AICF-AAI Cup 2012: Korobov leads with 3.5/5

12/25/2012 – Two wins and three draws in the first half of the double round robin event have kept Ukrainian GM Anton Korobov in the lead, half a point ahead of Evgeny Alekseev with two wins and a loss, and a point ahead of Radoslav Wojtaszek and Parimarjan Negi, both at 50%. The games are all exciting and hard-fought. We bring you a report after round five, with games and videos.

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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 four: Korobov in sole lead

GM Anton Korobov of Ukraine shot in to sole lead defeating top seed Radoslav Wojtaszek of Poland in the fourth round of AICF-AAI Chess Cup. Aided by the victory Korobov took his tally to three points out of a possible four and the Ukrainian now enjoys a full point lead over Wojtaszek, Evgeny Alekseev of Russia, Parimarjan Negi and Abhijeet Gupta who all have two points each.

On another interesting day the other two games ended in hard fought draws. Krishnan Sasikiran yet again could not capitalize on what appeared to be a huge advantage, while Parimarjan Negi also missed some chances to let Abhijeet Gupta off the hook.

Korobov confessed he was not happy with his position out of the Petrosian System in the Queen’s Indian Defense. Playing white the Ukrainian champion was on the defensive right from move 15, and it was only a blunder by the Polish GM that gave him winning chances. Soon after the first time control Korobov spotted a tactical opportunity and went on to win a pawn. The technicalities thereafter looked easy the way Korobov played it.


Sasikiran employed the Catalan opening and the players followed theoretical lines that gives white a miniscule advantage. Alekseev however fought well in the middle game to keep the balance but an erroneous plan left the Russian to suffer for a long time. Sasikiran should have won with correct play, but in the second time control the Indian missed chances and Alekseev equalized with some imaginative play.

Gupta and Negi were involved in the longest game of the tournament so far, lasting 104 moves. From a Grunfeld, Gupta went astray after the trade of queens and lost a handful of pawns. It looked massacre. However, there were some tricks left and Abhijeet spotted almost all of them to reach a two pawns down rook and pawns endgame. As it turned out, it was a theoretical draw and though Negi made Gupta suffer for a long time, the result was anyone’s guess.

Video report by Vijay Kumar

Round five: Korobov stays ahead, Alekseev in pursuit

Grandmaster Anton Korobov of Ukraine stayed in sole lead following a draw with Parimarjan Negi in the fifth round of AICF-AAI Cup. On what turned out to be another hard-fought day, Russian GM Evgeny Alekseev capitalized on a optical blunder and went on to beat former world junior champion Abhijeet Gupta, while top seed Radoslav Wojtaszek of Poland played out a draw with Indian Krishnan Sasikiran.

Korobov employed the Breyer variation in the Ruy Lopez against Negi who played white. The Indian had beaten Sasikiran in the same opening but that did not deter Korobov in any way. Negi could not quite get his king side attack rolling, while Korobov was able to make some progress on the other flank. As it happened, Negi decided to play it safe and went for the repetition of moves in the middle game.

Abhijeet Gupta (above left) came up with an opening surprise by going for the Center Counter Gambit, but the strategy boomeranged when the Indian simply blundered a pawn already in the opening. Alekseev’s technique was not perfect but it was enough to net the full point he desperately needed.

In the other game of the day, Krishnan Sasikiran (above) drew with Radoslav Wojtaszek from a Nimzo Indian Defense game. The Indian had no troubles equalizing from the opening and the pieces changed hands at regular intervals. Soon enough it was opposite colour bishops on board. The remaining queen and rooks also were off the board in no-time and in just 37 moves the peace was signed.

Video report by Vijay Kumar

Here are the games of rounds four and five in our JavaScript player:

Current standings

At the halfway stage in the category-18 six-player double round-robin tournament Korobov still enjoys the cushion of a half point over Alekseev. The Ukrainian with 3.5 points has three whites in the remaining five games and has now emerged as a firm favourite for the crown. Alekseev remains in pursuit of the leader just a half point behind. Wojtaszek and Negi stand joint third now with 2.5 points apiece while Gupta slipped to fifth spot in rankings on two points. Sasikiran is still at the bottom of the tables with 1.5 points from his five games in the Rs. 1.2 million prize money tournament.


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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