Aeroflot R3: Brilliancies

by Alejandro Ramirez
3/30/2015 – The news of the day is that one player was able to move to a perfect 3.0/3: Krishnan Sasikirian from India showed excellent handling of the Black side of the Scotch to be the only player remaining with a perfect score. However, the true excitement came a couple of boards down: Adhiban might just have missed the chance to immortalize himself with a brilliant attack.

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After a couple of years hiatus the Aeroflot Open is back!

The classic event has been more than just a massive super-strong series of opens, it has been the proving grounds for the players on the rise, a rich source of norms, and competition for all levels divided into three opens. It also has a richly doted blitz tournament at the end, free of entry for those registered in tournaments A and B.

Round Three

Bo. Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts. Name Rtg
1 Ponkratov Pavel 2613 2 0 - 1 2 Sasikiran Krishnan 2682
2 Van Foreest Jorden 2493 2 ½ - ½ 2 Khairullin Ildar 2630
3 Adhiban B. 2646 ½ - ½ Nepomniachtchi Ian 2714
4 Rapport Richard 2709 0 - 1 Salgado Lopez Ivan 2627
5 Inarkiev Ernesto 2706 ½ - ½ Dubov Daniil 2627
6 Vidit Santosh Gujrathi 2625 ½ - ½ Korobov Anton 2694
7 Fedoseev Vladimir 2674 ½ - ½ Bukavshin Ivan 2618
8 Khalifman Alexander 2613 ½ - ½ Grachev Boris 2673
9 Kovalenko Igor 2661 1 - 0 Salem A.R. Saleh 2603
10 Shimanov Aleksandr 2594 ½ - ½ Mamedov Rauf 2658
11 Zvjaginsev Vadim 2658 1 - 0 Bok Benjamin 2587
12 Svetushkin Dmitry 2592 1 - 0 Motylev Alexander 2653
13 Khismatullin Denis 2650 0 - 1 Lu Shanglei 2570
14 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2756 1 ½ - ½ Kovalevskaya Ekaterina 2438
15 Esen Baris 2571 1 0 - 1 1 Vallejo Pons Francisco 2708
16 Petrosian Tigran L. 2671 1 ½ - ½ 1 Bluebaum Matthias 2576
17 Yilmaz Mustafa 2570 1 ½ - ½ 1 Sjugirov Sanan 2669
18 Kobalia Mikhail 2632 1 1 - 0 1 Stupak Kirill 2567
19 Predke Alexandr 2530 1 ½ - ½ 1 Iturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo 2630
20 Sethuraman S.P. 2623 1 1 - 0 1 Can Emre 2555
21 Idani Pouya 2496 1 ½ - ½ 1 Anton Guijarro David 2614
22 Potkin Vladimir 2605 1 ½ - ½ 1 Ernst Sipke 2530
23 Goganov Aleksey 2598 1 ½ - ½ 1 Antipov Mikhail Al. 2529
24 Bogdanovich Stanislav 2581 1 1 - 0 1 Sanal Vahap 2487
25 Swayams Mishra 2440 1 1 - 0 ½ Tregubov Pavel V. 2617
26 Grigoriants Sergey 2573 ½ 1 - 0 ½ Al-Sayed Mohammed 2511
27 Vishnu Prasanna. V 2477 ½ 1 - 0 ½ Jumabayev Rinat 2572
28 Batchuluun Tsegmed 2499 ½ ½ - ½ ½ Kotronias Vasilios 2565
29 Oparin Grigoriy 2562 ½ ½ - ½ ½ Ankit R. Rajpara 2477
30 Mozharov Mikhail 2555 ½ 1 - 0 ½ Tran Tuan Minh 2455
31 Korobkov Piotr 2423 ½ 0 - 1 ½ Gabuzyan Hovhannes 2553
32 Wagner Dennis 2549 ½ 1 - 0 ½ Abdumalik Zhansaya 2379
33 Matlakov Maxim 2693 0 1 - 0 0 Kuderinov Kirill 2465
34 Gundavaa Bayarsaikhan 2505 0 0 - 1 0 Savchenko Boris 2581
35 Tabatabaei M.Amin 2448 0 0 - 1 0 Sandipan Chanda 2569
36 Asgarizadeh Ahmad 2412 0 0 - 1 0 Svane Rasmus 2509

