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World Rapid 1-5: Vidit on fire, Surya lets Magnus off the hook!

by Sagar Shah - 27/12/2016

What an exciting day at the World Rapid Championships 2016 in Doha. Surya Shekhar Ganguly missed a mate in three against World Champion Magnus Carlsen. Vishy Anand played solid chess and with two wins and three draws is on the 15th position. The performer of the day was surely Vidit with four wins against the likes of Jobava, Artemiev and Akopian. In the women's section Humpy is on 2.5/4, while Harika is on two. Full report with high class pictures and analysis.

Pictures by Maria Emelianova

Monday, 26th December, witnessed first five of the fifteen rounds of the World Rapid Championships 2016. The time control was 15 minutes + 10 seconds increment. It was a day of highly exciting chess.

Surya Shekhar Ganguly gets ready to for a big battle with...

...with Magnus Carlsen

Ganguly played a fine game of chess and had a crushing position. In fact he missed a mate in three against the World Champion!

[Event "World Rapid 2016"]
[Site "Doha QAT"]
[Date "2016.12.26"]
[Round "1.1"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Ganguly, Surya Shekhar"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A00"]
[WhiteElo "2840"]
[BlackElo "2668"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "80"]
[EventDate "2016.12.26"]
[EventType "rapid"]
1. e3 {Magnus begins with the same move with which he beat Enamul Hossain.
However, Ganguly is upto the task.} d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. b3 Be7 5. Bb2 O-O
6. Nc3 c5 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Qc2 Nc6 9. h4 {This is the same line with which
Karjakin defeated Anand at the Candidates 2016.} h6 10. g4 Nxc3 11. dxc3 e5 12.
g5 h5 13. Bc4 (13. g6 $5) 13... Be6 $5 14. Bxe6 fxe6 15. Nd2 Qe8 16. Rf1 b5 17.
Qe4 a5 18. a4 bxa4 19. bxa4 {White has a pleasant position. His king is in the
centre hence he must remain careful.} Qd7 20. Ke2 Rad8 21. Rad1 Qb7 22. Ba3 Rd5
23. c4 Qa6 24. Ke1 Rd7 25. Qg6 $6 (25. Nb3 $14) 25... Nb4 26. Bxb4 cxb4 $11 27.
Qxh5 Rfd8 28. Qg4 $2 Rd3 29. Ke2 b3 {Black has all the trumps in the position.}
30. Nxb3 Rxb3 $1 {I don't know what Magnus was thinking. He just blundered a
piece.} (30... Rxd1 31. Rxd1 $18) 31. Rxd8+ Bxd8 32. Rd1 Be7 33. Kf3 Rb4 34.
Kg3 Qxc4 35. Qh5 Qc6 36. Qg6 $2 Rxa4 {Not throwing away the win but missing a
mate in three.} (36... Rg4+ $1 37. Kxg4 Qg2+ 38. Kh5 Qf3#) 37. h5 Qc4 $2 (37...
Qe4 $19) 38. Rd8+ Bxd8 39. Qe8+ Kh7 40. Qg6+ Kg8 {A heartbreaking result for
Surya.} 1/2-1/2

It's not every day that you draw against the World Champion and feel sad about it

"Thanks! I owe you a drink tonight!"

Lalith and Adly show Surya the mate. The expression says it all!

"Vishy, I know now how missing 26...Nxe5 in the 2014 World Championship must have felt!"

Magnus was not so lucky in round two as he was convincingly outplayed by Georgian Levan Pantsulaia

What's wrong?!! Fressinet and MVL look at the roof!

Vishy's love for astronomy is quite well know!

Anand was quite solid as he scored two wins and three draws to end the day at a respectable 3.5/5. He won against Rinat Jumabayev, Vallejo Pons and drew his games against Howell, Fressinet and Bu Xiangzhi.

Debashis Das had an excellent day one as he drew against strong players like Radoslaw Wojtaszek and Sergey Karjakin! He is on 2.5/5.

Adhiban is on 2.0/5. He lost two games against strong players Mamedyarov and Nepomniachtchi. This was fine, but a loss against Alan Pichot made things worse.

Magnus and Vishy have the same taste!

Karjakin resigns his game against Nils Grandelius!

Great sportsmanship shown by Karjakin as he smiles even after the loss

Korobov is on 5.0/5. Vidit is doing great with 4.0/5 and is on the sixth place. Complete standings.

Women's section

Koneru Humpy scored 2.5/4 on the first day of the World Rapid
[Event "World Rapid Women 2016"]
[Site "Doha QAT"]
[Date "2016.12.26"]
[Round "2.6"]
[White "Koneru, Humpy"]
[Black "Hallaeva, Bahar"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E46"]
[WhiteElo "2557"]
[BlackElo "2112"]
[PlyCount "76"]
[EventDate "2016.12.26"]
[EventType "rapid"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Nge2 b6 6. a3 Bxc3+ 7. Nxc3 Bb7 8.
Bd3 d6 9. O-O Nbd7 10. e4 e5 11. d5 a5 12. b3 h6 13. Be3 Ba6 14. Qe2 Re8 15.
Rfc1 Nf8 16. b4 Ng6 17. bxa5 bxa5 18. c5 Nf4 19. Bxf4 Bxd3 20. Qxd3 exf4 21.
cxd6 cxd6 22. Qf3 Qe7 {The position is around equal. White should now take the
pawn on f4. Instead Koneru plays something silly.} 23. Nb5 $6 Rab8 $1 {The
knight has to retreat.} 24. Nc3 (24. a4 Qxe4 25. Nxd6 Qxf3 26. gxf3 Red8 $17)
24... Qe5 $17 25. Rab1 Nd7 26. h3 Nc5 27. a4 Rb4 28. Rxb4 axb4 29. Nb5 Ra8 30.
Qg4 Rxa4 $6 (30... b3 $1 $19) 31. Nxd6 Qxd6 32. Qc8+ Kh7 33. Rxc5 Ra1+ 34. Kh2
f3+ 35. g3 Qf6 36. Rb5 Rf1 37. Qc2 $4 (37. Qf5+ $1 Qxf5 38. exf5 Rxf2+ 39. Kg1
$11) 37... Qa1 $1 38. g4 Qe5# 0-1


[Event "World Rapid Women 2016"]
[Site "Doha QAT"]
[Date "2016.12.26"]
[Round "3.10"]
[White "Zhukova, Natalia"]
[Black "Koneru, Humpy"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B41"]
[WhiteElo "2440"]
[BlackElo "2557"]
[PlyCount "64"]
[EventDate "2016.12.26"]
[EventType "rapid"]
1. d4 e6 2. Nf3 c5 3. c4 a6 4. e4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Qc7 6. Be2 Nf6 7. Nc3 b6 8. O-O
Bb7 9. Qd3 d6 10. f4 Nbd7 11. Qe3 Be7 12. b3 O-O 13. Bb2 g6 14. Bf3 e5 $1 15.
Nde2 d5 $3 {A very strong move by Humpy.} 16. fxe5 Bc5 17. Nd4 dxe4 18. exf6
exf3 19. Nd5 Bxd5 20. cxd5 Qe5 21. Qxe5 Nxe5 22. b4 fxg2 23. Kxg2 Bxb4 $17 {
Black is a pawn up and clearly better.} 24. Nc6 Nxc6 25. dxc6 Rac8 26. Rac1 Bc5
27. Rf3 Rfd8 28. Rb3 Rxc6 29. Ba3 Rd2+ 30. Kh3 Rxf6 31. Bxc5 bxc5 32. Rxc5 Rxa2

Harika is on 50% score after four rounds

Rank after Round 4

Complete standings