 19. Qxe2 h5 20. Ke1 Qf5 21.
Kd2 Rg4 22. Kc1 Rhg8 23. Rf1 b6 24. h3 Rf4 25. Qe3 Rg2 26. Rc2 Rf3 27. Qh6 Qg5+
{Nino resigned as she will lose the h3 pawn as well and will be two pawns down.
Not such a great game for the Georgian player after a wonderful first round
result.} 0-1

 

 

Vignesh NR (2422) had a miraculous escape against GM Sam Shankland (2646)
[Event "Qatar Masters Open 2015"]
[Site "Doha, Qatar"]
[Date "2015.12.21"]
[Round "2.33"]
[White "Shankland, Samuel L"]
[Black "Vignesh, N R."]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A05"]
[WhiteElo "2646"]
[BlackElo "2422"]
[PlyCount "118"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:43:00"]
[BlackClock "0:30:19"]
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 d5 3. Bg2 c6 4. O-O Bf5 5. c4 e6 6. cxd5 cxd5 7. Qb3 Qc8 8. d3
Nc6 9. Bf4 Be7 10. Nc3 O-O 11. Rac1 Qd7 12. Ne5 Nxe5 13. Bxe5 Bg6 14. Nb5 Rfc8
15. Rxc8+ Qxc8 16. Nc7 Rb8 17. Rc1 Qd8 {White decides to give up two pieces
for a rook and two pawns.} 18. Nxd5 exd5 19. Bxb8 Qxb8 20. Bxd5 $14 Nxd5 21.
Qxd5 Bd6 22. Qb5 Qd8 {Black gives up his queenside!} 23. Qxb7 Bf5 24. Qxa7 $18
h5 25. Qd4 Qb8 26. b4 Bg4 27. Qe4 Qa7 28. b5 Qxa2 29. b6 Qb2 30. Qc6 Bd7 31.
Qxd7 Qxc1+ 32. Kg2 Qc5 33. b7 Qe5 34. Qc6 g5 35. e3 Kg7 36. d4 Qe7 37. Kf3 f5
38. Ke2 Qc7 39. Qxc7+ Bxc7 40. f3 $11 Kf6 41. e4 fxe4 42. fxe4 Ke6 43. Kd3 Kd6
44. e5+ Kd5 45. Ke3 Bb8 46. h4 gxh4 47. gxh4 Bc7 48. Kd3 Bb8 49. Kc3 Bc7 50.
Kb3 Kc6 51. e6 Bd6 52. Kc4 Kxb7 53. Kd5 Kc7 54. Ke4 Be7 55. Kf5 Kd6 56. Kg6
Kxe6 57. Kxh5 Bxh4 58. Kxh4 Kd5 59. Kg5 Kxd4 1/2-1/2

 

IM Sagar Shah (2441) went down in flames against Chinese GM Ni Hua (2693)

IM Eesha Karavade (2379) split the point with GM Lu Shanglei (2618) of China

The hero of the first round, IM Shardul Gagare (2470), had another good day at the board as he held GM Daniil Dubov (2655).

Truth to be told, he was completely losing in the middle game. Luckily, his opponent went wrong on the 41st move, after making the time-control, to land in a soup.