What an exciting round - some of the top boards' action was incredible. The top news is of course that Sasikirian moves to 3.0/3 after beating Ponkratov handedly:

[Event "Aeroflot Open A 2015"] [Site "Moscow RUS"] [Date "2015.03.29"] [Round "3.1"] [White "Ponkratov, Pavel"] [Black "Sasikiran, Krishnan"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C45"] [WhiteElo "2613"] [BlackElo "2682"] [PlyCount "98"] [EventDate "2015.03.27"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nxc6 bxc6 6. e5 Qe7 7. Qe2 Nd5 8. c4 Ba6 9. Nd2 g6 10. Nf3 Bg7 11. Bg5 f6 12. exf6 Qxe2+ 13. Bxe2 Nxf6 14. O-O-O O-O-O {Black obviously equalized without problems. He was able to eliminate White's center and he has no real structural weaknesses: he will be able to play d6 and c5 securing good positions for all of his pieces, the a7 pawn is not easily attacked.} 15. Rhe1 Rde8 16. Nd2 {White initates a knight maneuver that is as bad as it is long.} c5 17. Nb3 Bb7 18. g3 d6 19. Na5 Ba8 {By now it is quite clear the knight doesn't belong on a5.} 20. Bf1 Ng4 21. Bh3 h5 22. Be3 Rhf8 23. f4 Kd8 {The h2 pawn and the e3 bishop are hanging. White's pieces are discoordinated.} 24. Rd3 (24. Bg1 Bf3 25. Rxe8+ Rxe8 26. Rf1 Ba8 {concedes the e-file and the game.}) 24... Bd4 $2 (24... Nxh2 {was simply a free pawn.}) 25. Bxg4 hxg4 26. Nb3 Bxe3+ 27. Rdxe3 Rxe3 28. Rxe3 Rh8 29. Re2 Bf3 30. Rf2 Re8 { Black is slightly better due to his powerful piece placement and easier play. However White has decent chances of holding.} 31. Kd2 Kd7 32. Na1 Re4 $1 33. b3 Rd4+ 34. Ke3 Re4+ 35. Kd2 Rd4+ 36. Ke3 Rd1 37. Nc2 Rh1 38. Kd2 Rd1+ 39. Kc3 c6 40. Ne3 Rh1 41. Nf1 {Black's rook is trapped, but it does not matter. White has no activity and the passed pawn on the d-file will provide enough distraction for White's pieces.} d5 42. Nd2 $2 (42. b4 {was probably the only way to keep fighting, but things still look grim.}) 42... d4+ 43. Kc2 Ke6 44. Kb2 (44. Kd3 Re1 45. Nxf3 Re3+ 46. Kc2 gxf3 $17) 44... Kf5 45. Kc2 Re1 46. Kb2 Be2 {White has lost any semblance of coordination and Black's pieces are strong enough to push the d-ppawn.} 47. Kc2 d3+ 48. Kb2 Rd1 49. Nb1 Rxb1+ ( 49... d2 {also works, but the played move is much , much easier.} 50. Nxd2 Rxd2+ 51. Kc1 Rxa2 52. Kb1 Rd2 53. Kc1 Rd1+ 54. Kc2 Bf3 $1 {with a winning pawn endgame if White takes on f3!}) 0-1

The new leader: Krishnan Sasikirian (photo by David Llada from the official website)

The most heartbreaking game happened in the third board. Adhiban had the chance of a lifetime to play his immortal game:

