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Rilton Cup 01-06: Six Players including Sasi & Swapnil in lead

by Priyadarshan Banjan - 03/01/2017

Rilton Cup is Sweden's premier open chess tournament and is heating up after six rounds of play. Six players—Gata Kamsky, Krishnan Sasikiran, Swapnil Dhopade, Ivan Sokolov, Erik Blomqvist, and Sergey Volkov—lead the tournament with 5.0/6. A host of Indian talents are having a ball in Hotel Clarion. Illustrated report with pictures by the fantastic Lars OA Hedlund.

Rilton Cup 01-06: Six Players including Sasi & Swapnil in lead

Photos by Lars OA Hedlund

 

The Rilton Cup 2016-17 was off to a spectacular start in Stockholm, Sweden, on 27 December last year.

 

Rilton Cup is Sweden's premier open chess tournament and the focus is to let Swedish young players to challenge strong international players. And nowadays youngsters from the whole world listen to Tore Rilton’s will and come to play in Rilton Cup. This 46th edition has the legendary GM Gata Kamsky and India's GM Krishnan Sasikiran as the top seeds.

 

At the end of six rounds, six players—Gata Kamsky, Krishnan Sasikiran, Swapnil Dhopade, Ivan Sokolov, Erik Blomqvist, and Sergey Volkov—lead the tournament with 5.0/6.

 

In this year's edition, the second largest contingent is Indian with 18 competitors. In the very first round, an Indian youngster created a flutter:

CM Prince Bajaj (2305)

Bajaj created a notable upset in the first round when he defeated GM Sergey Volkov in a spectacular attack on the kingside, while the grandmaster's attack on the queenside fell short.

White to play and win. Although Bajaj did not find this, he went on to win in a beautiful manner nevertheless.

Prince-Volkov (Notes by Johannes Fischer)

[Event "46th Rilton Cup 2016-17"]
[Site "Stockholm SWE"]
[Date "2016.12.27"]
[Round "1.8"]
[White "Prince, Bajaj"]
[Black "Volkov, Sergey"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C11"]
[WhiteElo "2305"]
[BlackElo "2624"]
[Annotator "Johannes Fischer"]
[PlyCount "59"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2003.06.08"]
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. Nf3 Be7 7. Be3 b6 8. Qd2
O-O 9. h4 {White is not afraid to attack the grandmaster and follows
theoretical lines.} Re8 {A new move.} 10. h5 Nf8 11. g4 Nc6 12. Bb5 Bd7 13.
Bxc6 Bxc6 14. O-O-O Qc8 15. g5 Rd8 16. Nh2 {White calmly pursues his attack
and redirects the knight to g4 where it is ready to sacrifice itself to open
lines against Black's king.} b5 17. Ng4 b4 18. Nb1 c4 19. Qg2 c3 20. Nf6+ Kh8
21. g6 Qa6 {[#]} 22. gxf7 $1 {Remarkably calm - and winning!} Nd7 ({After}
22... Qxa2 23. Rdg1 $1 Qxb2+ 24. Kd1 Qxb1+ 25. Bc1 {Black won the white knight
on b1 but will be mated soon.}) 23. Rdg1 Bf8 {[#]} 24. h6 ({Engines have a
tendency to spoil good games. Here they do not miss the crushing and
spectacular} 24. Qg6 {after which Black will be mated in 7 moves. However, the
move in the game also wins.}) 24... g6 25. Nxh7 Qxa2 26. Qxg6 Qxb2+ 27. Kd1
Qxb1+ 28. Bc1 Bxh6 {[#]} 29. Qg7+ $1 Bxg7 30. Nf6+ 1-0

 

After four rounds of play, GM Ivan Sokolov (2632) became the leader. But in the fifth round, he lost to...

...GM Gata Kamsky (2661). In the sixth round, Kamsky was better for most of the gaime against...

...GM Swapnil Dhopade (2526). But Swapnil held and now shares the lead with Kamsky and four others.

GM Krishnan Sasikiran (2661) is also among the leaders.

The festival has been a fantastic success so far with 300+ players competing in various rating categories besides the main event. There is commentary by experienced players, art exhibition, music and more.

13-year-old Sankalp Gupta (2098) is performing at 2500+ and increasing 128 points! In fact, with 4.0/6, he is one of the only two untitled players in top 50 right now!

The regal playing arena at the Hotel Clarion.

Two supertalents—USA's Awonder Liang, aged 13, and India's Nihal Sarin, aged 12— are hunting for their norms.

Nihal has scored 3.5/6 including a win against a grandmaster.
Watch Nihal analyze the game.

 Watch the games with LIVE commentary here!

Results after Round 06:

Rg. Snr   Name Gr Land Elo Pkt.  Wtg1   Wtg2   Wtg3  K rtg+/-
1 1 GM Kamsky Gata N USA 2661 5,0 21,0 24,5 18,5 10 7,5
2 18 GM Swapnil S. Dhopade N IND 2526 5,0 19,5 22,0 19,0 10 12,0
3 2 GM Sasikiran Krishnan N IND 2661 5,0 19,0 21,5 17,5 10 6,9
4 6 GM Sokolov Ivan N NED 2632 5,0 19,0 21,0 19,0 10 5,6
5 12 GM Blomqvist Erik N SWE 2567 5,0 18,0 20,5 17,0 10 9,2
6 8 GM Volkov Sergey N RUS 2624 5,0 17,0 18,5 15,0 10 4,5
7 11 GM Antipov Mikhail Al. N RUS 2580 4,5 18,5 21,0 16,0 10 -0,5
8 14 GM Kulaots Kaido N EST 2556 4,5 16,5 19,0 15,5 10 5,4
9 34 IM Sarkar Justin Joseph N USA 2415 4,0 23,0 24,5 17,5 10 18,9
10 35 FM Cruz Lledó Pablo 1 ESP 2415 4,0 21,5 23,5 16,5 10 19,1

Special Thanks to Lars OA Hedlund for brilliant pictures (as usual).

Read the story of Rilton Cup

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