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World Youth Oly.: India is beaten as Iran stamps authority

by Priyadarshan Banjan - 03/08/2016

A captain cum coach could be more effective if he or she knows more about the players beforehand, says R.B. Ramesh. India huffed and puffed to reach fourth place in the tournament, behind Iran, Russia and Armenia. Could we have done better? What were the problems faced by the team? We have an illustrated report with comments.

World Youth Oly.: India is beaten as Iran stamps authority

Team India began the Youth Olympiad with a nagging problem. Coach R.B. Ramesh was in a dilemma as he headed to Poprad in Slovakia as the coach of the Under-16 India team for the World Youth Olympiad 2016. 'Other than Vaishali, I was meeting the other team members for first time in my life, at the Dubai airport en route to the tournament,' he said.

 

'A captain cum coach could be more effective if he or she knows more about the players beforehand. Initially, I had to spend precious time making out the players' strong and weak points,' recounted Ramesh.

 

Surely, things could have planned better than this? On to the tournament, who would not love to play chess in similar conditions?

The Poprad Arena in Slovakia, host of the prestigious youth team event.

A holiday resort, at the foot of the Hight Tatra Mountains, lies this small town with only 55,000 inhabitants!

Poprad is a city in northern Slovakia at the foot of the High Tatra Mountains famous for its picturesque historic centre and as a holiday resort. It is the biggest town of the Spiš region and the tenth largest city in Slovakia, with a population of approximately 55,000. (Wikipedia)

The playing arena

Team India

India, of course, was not fielding a full-strength team based on ratings, but on the rankings of the National Championships — the top four players from the National U-15 and the winner of Girls U-15. It must be noted that the average rating of the Indian teams at the World Youth Olympiads has been going down over the years. It is not clear yet why we don't send the strongest possible team but make it a compulsion to play the nationals.

India began with two reasonably well-fashioned victories over Latvia and Czech Republic.

Board 02: the talented youngster Iniyan P. (2346)

India was coasting to a comfortable 3.0-1.0 victory over Belarus, despite a lost position on the first board. Vaishali and Guha were making the regulation move to claim the point. On the second board, Iniyan was clearly better as well. But he lost his chance and the game. India was held by Belarus 2.0-2.0.

[Event "FIDE World Youth U16 Chess Olympiad SLOV"] [Site "Poprad Tatry SLOVAKIA"] [Date "2016.07.23"] [Round "3.2"] [White "Zarubitski, Viachaslau"] [Black "Iniyan, P."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B90"] [WhiteElo "2289"] [BlackElo "2346"] [PlyCount "75"] [EventDate "2016.07.22"] [EventType "team"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "SVK"] [WhiteTeam "Belarus"] [BlackTeam "India"] [WhiteTeamCountry "BLR"] [BlackTeamCountry "IND"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e6 7. f3 b5 8. Qd2 Nbd7 9. g4 Nb6 10. a4 Nc4 11. Bxc4 bxc4 12. a5 Bb7 13. Na4 Nd7 14. O-O-O Be7 15. Nb6 Nxb6 16. axb6 Rc8 17. Ne2 O-O 18. Nc3 Qd7 19. g5 Rcd8 20. Rhg1 a5 21. Rg4 (21. h4 $1 a4 22. h5 a3 23. Kb1 $14) 21... a4 22. Qg2 a3 $17 23. bxa3 d5 24. e5 Bxa3+ 25. Kd2 Bb4 26. Bd4 Qa4 27. Rh4 Bc6 (27... g6 28. Qh3 h5 29. gxh6 Kh7 30. f4 Rc8 (30... Qa2 31. Rg4 Bc6 $11) 31. Rg4 Rfe8 $11) 28. Qh3 $14 h6 29. gxh6 g6 30. h7+ Kh8 31. Qg4 $18 Bxc3+ 32. Bxc3 d4 33. Bxd4 c3+ 34. Ke3 Qxc2 35. Qg5 f6 36. exf6 Rf7 37. Qh6 Rxd4 38. Qg7+ 1-0

 

The games about to begin.

Ramesh says, 'As the tournament progressed, I got a better idea about how the players react. There are certain areas which we can learn by observing players directly when they are playing like time management, the level of concentration, how they handle different types of positions, etc. Bonding among young players is usually not an issue. They gel with each other well.'

The usually lethal WIM Vaishali R. (2288) was off-colour in the tournament, too.

The plan did not succeed, in any case. India managed to beat Romania, Bulgaria and Canada (in the final round but lost to Russia and Armenia) and was held by Austria to a draw.

 

On boards two and three, the players had a tough time losing games in contrasting styles. Hope they have learnt more about themselves and will show the resolve to make necessary corrections in their game and approach.

Ramesh: In the first half , Nitish Belurkar (2275) couldn't play as many games as  he would have liked to have played.

