Looking back: Abhijeet Gupta in Reykjavik 2016

by Priyadarshan Banjan
3/30/2016 – With more than 230 participants and many top grandmasters the Reykjavik Open boasted a strong field. The Harpa Hall, where the tournament was played, was another attraction: the summer smile of GM Abhijeet Gupta and IM Tania Sachdev in the inconsistent cold of the Icelandic capital. In this first part of our in-depth round-up, we bring you an illustrated report with the comments of Abhijeet himself.

Abhijeet Gupta in Reykjavik 2016

By Priyadarshan Banjan

The 2016 Reykjavik Open was a bit overshadowed by the Candidates tournament in Moscow and the Women's World Championship in Lviv. But traditionally the Open in Reykjavik has a lot to offer and this year this was no different.

The Harpa hall is one of the world's most splendid venue

The breathtaking view from the top tables' stage in the arena, one probable reason
why ACP voted Reykjavik as the second-best tournament in 2015.

Iceland is a place many people want to visit once in their lives, and the field of the tournament was again very strong. In this first part of our report on the tournament, we will go through the games of the winner, with his views and comments.

Clear first with 8.5/10: GM Abhijeet Gupta (2634)

The tournament was won by 26-year-old GM Abhijeet Gupta with a clear half-point margin. He stayed undefeated throughout and played solid yet interesting chess to win yet another open tournament. The event had a regulation allowing a half-point bye until the seventh round, but would Abhijeet take a bye for the safety of a half point and rest? "As odd it may sound, I just wanted to play chess and generally if I am not ill, I don’t see a reason for taking byes," was Abhijeet's explanation.

Abhijeet started off comfortably, winning his games without much ado. He summarized his start saying: "I didn’t really plan or prepare anything special for my start. It just happened and my basic aim was to continue playing good and consistent chess."

12-year-old IM Awonder Liang (2405)

Awonder recently became USA's youngest International Master and has an interesting future ahead of him. Gupta played a typical Sicilian with the black pieces and wiped out the young American.

[Event "Reykjavik Open"] [Site "Reykjavik, Iceland"] [Date "2016.03.09"] [Round "3.6"] [White "Liang, Awonder"] [Black "Gupta, Abhijeet"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B67"] [WhiteElo "2405"] [BlackElo "2634"] [PlyCount "80"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [SourceDate "2015.12.19"] [WhiteClock "0:01:13"] [BlackClock "0:30:58"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bg5 e6 7. Qd2 a6 8. O-O-O Bd7 9. f4 b5 10. Bxf6 gxf6 11. Kb1 Qb6 12. Nf3 b4 13. Ne2 a5 14. f5 e5 15. Ng3 h5 16. Qd5 Rc8 17. Bb5 Qc7 18. Bc4 Nd8 19. b3 Ke7 20. Qd3 Nb7 21. Qe2 Nc5 22. Nd2 h4 23. Ngf1 Bh6 24. Ne3 Bxe3 25. Qxe3 a4 26. g4 axb3 27. cxb3 Ra8 28. g5 (28. a4 Bxa4 29. bxa4 Nxa4 30. Bb3 Nc3+ 31. Kb2 Ra3 $11 {I did see this line but I wasn't completely sure about evaluation although I was certain that I would still have a draw in the worst case scenario. (Gupta)}) 28... Qa7 29. gxf6+ Kxf6 30. Rhg1 Rh5 31. a4 Nxa4 32. Qf3 Nc5 33. Kc2 Qa2+ 34. Kc1 Rc8 35. Rg6+ fxg6 36. fxg6+ Rf5 37. exf5 Bxf5 38. Ne4+ Nxe4 39. g7 Qa3+ 40. Kc2 Rxc4+ 0-1

He also played a beautiful Catalan in the fourth round,
which aptly ended with the Catalan Bishop performing the last rites.

[Event "Reykjavik Open"] [Site "?"] [Date "2016.03.10"] [Round "?"] [White "Gupta, Abhijeet"] [Black "Petrov, Nikita"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E05"] [WhiteElo "2634"] [BlackElo "2464"] [PlyCount "51"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [SourceDate "2015.12.19"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. g3 Bb4+ 5. Nbd2 dxc4 6. Bg2 O-O 7. Qc2 c5 8. dxc5 Nc6 9. O-O Bxc5 10. Nxc4 Qe7 11. Nfe5 Nxe5 12. Nxe5 Qc7 13. Be3 Bb6 14. Qxc7 Bxc7 15. Bd4 Rd8 16. Rac1 Ne8 17. Rfd1 f6 18. Nc4 Nd6 19. Ne3 Ne8 20. Nc4 Nd6 21. Na3 Bb8 22. Bc5 Nf7 23. Rxd8+ Nxd8 24. Be7 Nc6 25. Rxc6 bxc6 26. Bxc6 1-0

After starting off with 4.0/4, Gupta settled for draws with English GM Gawain Jones (2645)
and Bulgarian GM Ivan Cheparinov (2684). "I think I was worse in both the games
so I was happy to draw those games and move ahead," he said.

