Isn't it said that top level chess is boring? Short draws and lack of will to fight always have been a big enemy of the game of chess! However at the National Premier in Jalgaon, it seems as though players have come with the thirst which can only be quenched with opponent's blood!! Though there were 3 decisive games and 4 draws, all the games were fighting chess and something that we can learn from them!
NEGI vs SASIKIRAN 0.5-0.5
The game between the two 2650+ GMs was a much anticipated one! And boy it lived upto the expectations! First of all it was Sasikiran who invited Negi into a complicated struggle by playing Marshall Gambit like d5. Negi was in no mood to test Sasikiran's preparation and played c3. After the queens were exchanged it seemed as if the players would shake hands and go back to the room. However, there was something about the Sasikiran was hovering above the board. It seemed as if he wanted to win! He started gaining space all over the board. I think it was then that Negi realised that he too had to start hitting rather than just fending! And he made a nice exchange sacrifice to get his pawn right upto a7. The initiative was firmly is the younger player's grasp but Sasikiran managed to pull himself out of the mess and the players agreed to a draw.
RATHNAKARAN vs LALITH BABU 0-1
What happens when the best Caro Kann player in the country meets the best Caro Kann King's Indian Attack player?!! We get a game thats really messy!! As Lalith played the odd Qc7 move in the opening, Rathnakaran was on his autopilot mode of d3,g3, Bg2,0-0,Qe1 etc etc! I doubt whether he stops to think while making these moves! But this time he landed in trouble as Lalith's bishop sat prettily on c3. The players repeated the position twice but knowing Lalith Babu, I was sure it was just a ploy to give false hopes of a draw to his opponent! Lalith showed some master class understanding and calculation as he sacrificed an exchange! It was some immaculate endgame technique in the slightly better endgame which gave Lalith the win and the GM now leads with a perfect score of 2/2. The way Lalith is playing he is surely the man to beat in the tournament!
AKASH vs ASHWIN 0.5-0.5
Cant really say, much happened in this game as such but Ashwin was trying his best to complicate the position as much as he could. He spoiled his pawn structure with ef6, centralised his Queen with Qa5-e5 but Akash was solid as a rock. He didnt budge. What remained was that the higher rated Ashwin had to make a draw and that meant Akash is now on the scoreboard with a half point!
STANY vs AKSHAT 1-0
Is it the lack of food that he is eating or some new found motivation. But whatever it is Stany looks really hungry in this tournament! It was a quite opening but then Stany did something very nice! He provided a bait of f4 pawn to Akshat. Now how should I put it. In simple words it was an offer that Akshat couldnt refuse. Once Akshat's queen came to f4, the door was slammed shut in her face with Stany's e5! What happened next was a sheer joy for knight lovers as Stany;s knight jumped around making mockery of the bad bishop. Akshat could have defended better but I think it was always an uphill task. Stany said after the game that he had prepared this variation some time ago when was looking at it with the black side! Wins: It doesnt matter where they come from, As long as they keep coming!
Akshat likes to keep his wallet near his scoresheet during his games. Personally I would never be able to concentrate during the game in the fear that someone might steal it away!! :)
SHYAM NIKIL vs ADHIBAN 0.5-0.5
The Alapin opening against the Sicilian has been long known for its boring nature. Dull draws emerge from it and sometimes sizzling white attacks. It was however a refreshing thing to see Adhiban start pressing from an equal position to a point where he was almost on the verge of winning! It was some deft and subtle play by the Chennai GM who left his opponent in huge trouble. But sometimes I feel its so difficult to beat Shyam Nikil. He rarely gets excited or expresses emotion!! Like a cold blooded machine, he defended excellently and held the draw! He too is off the mark now!
Adhiban comes to the game well preparednot only on the board but off the board too!! I think the entire pack of tropicana the cadbury dairy milk motivate him to calculate harder!!
DEBASHIS vs THEJKUMAR 0-1
A perfect case of catching the opponent unaware in the opening! As Debashis pushed his pawn to d4 expecting the queen's gambit declined, he was in for a shock when Thej played the Chigorin! Debashis as white failed to get any advantage and the players reached an equal endgame! What happened next was a series of moves by Debashis which can be best described as suicidal! He turned the equal endgame into a complete lost position. But isnt that what happens when you consume too much time in the opening? Thejkumar's technique need not be questioned as he went on to open his account with a fine win!
VISHNU vs DEEPAN 0.5-0.5
What happens when a well read and well prepared opponent, meets a cool and calm headed opponent who makes the most logical moves! Its really a battle to watch out for! As Deepan said, he played the QGD today in order to play some solid chess but all his dreams of solidity were thrown out of the window when Vishnu played the super aggressive g4! As Vishnu's preparation went deep into the position, Deepan tried to navigate what exactly was going on! What he did next is a lesson for many unprepared players. With moves like Qd6 Bb7 c5 all that Deepan did was focus on the center. No odd tricks or some silly trap, just solid fundamental positional play! I must say though that Vishnu held the edge throughout the game but it was not sufficient for the full point! A very nice game by both players!
Unlike Adhiban, Vishnu believes in natural food products! The Banana is yet to show its true powers but in the past it has proved its mettle!!
The chief Arbiter of the event Prof Anantharaman! A highly dignified and respected personality not only in Indian Chess but world over! His knowledge about all the rules of arbitership makes me believe that no real controversy will crop up in this tournament!
I think as a chess player it is very important what kind of chair you are provided with to sit! After all you are going to do all the thinking sitting on that chair for hours and hours! I must say the organizers have provided the players with extremely comfortable chairs! Bad seating: Now thats an excuse the players will have to strike off from their list when they lose!! :)
The pairings for the round 3 are as follows
|1||2||2409||IM||Akshat Khamparia||IM||Debashis Das||2507||14|
|2||3||2487||IM||Ashwin Jayaram||IM||Stany G.A.||2397||1|
|3||4||2666||GM||Sasikiran Krishnan||IM||G. Akash||2343||13|
|4||5||2462||GM||Deepan Chakkravarthy J.||GM||Negi Parimarjan||2671||12|
|5||6||2569||GM||Adhiban B.||GM||Vishnu Prasanna. V||2523||11|
|6||7||2569||GM||Lalith Babu M.R.||IM||Shyam Nikil P.||2420||10|
|7||8||2452||IM||Thejkumar M. S.||IM||Rathnakaran K.||2411||9|
The games to watch out for tomorrow will definitely be Sasikiran vs Akash. Will the dark horse Akash be able to infict a defeat on Sasikiran and Also as the two railway mates with contrasting styles meet each other it will be a nice battle to witness!
You can download the PGN file from here:
Stay tuned! More action coming your way from Jalgaon tomorrow!! :)