IM K.S. Raghunandan (2401) would certainly not be impressed with 5.5/9 against 2336 opposition.
[Event "FIDE World Youth U16 Chess Olympiad SLOV"]
[Site "Poprad Tatry SLOVAKIA"]
[Date "2016.07.24"]
[Round "4.1"]
[White "Costachi, Mihnea"]
[Black "Raghunandan, Kaumandur Srihari"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D31"]
[WhiteElo "2420"]
[BlackElo "2403"]
[PlyCount "108"]
[EventDate "2016.07.22"]
[EventType "team"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "SVK"]
[WhiteTeam "Romania"]
[BlackTeam "India"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "ROU"]
[BlackTeamCountry "IND"]
1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c6 4. e4 dxe4 5. Nxe4 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Qxd4 7. Bxb4 Qxe4+
8. Be2 Na6 9. Ba5 b6 10. Qd6 Bd7 11. Bc3 f6 12. Nf3 Rd8 13. Nd2 Qg6 14. O-O-O
Ne7 15. Nb3 Kf7 16. Bd3 Nf5 17. Qa3 Bc8 18. Nd4 Qg5+ 19. Bd2 Qg4 20. Nxc6 Rxd3
21. Qxd3 Nc5 22. Qf3 Qxf3 23. gxf3 Nd3+ 24. Kb1 Nxf2 25. Nxa7 Nxh1 26. Rxh1 Bb7
27. Rf1 Rd8 28. Kc1 Nd6 29. Nb5 Nxc4 30. Bb4 Ba6 31. a4 Bxb5 32. axb5 Rd5 33.
Bc3 Rxb5 34. Re1 Rd5 35. Re4 b5 36. Kc2 Nd6 37. Re2 Nf5 38. Re4 g5 39. Kb3 e5
40. Kb4 Nd4 41. Bxd4 exd4 42. Re2 Kg6 43. Rd2 d3 44. Kc3 Kf5 45. Rxd3 Rxd3+ 46.
Kxd3 Kf4 47. Ke2 b4 48. b3 f5 49. Kf2 g4 50. fxg4 fxg4 51. Kg2 h5 52. Kf2 h4
53. Kg2 Ke4 54. Kf2 Kd3 0-1

 

FM Mitrabha Guha (2223) played commendably to score 7.5/9 against 2091 opposition.
[Event "FIDE World Youth U16 Chess Olympiad SLOV"]
[Site "Poprad Tatry SLOVAKIA"]
[Date "2016.07.23"]
[Round "3.4"]
[White "Svidersky, Nikita"]
[Black "Mitrabha, Guha"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B12"]
[WhiteElo "2003"]
[BlackElo "2227"]
[PlyCount "70"]
[EventDate "2016.07.22"]
[EventType "team"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "SVK"]
[WhiteTeam "Belarus"]
[BlackTeam "India"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "BLR"]
[BlackTeamCountry "IND"]
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Ne2 e6 5. Nf4 Nd7 6. g4 Be4 7. f3 Qh4+ 8. Ke2
Bg6 9. Be3 c5 10. c3 Qd8 11. Kf2 Be7 12. Bb5 Bh4+ 13. Kg2 Ne7 14. Bxd7+ Qxd7
15. dxc5 Nc6 16. Bd4 Bg5 17. Ne2 h5 18. h3 Qc7 19. Na3 a6 20. Qe1 O-O-O 21. Qg3
h4 22. Qh2 f6 23. exf6 e5 24. Bf2 gxf6 25. Rhd1 f5 26. b4 Qf7 27. Kg1 Rhf8 28.
b5 axb5 29. Nxb5 fxg4 30. fxg4 Qf3 31. Ned4 Nxd4 32. cxd4 Be4 33. Na7+ Kd7 34.
c6+ bxc6 35. dxe5 Bf4 0-1

 

Guha's performance earned him a gold medal for the fifth board.

What did the team learn from this experience? Ramesh says: 'Well, I have made it clear to the players their shortcomings in person.  Some of the common issues at this level are — not keeping good concentration level at right moments, time management, opening issues, etc. They need to make the necessary corrections. That doesn't happen unfortunately in most cases. Players tend to carry the burden of their weaknesses throughout their chess career. This doesn't let them reach their full potential.'

Results:

Bo.   Name Rtg FED FideID 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Pts. Games RtgAvg Rp n w we w-we K rtg+/-
1 FM Raghunandan Kaumandur Srihari 2403 IND 25004964 1 1 0 1 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 5,5 9 2336 2416 9 5,5 5,25 0,25 10 2,5
2   Iniyan P 2346 IND 25002767 1 1 0 1 0 0   ½ 0 3,5 8 2234 2191 8 3,5 5,10 -1,60 20 -32,0
3 WIM Vaishali R 2288 IND 5091756   1 1 0 0   1 0   3,0 6 2265 2265 6 3 3,19 -0,19 20 -3,8
4 FM Nitish Belurkar 2275 IND 5084768 0         ½ 1   1 2,5 4 2111 2206 4 2,5 2,82 -0,32 20 -6,4
5 FM Mitrabha Guha 2227 IND 5057000 ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 7,5 9 2091 2364 9 7,5 5,99 1,51 40 60,4

Team Iran in action

Untitled Parham Magsoodhloo (Live: 2574) led from the front as the younger kids Aryan Gholami , Alireza Firouzja and Arash Tahbaz scored at will, almost, to clinch the title.

The winners: Team Iran, which surprisingly will field the same team (almost) in the Baku Olympiad 2016!

Final Standings:

Rk. SNo   Team Games   +    =    -   TB1   TB2   TB3 
1 1   Iran 9 8 1 0 17 28,0 188,0
2 2   Russia 9 7 1 1 15 26,5 194,0
3 3   Armenia 9 6 2 1 14 26,0 195,0
4 7   India 9 5 2 2 12 22,0 187,0
5 6   Hungary 1 9 6 0 3 12 22,0 186,0

Check the complete standings here.

Impressions:

 

The red thinking hat was uniform for them.

The country flags adorning the arena

The arbiters and officials in action

A park in Poprad

The streets of the town

Official Website

Games in PGN