GM Sergei Movsesian (2654) was Abhijeet's seventh round opponent.

The game looked like a clean display of textbook chess – any strong player would be proud of this game. But Abhijeet says: "It wasn’t as comfortable as it might have looked. He had a pretty good position after the opening, but after a couple of inaccuracies he gave me an edge and, with even my poor technique, I managed to breakthrough!"

[Event "Reykjavik Open"] [Site "?"] [Date "2016.03.14"] [Round "?"] [White "Gupta, Abhijeet"] [Black "Movsesian, Sergei"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E46"] [WhiteElo "2634"] [BlackElo "2653"] [PlyCount "123"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [SourceDate "2015.12.19"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Nge2 d5 6. a3 Bd6 7. Ng3 c6 8. Be2 dxc4 9. Bxc4 Nbd7 10. O-O Nb6 11. Ba2 e5 12. dxe5 Bxe5 13. Qc2 Be6 14. Bxe6 fxe6 15. Nce2 Qd5 16. Bd2 Qc4 17. Rac1 Qxc2 18. Rxc2 Rad8 19. Bc3 Bxc3 20. Nxc3 Kf7 21. Nge4 Ke7 22. Nc5 Rb8 23. f3 Nbd5 24. Nd1 Rfd8 25. Kf2 Nd7 26. Nd3 N7b6 27. Ke2 Nc7 28. Nc3 Nbd5 29. Ne4 Nf6 30. Nef2 Rd5 31. Rfc1 Rdd8 32. a4 a5 33. b3 Na6 34. e4 Nd7 35. Ng4 c5 36. Nge5 Nxe5 37. Nxe5 Rbc8 38. Rd2 Rxd2+ 39. Kxd2 Nb8 40. Ke3 b6 41. Rd1 Rc7 42. Nc4 Rb7 43. Rd6 Nd7 44. Rc6 g5 45. g3 Rb8 46. Rc7 Kd8 47. Ra7 b5 48. Nxa5 Rb6 49. f4 gxf4+ 50. gxf4 Kc8 51. e5 h5 52. Kd3 c4+ 53. bxc4 bxa4 54. Kd4 Nb8 55. Kc5 Rb2 56. Nc6 Rxh2 57. Ra8 Rb2 58. f5 exf5 59. e6 a3 60. Nxb8 Kb7 61. Rxa3 Kxb8 62. Re3 1-0

In the ninth round, Gupta kept pressing GM Nils Grandelius (2646) until he crumbled in the end

[Event "Reykjavik Open"] [Site "?"] [Date "2016.03.15"] [Round "?"] [White "Grandelius, Nils"] [Black "Gupta, Abhijeet"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A16"] [WhiteElo "2646"] [BlackElo "2634"] [PlyCount "92"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [SourceDate "2015.12.19"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. g3 Bg7 6. Bg2 O-O 7. h4 h6 8. O-O c5 9. Nxd5 Qxd5 10. d4 cxd4 11. Be3 d3 12. Ne1 Qd6 13. Nxd3 Nc6 14. Rc1 Nd4 15. Re1 Rd8 16. Qa4 Bd7 17. Qb4 Qxb4 18. Nxb4 Nf5 19. Bf4 e5 20. Bd2 Bc6 21. Bc3 Bxg2 22. Kxg2 e4 23. Bxg7 Kxg7 24. Red1 Rac8 25. Rxd8 Rxd8 26. Rc4 a5 27. Nc2 Rd2 28. e3 Nd6 29. Rc5 b6 30. Rc6 Nb7 31. b4 axb4 32. Nxb4 Na5 33. Rc2 Rxc2 34. Nxc2 Kf6 35. f3 Ke5 36. Nb4 Nc4 37. Kf2 h5 38. g4 Nd2 39. gxh5 gxh5 40. Nc6+ Kd5 41. Nd4 Nxf3 42. Nxf3 exf3 43. Kxf3 Ke5 44. a4 f5 45. Ke2 Ke4 46. Kd2 Kf3 0-1

With this win, Abhijeet Gupta had almost sealed his victory in the tournament. With one more round to go, Abhijeet chose to remain focused at the job at hand, which clearly defines his approach. "I didn’t look into it, I just wanted to play a normal game without thinking much about the result," commented Gupta.

