Sunday, December 22, 2013


The percentage of white wins becomes even higher in round 5 as 5 games ended in whites favour. In the 35 games played so far in the tournament there have been 15 draws, 15 wins for white and only 5 wins for black!! Just shows that at such a high level its very difficult to score with the black pieces!! 

For the great Sasi, the last 3 rounds have been like powerplays in cricket. He faced the last 3 seeds of the tournament and scored 3 wins against Akash, Stany and Akshat. With these 3 wins he is now on 4.5/5 and leading the tournament. But what happened in his game with Akshat. Well, it was a sort of battle in which the less experienced player was also the one who was less prepared. Sasikiran had not only studied this Torre attack deeply but after the game when Akshat asked him about a specific exotic idea, Sasi replied saying he had prepared against it.  Sasikiran played a fine game and smoothly won in 31 moves.

If you ask me how did Deepan win this game? I will not be able to answer. If you ask me which was the best move he made, I will not know which one it is. The point is that Deepan is like a silent assassin. You wont know when he has the advantage and when the game is already over. Against Stany he made all the simple and logical moves from the white side of a Nimzo Indian game. Go over the game and try to guess individual moves, I think many of you would be able to. Now sit on the board and try to play like that against a strong opposition and you will realise that its only Deepan's strength which helps him to play so accurate and simple chess. He is playing really well and is already on 3.5/5. As I already said in my introductory article of this National Premier, Deepan is a very tough to beat.

The game between Vishnu and Thej was unusual. It was Vishnu who was better prepared in the black side of the slav fianchetto as he blitzed out his moves. Thej on the other hand took quite a lot of time to navigate through the different possibilities. Yet after the initial 15 moves it was Thej who had the advantage and was pressing hard for a win. Now something really must have gone wrong for Vishnu as he had his back against the wall. The Indian Smyslov- Thej who doesnt even miss the minutest of chance to convert the advantage was not in his element yesterday as he let Vishnu slip away with a calculation mistake. The players repeated the position and a draw was agreed. Vishnu must thank his stars while Thej will have mixed feeling with the results. Happy as he was not outplayed in the opening he was not prepared and sad that he couldnt convert his advantage.
Adhiban was definitely the favourite to win this game. Especially after yesterday he had dismissed Negi. Akash on the other hand is known for his fighting qualities and never giving up. Adhiban quickly got an advantage from the white side of the Rossolimo Sicilian winning a pawn. However Akash had a pair of bishops and he kept attacking the white king. It seemed as if the game would be really interesting, when Akash blundered another pawn. With 2 pawns up and the black king exposed. Adhiban exchanged the pieces and won the endgame. It was a nice win for Adhiban who is now 4/5 and is closely following the heels of the leaders of the tournament.

Ratnakaran had lost his previous 3 games. With a score of 0.5/4 anyone can have a loss of confidence but not this Keralite. As always he played the opening moves with great speed and confidence! He had a small edge in the opening but Shyam defended very well. Soon the initiative was with black but it was not so easy to concretely win the position. Finally the players agreed to a draw in a queen endgame when netiher had any chances to win.

You know that you are a talent, when you beat another talent with ease!! Thats exactly what Lalith Babu did. He came to the round with some extreme preparations I think. To beat an excellently prepared opponent like Negi with some 50 minutes left on your clock (30mins added after 40 moves) is no joke! Lalith blitzed his opening moves as if he knew just about everything. While Negi took his own sweet time. After almost 12 moves, Lalith had 1hr 36 minutes while Negi was down to 1 hour. But lets speak about Lalith's preparation. After 7 moves they reached a well known theoretical position where 1007 games had been played. The 8th move played by Lalith had only been played in 3 games!!! There was a famous game in the line Tomashevsky vs So Wesley played in 2013 World Cup. Now Negi was himself playing in the world cup so he must have seen that move and prepared against it.But its totally a different story when you have prepared something in your laptop and that preparation has left your memory!Its as good as you are unprepared! With this smart bit of preparation Lalith gained an advantage and showed good technique to notch the full point. To beat India No.3 in such a fashion is great achievement by Lalith.