Gagare (Black) missed his chance to go for a win
[Event "Qatar Masters Open 2015"]
[Site "Doha, Qatar"]
[Date "2015.12.21"]
[Round "2.16"]
[White "Dubov, Daniil"]
[Black "Gagare, Shardul"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D35"]
[WhiteElo "2655"]
[BlackElo "2470"]
[PlyCount "93"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:04:52"]
[BlackClock "0:01:26"]
1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4 Nf6 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 Be7 6. e3 O-O 7. Bd3 Nbd7 8.
Nf3 c6 9. Qc2 Re8 {A normal exchange QGD.} 10. O-O-O {carrying aggressive
intentions.} (10. O-O {is much more common here, with a tried and tested plan
of b4-b5 -- the minority attack.}) 10... Nf8 11. Rdg1 Be6 12. Bxf6 Bxf6 13. g4
g6 14. h4 c5 15. g5 Bg7 16. dxc5 Rc8 17. Nd4 (17. h5 Rxc5 18. Nd4 Bd7 19. Kb1
Ne6 20. hxg6 hxg6 21. Rh4 {looks like a fun position.}) 17... Rxc5 18. Kb1 Bd7
19. Qd2 Ne6 20. Nce2 Qb6 21. h5 Rc7 22. hxg6 hxg6 23. Nxe6 Rxe6 24. Rh4 a5 25.
Nd4 Re8 26. Rgh1 Qb4 27. Qe2 Qe7 28. Rg1 Rec8 29. Qd2 b6 30. a3 Re8 31. Rhh1
Rc5 (31... a4 32. Rh4 b5 33. Nf3 Rec8 $11) 32. Rg3 Ba4 $2 33. f4 Bd7 34. f5
Bxf5 35. Nxf5 gxf5 36. g6 $1 {Break open the king. Usual stuff.} Qe5 37. gxf7+
Kxf7 38. Rf3 Ke7 39. Rxf5 Qg3 $18 40. Rh7 Kd6 {Both players have made it to
the time control. Now, the e3 pawn is under attack. Here, White goes wrong.}
41. Rf7 $2 (41. e4 $1 d4 42. Rf7 $18) 41... Qxe3 42. Qh2+ Ke6 43. Bg6 $2 Rc1+
44. Ka2 a4 45. Qh3+ Qxh3 46. Rxh3 Rf8 $2 (46... Kd6 $3 {A mating net.} 47. Rxg7
(47. Ra7 Re2 48. Rxg7 Ree1 $17) 47... Ree1 48. Bb1 (48. b3 Re2+ 49. Bc2 Rexc2#)
48... Rxb1 $17) 47. Rxf8 1/2-1/2

 

India No. 2 Harika took on the world's strongest female player with the black pieces and maintained the balance successfully. In the end, she settled for a repetition.

Neelotpal Das (2475) settled for a draw with IM Sopiko Guramishvili (2368)

India No. 3, B. Adhiban, with Aravindh and Shiva Mahadevan

Video Report by Vijay Kumar with interviews of the Indian players and Magnus Carlsen

 

Vijay Kumar and Sagar Shah interview the World Champion
After the round there was a football match and Harshit Raja got a great opportunity to be in the same team as Magnus and play with him!

Pairings for Round 03:

