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Indians at the Reykjavik Open 2017

by Sagar Shah - 30/04/2017

Abhijeet Gupta played some inspired chess in the last round to beat Baadur Jobava and finish joint second at the super strong Reykjavik Open 2017. Anish Giri managed to win the event with a score on 8.5/10. In this report we not only cover the performances of almost all the Indian players, but also show you things you can learn from the champion Anish. You can also download the ChessBase India show with Abhijeet Gupta and we have the results of the caption contest which got an overwhelming response.

Abhijeet Gupta finishes joint second

Until the penultimate round of the Reykjavik Open we had two Indian players who had a chance to fight for the top spot. They were Abhijeet Gupta and Vidit Gujrathi. One of them went back home with a smile, while the other had a bad day at the office. Let's first start with the happy one:

Abhijeet Gupta beat Baadur Jobava in the final round and scored 8.0/10 to finish joint second
[Event "Reykjavik Open 2017"]
[Site "Reykjavik ISL"]
[Date "2017.04.27"]
[Round "10.6"]
[White "Gupta, Abhijeet"]
[Black "Jobava, Baadur"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D16"]
[WhiteElo "2607"]
[BlackElo "2712"]
[Annotator "Sagar,Shah"]
[PlyCount "129"]
[EventDate "2017.04.19"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. a4 a5 6. e3 Bg4 7. Bxc4 e6 8. h3
Bh5 9. g4 Bg6 10. Ne5 Nbd7 11. Nxg6 hxg6 {A typical Slav position. White has
the bishop pair, but Black is solid. I would say that such positions are quite
interesting to play for both sides, but maybe for a player like Jobava,
Black's position is a little bit too docile.} 12. Qf3 (12. Bf1 {with the idea
of placing the bishop g2 is a possible idea, but I don't see why the bishop
should be better on g2 than on c4.}) 12... Bb4 13. Bd2 Qe7 14. Bb3 O-O-O 15.
O-O-O Ne8 16. Kb1 $1 {The rook will be well placed on the semi-open c-file.}
Nd6 17. Qe2 g5 18. Rc1 Kb8 19. Na2 Bxd2 20. Qxd2 e5 $1 {Even though the a5
pawn is falling, Black has very good play.} 21. Qxa5 exd4 22. exd4 Qe4+ 23. Ka1
Qxd4 24. Rhd1 {On first glance it might seem that White is better, but Black
has to make only a few consolidating moves and then White's position has quite
a few weaknesses like the h3 or the f2 pawn.} Qf4 25. Nb4 $1 {Abhijeet
realises the importance of doing something immediately and prepares for a
sacrifice around Black's king.} Rc8 26. Nd3 Qf6 27. f4 $5 {Imaginative play.}
Rxh3 (27... gxf4 28. g5 Qe7 29. Nxf4 Ne5 {Black should be fine here.}) 28. fxg5
Qd4 29. Rc3 (29. Nb4 Qe5 30. Qxe5 Nxe5 31. Rxd6 Rxb3 $17) 29... Ne4 30. Rc4 (
30. Nf2 $1 Qxf2 31. Rxh3 $16) 30... Qe3 (30... Qd5 31. Qxd5 cxd5 32. Rxc8+ Kxc8
33. Bxd5 Nxg5 34. Rc1+ $14) 31. Rxe4 $1 Qxe4 32. Nf2 Qf3 33. Nxh3 Qxh3 (33...
Qxb3 34. Rxd7 Qxh3 35. Qb6 Qf1+ 36. Ka2 Qa6 37. Qxa6 bxa6 38. Rxf7 {is a
dismal endgame.}) 34. Qb4 (34. Bc2 $1 Qxg4 35. Qf5 Qxf5 36. Bxf5 $16) 34... Ne5
35. Ka2 {A calm move by Abhijeet. Such positions are extremely difficult for
Black to play. The bishop is superior to the knight and the steed has no
outposts. The white king is also superior to the black one. All in all this is
a bad position for Black.} Qg3 36. Qd6+ Ka7 37. Rc1 b6 38. a5 (38. Rf1 $1)
38... Qe3 39. Rc3 Qxg5 40. Bd5 $5 (40. Bxf7 $1 Nxf7 41. axb6+ Kb7 42. Qd7+ Kxb6
43. Rb3+ Kc5 44. Qxc8 $18) 40... Qf6 $1 41. Qb4 Rb8 42. Ra3 b5 43. g5 {Tricky
chess by Abhijeet.} Qxg5 44. Qc5+ Ka6 45. Bxc6 Qf6 46. Bd5 {This looks really
dangerous for Black, but somehow he can survive.} Qd8 47. Rc3 f6 48. Be6 g5 49.
b4 g4 50. Bc8+ Rxc8 51. Qxc8+ Qxc8 52. Rxc8 {This is a technically winning
position. Abhijeet makes it look easy.} f5 53. Rf8 Nd3 54. Rf6+ Ka7 55. Rf7+
Ka6 56. Kb3 f4 57. Kc3 Nc1 (57... g3 58. Kxd3 g2 59. Rg7 f3 60. Ke3 $18) 58.
Rf6+ Ka7 59. Kd2 g3 60. Rxf4 Na2 61. Ke3 Ka6 62. Kf3 g2 63. Kxg2 Nxb4 64. Rxb4
Kxa5 65. Rb1 {Great practical and tricky play by Abhijeet.} 1-0

