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AICF-AAI Cup 2012: Korobov leads after penultimate round

12/29/2012 – After nine rounds of play in this six player double round robin Ukrainian GM Anton Korobov leads with 5.5 points, followed by Evgeny Alekseev of Russia half a point behind. In the final round, which starts four hours earlier than usual, Korobov faces top seed Radoslav Wojtaszek, who can catch him with a white-pieces win. Watch it all on Playchess.
 

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 eight: Abhijeet Gupta holds Wojtaszek

Former junior world champion Abhijeet Gupta held top seed Radoslav Wojtaszek of Poland to an easy draw in the eighth round of AICF-AAI Cup. The day did not produce any decisive game, like the first round, and the lead positions remained unchanged. Anton Korobov survived some anxious moments before signing peace with Krishnan Sasikiran while Parimarjan Negi pressed for some time before splitting the point with Evgeny Alekseev of Russia.

Gupta (above) came up with a strong opening novelty on his 11th move, one that put Wojtaszek in a long thought out of a Grunfeld Defense. Playing white, the Polish grandmaster went for the most principled continuation that netted him two pawns temporarily. But Gupta had prepared it much deeper. Recovering one pawn he went to a pawn-less endgame where the activity of his pieces ensured sufficiently play. Wojtaszek felt the heat when he fell slightly worse in the endgame. However, the game was never quite out of the boundary of a draw and the peace was signed in the ensuing rook and pawns endgame. The game was drawn in 56 moves.

GM Krishnan Sasikiran (above) was in his elements and pressed right after the opening. From the black side of a Nimzo Indian the Indian went for a kingside attack and fell just a little short in the middle game as Korobov found a precise defense. Sasikiran thought he missed out on his chances in the middle game when he allowed a favourable liquidation, thereby giving Korobov an easy defense.

Parimarjan Negi (above) faced the topical Berlin Defense by Evgeny Alekseev, who played black. The Indian star chose to play a symmetrical middlegame with lots of pieces on board, instead of trying out long drawn endgames typical of the opening. The result was a pleasant position, but Alekseev kept himself in the hunt with some timely exchanges that maintained the balance. Parimarjan drew via repetition of moves.

Video report by Vijay Kumar

Round nine: Korobov shoots ahead

Grandmaster Anton Korobov of Ukraine (above) shot ahead of the field by defeating Indian GM Parimarjan Negi in the ninth and penultimate round of AICF-AAI Chess Cup, now drawing to a close at the AAI Institute.


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For the first time in this tournament, Korobov came up with an early opening surprise going for the King pawn advance on move one. Negi went for his pet Sicilian Najdorf but the Ukrainian had prepared some dangerous lines. To his credit, Negi came out of the opening unscathed and was able to manage things with a timely pawn sacrifice, breaking the center open. However the Indian went wrong in wild complexities with the clock ticking away and Korobov grabbed the full point after gaining three pieces for his queen.

Former world junior champion Abhijeet Gupta was unfortunate not to score a full point against Evgeny Alekseev out of a Catalan. With precise play Gupta exerted pressure and Alekseev found himself in a very difficult knight and pawns endgame after the first time control. However, just after attaining a winning position Gupta miscalculated and gave enough chances to Alekseev, who fought back. The game lasted over six hours and was fought till all the pieces got traded.

Krishnan Sasikiran (above) could not pose any problems to Radoslav Wojtaszek, who played a topical variation in the Catalan and equalized without much problem. The pieces got traded in a heap and the players arrived at an opposite coloured Bishop endgame which was just a draw. Peace was signed after 41 moves.

Video report by Vijay Kumar

Here are the games of rounds eight and nine in our JavaScript player:

Current standings

With just one round to go Korobov has emerged as the sole leader on 5.5 points, and Alekseev remains on his toes a half point behind. Sasikiran and Wojtaszek share the third spot on 4.5 points apiece while Abhijeet Gupta inched himself up to four points, a half point more than Negi. The final match will start at ten a.m local time on Sunday, and the prize-giving ceremony of this Rs. 1.2 million tournament will be held at 6:30 p.m.


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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