Lalith would have taken away all the laurels for round 5 were it not for Ashwin who played a gem of a attacking game against Debashis. Ashwin showed why he has been the Asian Junior Champion on numerous occasions when he dispatched Debashis with some superb attacking skills. First Ashwin sacrificed a pawn. And he didnt care about regaining it. His eyes were fixed elsewhere. On the black king and boy did he attack!! Using his knight bishop rook and queen he launched such a severe onslaught, all that Debashis could do was give up his queen to save his king. But that was akin to resignation as Ashwin forced his opponent to give in after a few moves. Ashwin seems to be in great form now as he played a wonderful game and is now on 3.5/5.

Chess is a mental game. Your mind should be in the best state if you want to calculate well during the game. Now for that the players often have certain rituals before the game to get into a good frame of mind. For me it has always been a little walk before the game that helps me focus better. But I think we all are curious as to what exactly do these top players do before the game? Here's their daily ritual:
The guy who crushes his opponents left right and center during the game likes to watch cartoons before the game to relax himself!! So you can understand how he has good killer instinct, it comes from watching pokemon or Mickey mouse or donald duck!! :)
Lalith also mentioned that he was superstitious before. Like he would wear the same shirt or use the same bottle if he had won the game. So much was his belief in such things that if he lost his lucky bottle, he would think that he would lose the game! But now all that is past. He has realised there are only 2 ways to be successful, Hardwork and self belief! Superstitions is just a hoax!

Adhiban likes to listen to music before the games. Some fast tracked music which helps him to focus more for the game. In fact he sits on the board also with the earphones and listening to music. Its only a few minutes before the game that he stops listening and his opponents have to face the music!!


 Vishnu also likes to listen to the music before the game but he has a little superstition. He selects a song for the tournament and listens to the same song before every round!! It doesnt matter whether he loses or wins but that song he surely listens to!! :)

Finally a player is doing something that chess players are usually thought of doing before the round. Before the game Akash likes to close his eyes and meditate for sometime. just to clear his mind of the random thoughts.

 Debashis gets into the groove before the game by watching motivational videos on youtube. That helps him give his best during the game!!

 Deepan has a very nice ritual before the game. He always calls his mother before the game and speaks with her. This helps him to relax and get into the right frame of mind before the game!!

 Stany loves to read the holy bible before his game. I think during the tournaments we all experience pressure, disappointment, trying to be the best and cut throat competition. I think by reading the Bible he is transported into a world which is filled with positivity and thus can be refreshed before the game.

 Thejkumar always speaks with his wife before the game. If she is not in person then he will speak to her on the phone. His wife gives him crucial tips like maintaining his calm, not getting excited or give your best for the round. Hearing them before the game helps him remember the tips which he is able to apply it in his games! What a wonderful couple!!

1142507IMDebashis Das
IMShyam Nikil P.242010
2112523GMVishnu Prasanna. V
IMRathnakaran K.24119
3122671GMNegi Parimarjan
IMThejkumar M. S.24528
4132343IMG. Akash
GMLalith Babu M.R.25697
512397IMStany G.A.
GMAdhiban B.25696
622409IMAkshat Khamparia
GMDeepan Chakkravarthy J.24625
732487IMAshwin Jayaram
GMSasikiran Krishnan26664

The man to beat in this tournament really is Sasikiran and after yesterdays scintillating win against Debashis I think Ashwin is well qualified for this job?!! Will he be able to beat Sasi with the white pieces?!! Lets wait and watch!

You can download the games of the tournament from this link:

Tomorrow is a rest day and I have a special proposition for you:
You can send me the questions that you would like to ask any player.
You can either send it to my email( or to facebook message or on my facebook wall or to twitter.
I will ask the question to the respective players and my report on the rest day will consist on the answers to your questions!! :)
Its a golden opportunity to know what you always wanted to about the stars of Indian chess.

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