This is Abhijeet's one big quality. He plays chess which looks really simple when you are watching it, but extremely difficult to emulate. When I was in Delhi a few days ago, I caught up with him and invited him to show a couple of his favourite games in the ChessBase India show. The ease with which he beat classy players like Almasi and Melkumyan was amazing. In case you have missed the show, here's the link from where you can download it for free:

Download 5th ChessBase India show with GM Abhijeet Gupta

Abhijeet finished joint second on 8.0/10 with three other players: Movsesian, Jorden van Foreest and Gata Kamsky.

Before we go to Vidit's last round tale, let's have a look at the man who won the event - Anish Giri.

What can we learn from Anish Giri!

1. Friendships are off the board. Over the board it is always war!

Erwin l'Ami is Anish's friend and a second, but the Dutch number one ensured that over the board it is just the moves that count
[Event "Reykjavik Open 2017"]
[Site "Reykjavik ISL"]
[Date "2017.04.27"]
[Round "10.1"]
[White "Giri, Anish"]
[Black "L'Ami, Erwin"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A46"]
[WhiteElo "2771"]
[BlackElo "2614"]
[Annotator "Sagar,Shah"]
[PlyCount "59"]
[EventDate "2017.04.19"]
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. d4 e6 3. g3 b5 4. Bg5 {A very unique mixture of Reti, and
Trompowsky. Anish tries to play something that he has not analyzed with Erwin!}
Bb7 5. Nbd2 d5 6. e3 a6 7. a4 b4 8. Nb3 Nbd7 9. Na5 Qc8 (9... Bc8 10. Nc6 {
would be a nice queen trap!}) 10. Bxf6 Nxf6 11. c4 $1 {Great imaginative chess.
} dxc4 (11... bxc3 12. bxc3 {Might not have been comfortable for Erwin as the
b-file is opened, but Black can fight for equality with} c5 13. Rb1 Bc6 {
When his position is playable.}) 12. Nxb7 $1 Qxb7 13. Bg2 {The long diagonal
is pretty weak.} c3 14. bxc3 bxc3 15. O-O $1 {White has all the factors going
his his way in the position.} Bb4 (15... a5 $5 16. Ne5 Nd5 17. Qf3 c6 18. e4
Nb4 19. Qxc3 $16) 16. Ne5 Nd5 17. a5 $1 Rb8 (17... O-O 18. Rb1 $16) 18. Qa4+
Qb5 19. Bxd5 (19. Nc6 {was even stronger, but the text is fine.}) 19... exd5
20. Nc6 O-O 21. Rfb1 Qc4 $6 (21... Qxa4 22. Rxa4 Rb5 23. Raxb4 Rxb4 24. Nxb4
Rb8 25. Kf1 c2 26. Rc1 Rxb4 27. Rxc2 $16) 22. Rxb4 Rxb4 23. Nxb4 Rb8 24. Nc2
Qe2 (24... Qxa4 25. Rxa4 Rb2 26. Rb4 $1 {ends the game.}) 25. Ne1 h6 26. Qc2
Qc4 27. Nd3 Rb3 28. Kg2 g6 29. Nc5 Rb2 30. Qd3 {A fine game by Anish to win
the title.} 1-0

 

2. Always analyze with your opponent

The game was over, first prize was in the bag. Then why did Anish spend time analyzing the game? Because he wants to get better at chess. This is the reason why he is right there at the top!