[Event "Aeroflot Open A 2015"] [Site "Moscow RUS"] [Date "2015.03.29"] [Round "3.3"] [White "Adhiban, Baskaran"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C07"] [WhiteElo "2646"] [BlackElo "2714"] [PlyCount "109"] [EventDate "2015.03.27"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 c5 4. exd5 Qxd5 5. Ngf3 cxd4 6. Bc4 Qd7 {Both Qd7 and Qd8 are becoming more popular. Qd6 remains the mainline though.} 7. O-O Nc6 8. Nb3 Nf6 9. Qe2 a6 10. a4 Be7 11. Rd1 Qc7 12. Nbxd4 Bd7 13. Nxc6 Bxc6 14. Ne5 Bd5 $6 (14... O-O $14) 15. Bxd5 Nxd5 16. c4 Nf6 17. Bf4 Qc8 18. g4 $1 { Excellent! Black is so tied down that this type of attack is very dangerous for him.} h6 19. h4 O-O {Castling into it looks like suicide, but what other choice does Nepo have?} (19... h5 20. g5 Ng4 21. Nd7 $18) 20. g5 hxg5 21. hxg5 Nh7 22. Qh5 Bxg5 {Forced, White was threatening to break through with g6 and its over.} (22... g6 23. Nxg6 fxg6 24. Qxg6+ Kh8 25. Be5+ $18) 23. Bxg5 Nxg5 24. Rd7 $3 {Beautiful! The idea is that the knight on g5 is hanging as g7 would be checkmate in the case of f6.} (24. Qxg5 $2 f6 $11) 24... Ne4 25. Ra3 $1 {Swinging the other rook into the attack, ignoring the "threat" of Nf6!} Nf6 26. Qh4 (26. Qh1 $3 Nxd7 (26... Qxd7 27. Nxd7 Nxd7 28. Rh3 f5 29. Rh8+ Kf7 30. Rxf8+ Rxf8 31. Qxb7 {is the key difference. Here Black's queenside just collapses.}) 27. Rh3 g6 28. Rh7 $1 {And the attack cannot be halted.}) 26... Qxd7 (26... Nxd7 27. Rh3 {is very obviously checkmate next move.}) 27. Nxd7 Nxd7 28. Rh3 f6 29. Qe4 Rfe8 30. Qxb7 {White is winning, but he was unable to convert his brilliant play.} Nc5 31. Qh1 Kf7 32. Rh7 f5 33. Qc6 Rac8 34. Qd6 Kg8 35. Qh2 Kf7 36. Qe5 Rg8 37. Rh3 Nd7 38. Qd4 Nc5 39. Qe5 Nd7 40. Qd4 Nc5 41. Rg3 a5 42. Kg2 g5 43. Rh3 Kg6 44. Qd6 f4 45. Qd1 g4 46. Rh4 f3+ 47. Kg3 Ne4+ 48. Kf4 Nf6 49. Kg3 Kf5 50. Qd4 e5 51. Qd3+ Kg5 52. Qe3+ Kf5 53. Qd3+ Kg5 54. Qe3+ Kf5 55. Qd3+ 1/2-1/2

Salgado took advantage of a pawn structure advantage to grind down Rapport - a great victory for the Spaniard who catches up to Van Foreest and Khairulin in 2.5/3 as they drew each other quickly.

Also on 2.5/3 is Zvjaginsev with a brilliant finishing touch:

[Event "Aeroflot Open A 2015"] [Site "Moscow RUS"] [Date "2015.03.29"] [Round "3.11"] [White "Zvjaginsev, Vadim"] [Black "Bok, Benjamin"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C44"] [WhiteElo "2658"] [BlackElo "2587"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "rn1b2k1/pp2r1p1/2pp3p/P2Pp3/8/2P3P1/5PBP/RN3RK1 w - - 0 20"] [PlyCount "11"] [EventDate "2015.03.27"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 20. Nd2 Rc7 21. Nc4 Be7 (21... Na6 22. Nxd6 Be7 23. Nf5 {is unpleasant for Black, but he is not dead yet.}) 22. Nb6 $1 {A beautiful and unexpected shot!} axb6 {The knight has to be taken, the a8 rook was trapped.} 23. axb6 Na6 24. dxc6 $1 {Most precise.} (24. bxc7 Nxc7 25. Rxa8+ Nxa8 26. Rb1 {is winning but it might take longer.}) 24... bxc6 (24... Rxc6 25. Bxc6 bxc6 26. Rfb1 {is really easy. Black won't hold on to that knight on a6 much longer and the passed b-pawn wins easily.}) 25. Rxa6 (25. Rxa6 Rxa6 26. bxc7 Ra8 27. Rb1 $18) 1-0

Finally Lu Shanglei, Svetushkin and Kovalenko moved to 2.5/3 with victories today.