Bo. No.     Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts.   Name Rtg   No.
1 3   GM Giri Anish 2784 2   2 GM Wojtaszek Radoslaw 2723   14
2 20   GM Howell David W L 2688 2   2 GM So Wesley 2775   4
3 37   GM Sethuraman S.P. 2639 2   2 GM Li Chao B 2750   6
4 11   GM Yu Yangyi 2736 2   2 GM Swiercz Dariusz 2646   34
5 1   GM Carlsen Magnus 2834   2 IM Yuffa Daniil 2504   66
6 49   GM Vocaturo Daniele 2597   GM Kramnik Vladimir 2796   2
7 5   GM Karjakin Sergey 2766   GM Sasikiran Krishnan 2638   38
8 7   GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2748   GM Lenderman Aleksandr 2626   42
9 39   GM Piorun Kacper 2637   GM Tomashevsky Evgeny 2744   8
10 9   GM Harikrishna P. 2743   GM Salem A.R. Saleh 2622   43
11 51   GM Bluebaum Matthias 2590   GM Jakovenko Dmitry 2737   10
12 15   GM Korobov Anton 2713   GM Zhang Zhong 2619   46
13 59   GM Xu Jun 2526   GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2710   16
14 17   GM Ponomariov Ruslan 2710   GM Hamdouchi Hicham 2597   48
15 63   GM Harika Dronavalli 2513   GM Ni Hua 2693   18
16 21   GM Matlakov Maxim 2684   GM Rambaldi Francesco 2560   54
17 78   IM Gagare Shardul 2470   GM Hou Yifan 2683   22
18 23   GM Adhiban B. 2669   GM Kosteniuk Alexandra 2542   56
19 25   GM Duda Jan-Krzysztof 2663   GM Al-Sayed Mohammed 2520   62
20 94     Fang Yuxiang 2438   GM Dubov Daniil 2655   26
21 29   GM Akopian Vladimir 2648   GM Sundararajan Kidambi 2513   64
22 110   WGM Abdumalik Zhansaya 2390   GM Ganguly Surya Shekhar 2648   30
23 33   GM Sjugirov Sanan 2646   IM Tissir Mohamed 2346   121
24 35   GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi 2644     Xu Yinglun 2470   79
25 70   WGM Goryachkina Aleksandra 2493 1   1 GM Wei Yi 2730   12
26 13   GM Vitiugov Nikita 2724 1   1 GM Zhukova Natalia 2488   73
27 19   GM Moiseenko Alexander 2689 1   1 FM Moroni Luca Jr 2466   81
28 83   IM Ly Moulthun 2462 1   1 GM Fedoseev Vladimir 2664   24
29 27   GM Bologan Viktor 2654 1   1 IM Kashlinskaya Alina 2448   87
30 84   IM Ali Marandi Cemil Can 2454 1   1 GM Khismatullin Denis 2654   28
31 31   GM Khairullin Ildar 2647 1   1 IM Puranik Abhimanyu 2442   89
32 92   IM Wang Yiye 2438 1   1 GM Shankland Samuel L 2646   32
33 95   IM Padmini Rout 2437 1   1 GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son 2642   36
34 98   FM Abdusattorov Nodirbek 2429 1   1 GM Grandelius Nils 2632   40
35 41   GM Naroditsky Daniel 2628 1   1 IM Seyb Alexander 2425   101
36 102   IM Vignesh N R 2422 1   1 GM Bartel Mateusz 2620   44
37 45   GM Ipatov Alexander 2619 1   1   Mohammad Nubairshah Shaikh 2414   105
38 47   GM Lu Shanglei 2618 1   1 IM Abhishek Kelkar 2393   109
39 111   FM Li Di 2389 1   1 GM Bok Benjamin 2594   50
40 114   IM Khademalsharieh Sarasadat 2380 1   1 GM Tregubov Pavel V. 2589   52
41 53   GM Esen Baris 2562 1   1 IM Karavade Eesha 2379   115
42 57   IM Lin Chen 2532 1   1   Roy Prantik 2370   119
43 118     Firouzja Alireza 2372 1   1 IM Svane Rasmus 2529   58
44 61   GM Stefanova Antoaneta 2521 1   1   Dai Changren 2328   123
45 65   GM Schroeder Jan-Christian 2511 1   1   Raja Harshit 2325   124
46 60   GM Bromberger Stefan 2521 ½   1 WGM Pourkashiyan Atousa 2322   125
47 104   FM Haria Ravi 2416 ½   ½ IM Batsiashvili Nino 2498   67
48 108   IM Saiyn Zhanat 2394 ½   ½ IM Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan 2494   69
49 106   WGM Saduakassova Dinara 2407 ½   ½ IM Ezat Mohamed 2490   71
50 112   IM Slavin Alexey 2388 ½   ½ GM Aravindh Chithambaram Vr. 2486   75
51 76   IM Tabatabaei M.Amin 2482 ½   ½ GM Carlsson Pontus 2433   97
52 126   IM Pham Le Thao Nguyen 2319 ½   ½ GM Neelotpal Das 2475   77
53 80   GM Krush Irina 2468 ½   ½ IM Christiansen Johan-Sebastian 2385   113
54 82   IM Ma Zhonghan 2463 ½   ½ IM Li Ruofan 2372   117
55 132   WIM Pratyusha Bodda 2260 ½   ½ IM Lorparizangeneh Shahin 2454   85
56 88   IM Firat Burak 2446 ½   ½ WGM Bartel Marta 2271   131
57 90   IM Sagar Shah 2441 ½   ½ FM Goriatchkin Jouri 2318   127
58 120   IM Guramishvili Sopiko 2368 ½   ½ IM Vogel Roven 2439   91
59 55   GM Dzagnidze Nana 2559 0   0 IM Nezad Husein Aziz 2425   100
60 103   FM Gholami Aryan 2422 0   0 GM Khotenashvili Bela 2496   68
61 72   GM Shoker Samy 2489 0   0   Siva Mahadevan 2400   107
62 74   IM Sanal Vahap 2487 0   0 IM Konguvel Ponnuswamy 2377   116
63 86   GM Venkatesh M.R. 2451 0   0 WIM Bivol Alina 2344   122
64 93   FM Basso Pier Luigi 2438 0   0 WFM Vaishali R 2313   128
65 96   IM Aryan Chopra 2436 0   0 WIM Derakhshani Dorsa 2307   129
66 130   IM Piasetski Leon 2287 0   0 FM Rohan Ahuja 2426   99

 

Links:

Official website with PGN

All photos by Amruta Mokal