3. Celebrate your success with your family!

The power couple of chess - It is amazing how much Sopiko and Anish have achieved since the time they have married. Anish keeps improving as a player, Sopiko performed admirably at the recent World Championship. And not to forget they both are parents now!

Truly an inspiration!

4. Always share your experience

 

No matter how long his rounds last, Anish always takes out time to talk to the media and share his experience. This is a quality which makes him a very popular figure in the chess world.

 

Vidit's last round mishap

Vidit played a great tournament and was on 7.0/9. He hardly loses his games, so his last round defeat to Jorden van Foreest was quite surprising.

[Event "Reykjavik Open 2017"]
[Site "Reykjavik ISL"]
[Date "2017.04.27"]
[Round "10.4"]
[White "Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi"]
[Black "Van Foreest, Jorden"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A07"]
[WhiteElo "2670"]
[BlackElo "2584"]
[Annotator "Sagar,Shah"]
[PlyCount "78"]
[EventDate "2017.04.19"]
1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. d4 Nd7 5. a4 a5 6. O-O Ngf6 7. Na3 O-O 8. c4
c6 9. Bf4 dxc4 10. Nxc4 Nb6 11. Nce5 Ne4 12. Qc1 Nd6 13. Re1 Be6 14. e4 $14
Ndc4 15. Qc3 (15. Nxc4 Bxc4 (15... Nxc4 16. Ng5 $16) 16. Qe3 $14) 15... Nxe5
16. Bxe5 Bxe5 17. dxe5 Qc7 18. Ng5 Nd7 19. f4 (19. Nxe6 fxe6 20. Rad1 $1 Nxe5
21. Qb3 $44) 19... Qb6+ 20. Kh1 Qb4 21. Qf3 $6 {Very ambitious play by Vidit,
not his usual self.} Rad8 $1 22. f5 Nxe5 $1 23. Qf4 Nd3 24. Qh4 h5 $1 25. Rf1 (
25. fxe6 Nf2+ 26. Kg1 Qc5 $1 $19 {Great play by Jorden. There is absolutely no
way to avoid a brutal discovered check.}) 25... Bc4 $17 26. g4 Qxb2 27. gxh5
gxf5 28. Rab1 (28. exf5) 28... Qd4 29. Rxf5 f6 30. Nh3 b5 $1 {Nerves of steel.
Black figures out nothing is happening on the kingside and starts pushing his
queenside pawns!} 31. axb5 cxb5 32. Nf2 Nxf2+ 33. Rxf2 Kh8 34. Qf4 Rf7 35. Bh3
Rg7 36. Bf5 Qd1+ $1 37. Rf1 (37. Rxd1 Rxd1+ $19) 37... Qd2 38. Qxd2 Rxd2 39.
Rfc1 Rgg2 0-1

The Dutch Champion Jorden van Foreest is a name that you have to watch out for in the years to come.

Vidit's post on his Facebook page sums up his tournament pretty well:

At most of the open tournaments that she plays Harika wins the prize for the best woman player! At Reykjavik she managed to score 7.0/9 and finish ahead of Tatev Abrahamyan and Tuvshintugs Batchimeg (right).

Alina, we are waiting for this one!

Although Praggnanandhaa lost his last two rounds, he ensured that the tournament was a memorable one by beating Gawain Jones and also gaining 6 Elo points.

A great photo by Maria Emelianova. Her caption on Twitter was the past of chess with the future. I am sure you recognized the man on the right. That's Icelandic grandmaster and former FIDE President Fridrik Olafsson.

R.Vaishali fizzled out towards the end with four losses, but two consecutive wins against grandmasters was very impressive

After scoring a GM norm in Norway, Nihal might have hoped for more at this event. But he managed to gain rating and also his full fledged fight against Dmitry Andreikin where they played until bare kings would have been a great experience.

