Friday, December 27, 2013

Rd. 9 Lalith is back on top!!

The lead between Lalith and Sasi keeps changing hands. Today was an extremely crucial round in which the lead changed hands at the top. Sasikiran seemed like sailing through the tournament when the Adhiban bomb struck him! Lets talk more about it as we analyze the games of today.

 In the Averbakh system of the Kings Indian we saw an interesting position arise! Akshat was in top form after beating Lalith, the previous day! He seized the initiative and played some extremely accurate moves to get almost a winning position. What happened next was unfortunate for Akshat and god sent help for Thej. As Akshat made the move Qc2, Thejkumar seized his opportunity to activate his Queen. Akshats king was not only surrounded by a pawn on h6 and a knight on f6 but the queen and rook looked quite threatening. Add to it the time pressure and we can almost be certain that it was impossible for Akshat to find the study like draw. He blundered and Thej scored another point which meant that he is now 6/9!

 It seems like Shyam has lost interest in playing theoretical variations! After his 1 b3 with Vishnu, today it was the time of Trompowsky! But Akash was upto the task and gained a wonderful position. With both the queens raiding opposite queenside, the game seemed liked heading towards a draw. But then Shyam blundered. Instead of the obvious Kd2, he played Ke2 and all that remained for Akash was to launch a powerful attack. This resulted in Akash winning a piece and it was just all over. But suddenly he accepted a draw with 3 fold repetition. In retrospect it seems foolish to draw such a winning game but during the game when you only have a few minutes left on your clock and your opponent sits there in front of you like a computer with no emotions making the moves confidently, its an entire different story! But then Akash is precisely known for his fearless play, So this draw does go against his basic devil may care attitude!

After this game we can officially call Vishnu as the Grunfeld slayer! After beating Ivan Popov just a few days back in the Grunfeld, Vishnu killed another 2600+ player with some phenomenal play. The variation chosen by Negi leads to a slightly inferior endgame for black. But the endgame soon turned into a vicious position as Vishnu launches a fierce attack against the black king. Negi simply didnt realize what hit him as his king was attacked by two rooks knight and bishop. It was a brilliant attacking game by Vishnu for which he earned the game of the day prize! Simply outstanding stuff by the Chennai GM.

Deepan is a simple player. He is not overambitious. He likes to make simple moves and thats his mantra for success. However in Rd.9 against Debashis after getting a nice position out of the opening, I guess he became Greedy! He must have thought why not blow my opponent off with a nice kingside attack. With this in mind he made moves like f4 and g4! Now Debashis was right on the ball, as he immediately started his queenside as well as central counterattack. The moves f4 and g4 which were supposed to give white attacking chances, were now nothing more than a weakness. Deepan's position was at Debashis's mercy. But there were so many wins, that the Orissa GM got confused. A few bad moves and Deepan was out of the woods and at the very appropriate moment I think he offered a draw. After losing such a huge advantage, I think Debashis no longer had any confidence on his abilities and he took the draw offer.
A save from the lions mouth for Deepan.

The players began in romantic olden chess days with the Guico piano opening. Stany doesnt usually play e4-e5. But it seemed he wanted to avoid all of Rathnakarans Anti Sicilians! His decision turned out to be pretty good as Rathnakaran blundered right out of the opening. Stany should have won the game, however he was not alert and as usual Rathnakaran played his lost position very well. Black always had a better structure but the attack against the black king was enough for Rathnakaran to get a draw. A chance missed by Stany but then this was not the first time in the tournament that Rathnakaran saved a lost game! :)

Adhiban is a genius! How else can you explain that in a position where everyone and absolutely everyone including Morozevich, Karpov, Navara, Nielsen, Sargissian had developed their bishops to d3, Adhiban simply played Bg2. It was such a logical move but no one had dared to play it. The result was that Sasikiran must have been out of his preparations and Adhiban gained a nice position. However as by now everyone is accustomed to it, Sasikiran made an exchange sacrifice. Infact going through his games I see whenever he gets chance to win a pawn and a minor piece, he hardly hesitates to sacrifice an exchange! But this time the result was not so good, as Adhiban maintained a small initiative and with some nice tactical blows like Nd6 he won the game! This game has a huge bearing on the tournament standings as Lalith Babu zoomed ahead of Sasikiran and now is the sole leader.

After a wonderful win yesterday against Adhiban, Ashwin couldnt keep up his momentum and lost to Lalith. But a huge salute to Lalith who inspite of losing to Akshat yesterday came all guns blazing today. Now Lalith has been extremely shrewd in his preparations for his opponents. Against Negi he chose the rare a3 move and now against Ashwin he played the move Bf4. In all the manuals of Grunfeld it must be given that black must sacrifice the c7 pawn and the resulting piece activity compensates for the missing pawn! Now this is true but who can play with accuracy against an opponent who has come all prepared. Ashwin tried his best but white always had a slight pull. Finally it seems as if the compensation proved a little too short as Lalith garnered that extra pawn and won the game! A nice win for Lalith who is now back on top!!


There is a famous proverb in Hindi when someone does something extraordinary, please say: Arey yaar tu Khaata kya hai!!( My friend, what do you eat!!)
Well here at the National Premier in Jalgaon where the players are playing some amazing games, we must know as to what they are eating right before the round!! Here is what they usually eat!! :)

The salad is always a good start!

Some pickle and salt to add some spice!

 Tomato soup!!
 Cauliflower vegetable which hot and fresh!
 dudhi i.e bottle gourd! which is not the favourite amongst youngsters!!
 Rajma i.e Beans
 Always tastes nice = Rice!
 Papad which is eaten with rice.
 Curd! Always good to neutralise the spice!
Dal to be eaten with rice!

 Of course one player cannot eat everything but the organisers have kept quite a huge variety of food stuffs so that no player goes hungry!! :)

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