Round Three Standings

Rk. Name FED Rtg Pts.
1 Sasikiran Krishnan IND 2682 3.0
2 Lu Shanglei CHN 2570 2.5
3 Salgado Lopez Ivan ESP 2627 2.5
4 Svetushkin Dmitry MDA 2592 2.5
5 Van Foreest Jorden NED 2493 2.5
6 Kovalenko Igor LAT 2661 2.5
7 Zvjaginsev Vadim RUS 2658 2.5
8 Khairullin Ildar RUS 2630 2.5
9 Dubov Daniil RUS 2627 2.0
10 Kovalevskaya Ekaterina RUS 2438 2.0
11 Korobov Anton UKR 2694 2.0
12 Nepomniachtchi Ian RUS 2714 2.0
13 Vallejo Pons Francisco ESP 2708 2.0
14 Grachev Boris RUS 2673 2.0
15 Mamedov Rauf AZE 2658 2.0
16 Bukavshin Ivan RUS 2618 2.0
17 Bogdanovich Stanislav UKR 2581 2.0
18 Vidit Santosh Gujrathi IND 2625 2.0
19 Khalifman Alexander RUS 2613 2.0
20 Ponkratov Pavel RUS 2613 2.0

Round Four Pairings

Bo. Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts.   Name
1 Sasikiran Krishnan 2682 3   GM Kovalenko Igor
2 Svetushkin Dmitry 2592   GM Zvjaginsev Vadim
3 Lu Shanglei 2570   GM Khairullin Ildar
4 Salgado Lopez Ivan 2627   IM Van Foreest Jorden
5 Nepomniachtchi Ian 2714 2   2 GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi
6 Vallejo Pons Francisco 2708 2   2 GM Sethuraman S.P.
7 Bukavshin Ivan 2618 2   2 GM Inarkiev Ernesto
8 Korobov Anton 2694 2   2 GM Ponkratov Pavel
9 Dubov Daniil 2627 2   2 GM Fedoseev Vladimir
10 Grachev Boris 2673 2   2 GM Shimanov Aleksandr
11 Mamedov Rauf 2658 2   2 GM Khalifman Alexander
12 Swayams Mishra 2440 2   2 GM Adhiban B.
13 Kovalevskaya Ekaterina 2438 2   2 GM Kobalia Mikhail
14 Bluebaum Matthias 2576   GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
15 Ernst Sipke 2530   GM Petrosian Tigran L.
16 Sjugirov Sanan 2669   GM Grigoriants Sergey
17 Motylev Alexander 2653   GM Yilmaz Mustafa
18 Mozharov Mikhail 2555   GM Khismatullin Denis
19 Iturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo 2630   IM Wagner Dennis
20 Anton Guijarro David 2614     Predke Alexandr
21 Antipov Mikhail Al. 2529   GM Potkin Vladimir
22 Salem A.R. Saleh 2603   GM Idani Pouya
23 Gabuzyan Hovhannes 2553   GM Goganov Aleksey
24 Bok Benjamin 2587   GM Vishnu Prasanna. V
25 Can Emre 2555 1   1 GM Matlakov Maxim
26 Savchenko Boris 2581 1   1 GM Oparin Grigoriy
27 Svane Rasmus 2509 1   1 GM Esen Baris
28 Sandipan Chanda 2569 1   1 GM Batchuluun Tsegmed
29 Rapport Richard 2709   2 IM Bogdanovich Stanislav
30 Stupak Kirill 2567 1   1 GM Ankit R. Rajpara
31 Sanal Vahap 2487 1   1 GM Kotronias Vasilios
32 Tregubov Pavel V. 2617 ½   ½   Korobkov Piotr
33 Al-Sayed Mohammed 2511 ½   ½ GM Jumabayev Rinat
34 Tran Tuan Minh 2455 ½   0 GM Gundavaa Bayarsaikhan
35 Abdumalik Zhansaya 2379 ½   0 IM Kuderinov Kirill
36 Asgarizadeh Ahmad 2412 0   0 FM Tabatabaei M.Amin

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Topics Aeroflot, Russia

Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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