There is definitely some magic in this man! He is busy with hundreds of tasks in his daily life ranging from chess politics to spreading chess in schools. Yet when he sits on the board he more often than not performs above par. GM Abhijit Kunte scored 7.0/9 with only one loss against Andreikin. By the way don't miss out to take part in the Kunte Chess Academy's Online blitz tournament which is happening on 30th of April.

Magesh Chandran and Kidambi scored 6.5/10
Tania Sachdev, who had scored a GM norm last year at Reykjavik, couldn't quite get going and scored 6.0/10
Siddharth Gopakumar with Harika. Siddharth played well at the event scoring 4.5/9 and gaining 31 elo points. He has also written in the past for ChessBase India newspage.
Complete list of final standings

Player overview for IND

SNo   Name Rtg FED 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Pts. Rk. Rp K rtg+/-
8 GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi 2670 IND 1 1 1 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 7,0 26 2689 10 5,10
14 GM Gupta Abhijeet 2607 IND 1 1 1 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 8,0 4 2775 10 22,80
25 GM Harika Dronavalli 2521 IND 1 ½ 1 1 0 1 1 ½ 0 1 7,0 17 2509 10 2,00
29 GM Panchanathan Magesh Chandran 2494 IND 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 ½ 0 1 6,5 34 2469 10 -1,20
30 GM Kunte Abhijit 2491 IND 1 ½ ½ 1 1 0 1 1 ½ ½ 7,0 24 2500 10 3,70
38 IM Praggnanandhaa R 2447 IND 1 1 0 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 0 0 6,0 58 2480 10 6,30
41 IM Tania Sachdev 2429 IND 1 1 0 1 ½ 0 1 0 1 ½ 6,0 60 2334 10 -10,30
42 IM Saptarshi Roy 2425 IND 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 1 1 1 0 0 5,5 105 2273 10 -15,30
43 FM Sarin Nihal 2424 IND 1 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 0 1 ½ 0 6,0 73 2458 10 5,40
45 GM Sundararajan Kidambi 2422 IND 1 1 ½ 0 1 1 ½ 0 ½ 1 6,5 38 2461 10 7,20
50 IM Karavade Eesha 2405 IND 1 ½ 0 1 1 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 6,0 77 2247 10 -17,30
60 WGM Soumya Swaminathan 2349 IND 1 1 0 1 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 0 6,0 71 2336 20 1,40
64   Garg Aradhya 2315 IND 1 0 1 ½ 1 0 1 ½ ½ ½ 6,0 78 2271 20 -7,00
75 FM Rajdeep Sarkar 2273 IND 1 0 1 1 ½ 0 1 0 1 ½ 6,0 61 2328 20 16,80
79 WIM Vaishali R 2259 IND 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 5,0 116 2312 20 13,40
186   Gopakumar Siddharth 1826 IND 0 1 ½ 1 0 ½ ½ 1 0 0 4,5 162 1998 20 31,40  

Complete results of Indian players

 

At the Reykjavik Open 2016 we had only two Indian players participating - Abhijeet Gupta and Tania Sachdev. This year we had 16. I won't be surprised if that number surpasses 50 next year! A huge congratulations to the organizers for putting up such a grand show.

The caption contest

We held a caption contest in our round 7-8 report on the Reykjavik Open. The best caption to the above picture would win Vidit's latest released Fashionable Caro Kann Vol.1

We received a lot of comments. The report had 28 comments, and many more on Facebook and Twitter.

The best caption was:

Sopiko to Vidit: You know, Daniel uttered his first word!
Vidit: What was it?
Sopiko: He said DRAW!!
Vidit (jaw drops)

Ameya Dandekar wins Vidit's Caro Kann Vol.1. Ameya, you need to write to us at chessbaseindia@gmail.com

 

There were a few other captions which were really good, they do not win a prize, but we would like to share them with you:

 

Sopiko: "Actually it was Anish who logged on with my account and beat adhiban in banter blitz"

-Nithin Satyan

 

Sopiko to Vidit:
My sister has crush on you.

- Ravi Teja

 

What!! You have a ticket for Baahubali!

-Avathanshu Bhat

 

Vidit : Sopiko tell me one thing, you won Giri 's heart or he won yours...

Sopiko : Actually it was a draw.

Vidit : Huh.... :)

-Biswanath Mohapatra