AICF-AAI Cup 2012: Korobov and Wojtaszek lead

12/23/2012 – With a no-draw-offer rule in place this super-tournament, the strongest ever in India, is providing high-quality fighting chess. In round two Parimarjan Negi beat compatriot Krishnan Sasikaran, and Radoslaw Wojtaszek outclassed Evgeny Alekseev. Round three saw Negi falter against Alekseev and the luckless Sasikiran lose to Anton Korobov. Report after round three.

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The AICF-AAI Cup is taking place in New Delhi from December 21st (first round) to 30th, 2012. The games start at 02:00 p.m. local time = 03:30 a.m. (on the previous day) in New York, 08:30 a.m. London, 09:30 a.m. European time, 11:30 a.m. Moscow and 16:30 p.m. Beijing. You can find the starting time at your location here. The tournament site is providing a live broadcast of the games and live video feed. Naturally the games are also being broadcast on Playchess.com.

Round two: Negi beats Sasikiran, shares lead with Wojtaszek

Grandmaster and Asian Champion Parimarjan Negi (above left) crashed through the defenses of fellow Indian GM Krishnan Sasikiran and emerged as joint leader after the end of the second round of AICF-AAI Chess Cup at the AAI institute. The Delhi-based Negi showed top class preparation in a Ruy Lopez Breyer, complimented with excellent decisions, to score his first victory in the tournament.

Meanwhile Radoslaw Wojtaszek (above left) outclassed Evgeny Alekseev of Russia in the Capablanca Variation in the Nimzo Indian and navigated through complexities to emerge as the other winner in the day.


Anton Korobov (right) played out a draw with former World Junior Champion Abhijeet Gupta

Negi and Wojtaszek now shared the lead with 1.5 points apiece, followed by Gupta and Korobov, who both had a point in their kitty coming from two draws. In the fifth spot were Sasikiran and Alekseev on half a point each.

Video report by Vijay Kumar

Round three: Alekseev downs Negi, Korobov beats Sasikiran

Former Russian Champion Grandmaster Evgeny Alekseev defeated Asian champion Parmarjan Negi while Ukrainian Anton Korobov scored over Krishnan Sasikiran on a bad third round for the hosts in the AICF-AAI Chess Cup at the AAI Institute. Negi was caught off-guard in the opening and never quite recovered, while Sasikiran misplayed a promising position to lose to Korobov. In the other game of the day, former World Junior Champion Abhijeet Gupta played out an exciting draw with top seed Radoslav Wojtaszek of Poland.

Negi started with the Sicilian Defense with black, and it was surprising to see the extremely slow pace of the game against Alekseev. The Russian thought for a long time right from the beginning, and Negi had to do the same after he made an error while trying to work out the plan in an unknown position. Alekseev’s tactics to go for a unique move-order paid off high dividends.

Negi lost a pawn early in the opening and was left to defend a difficult endgame, once the queens got traded. Both players ran in to time trouble, but White’s position was obviously easier to play. Alekseev won in 55 moves showing immaculate technique.

Anton Korobov (above left) won against Sasikiran from a Queen’s Indian defense game where the latter played white. Sasikiran was quite creative in the middle game as he exerted pressure from a balanced position on the kingside, and it looked as though the Indian would prevail quite quickly. Korobov was however not intimidated by White’s advantage and revealed after the game that he believed he had counter-chances all along, although the position looked dangerous.

For Sasikiran the clock yet again played the pivotal role as the Indian fell way behind and at one point had 12 moves to make in just over three minutes. With the nature of the position very complicated it was not easy to find the best moves and Sasikiran lost track, allowing the invasion of the black queen. Once on top, Korobov finished in style, opening the king side at the right time. The game lasted 47 moves.

Abhijeet Gupta (above right) misplayed the Benoni Opening as White and was suffering against Radoslav Wojtaszek when suddenly a wave of tactic strokes infused life in a lost position for the Indian. Though short of time, Gupta found some remarkable tricks in this edge-of-the-seat thriller and the draw through repetition was a just result as both players missed out on capitalizing winning advantage.

Here are the games of rounds two and three in our JavaScript player:

After a highly combative third day in the tournament, which carries a prize fund of Rs. 12 lakhs (Rs. 1.2 = €16,500 or US $22,000), Korobov joined Wojtaszek in the lead on two points from three games, while Gupta, Negi and Alekseev now follow the two leaders a half point behind. Luckless Krishnan Sasikiran is now alone at the bottom of the tables with just a half point from his three games.

With seven rounds still to come in the six-player double round-robin tournament, much excitement is to be expected if the first three rounds are anything to go by. The no-draw-offer rule in place here is serving the cause to provide high-quality fighting chess, something the Indian Chess Federation and Airports Authority of India had hoped for when conceiving the idea.


Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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