Abhijeet easily drew his final round game against Italian youngster GM Francesco Rambaldi (2541) to be crowned the champion of Reykjavik Open 2016.

Final Ranking after ten Rounds

Rk. Ss Ti. Name FED Rtg Pts. Rp rtg+/-
1 10 GM Gupta Abhijeet IND 2634 8.5 2799 20.0
2 2 GM Andreikin Dmitry RUS 2732 8.0 2781 3.9
3 5 GM Cheparinov Ivan BUL 2684 7.5 2701 4.2
4 3 GM Rapport Richard HUN 2720 7.5 2705 0.5
5 1 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE 2747 7.5 2761 3.1
6 7 GM Movsesian Sergei ARM 2653 7.5 2687 5.8
7 21 GM Rambaldi Francesco ITA 2541 7.5 2629 12.8
8 15 GM Grigoriants Sergey RUS 2587 7.5 2597 3.7
9 6 GM Melkumyan Hrant ARM 2653 7.5 2622 -1.9
10 8 GM Grandelius Nils SWE 2646 7.5 2562 -6.3
11 20 IM Tari Aryan NOR 2553 7.5 2504 -3.6
12 9 GM Jones Gawain C B ENG 2645 7.0 2632 1.3
13 23 GM Shabalov Alexander USA 2520 7.0 2565 8.0
14 49 IM Tania Sachdev IND 2370 7.0 2599 30.5
15 32 IM Esserman Marc USA 2458 7.0 2561 15.7
16 19 GM Ramirez Alejandro USA 2564 7.0 2530 -1.3
17 11 GM Beliavsky Alexander G SLO 2630 7.0 2555 -5.9
18 4 GM Sargissian Gabriel ARM 2702 7.0 2595 -8.7
19 30 IM Lampert Jonas GER 2472 7.0 2469 3.3
20 18 GM Brunello Sabino ITA 2567 7.0 2577 3.6
21 17 GM Gretarsson Hjorvar Steinn ISL 2572 7.0 2626 6.8
22 38 IM Koop Thorben GER 2416 7.0 2392 2.4
23 29 IM Paehtz Elisabeth GER 2474 6.5 2526 8.1

Full results and tiebreaks of all 150 players

Indian summer in the Icelandic cold – GM Abhijeet Gupta and IM Tania Sachdev

Tania, who recently featured in a report as a cover girl and chess teacher, scored an extraordinary 7.0 points, remaining undefeated in ten rounds, in spite of playing six GMs (two of whom she defeated). Her performance was a cool 2600 and she gained 30.5 rating points. So we can conclude that her marriage just over a year ago is working out fine for her. Here are her individual Reykjavik results:

Rd. Bo. SNo Ti. Name Rtg FED Pts. Res. +/-
1 49 165 Hielscher Ursula 1875 GER 3.5 w 1 0.80
2 41 109 Thorhallsson Gylfi 2089 ISL 4.0 b ½ -3.40
3 30 114 OGorman Tom 2067 IRL 6.0 w 1 1.40
4 15 20 IM Tari Aryan 2553 NOR 7.5 b ½ 2.40
5 13 13 GM Stefansson Hannes 2600 ISL 6.5 w 1 7.90
6 11 19 GM Ramirez Alejandro 2564 USA 7.0 b 1 7.50
7 5 2 GM Andreikin Dmitry 2732 RUS 8.0 w ½ 4.00
8 6 9 GM Jones Gawain C B 2645 ENG 7.0 w ½ 3.30
9 7 7 GM Movsesian Sergei 2653 ARM 7.5 b ½ 3.40
10 8 11 GM Beliavsky Alexander G 2630 SLO 7.0 w ½ 3.20

Source: ChessBase India – Photos by Lennart Ootes

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Topics Reykjavik

Priyadarshan Banjan is a 23-year-old club player from India. He works as an editor for ChessBase News and ChessBase India. He is a chess fanatic and an avid fan of Vishy Anand. He also maintains a blog on a variety of topics.
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ywlchess2016 ywlchess2016 3/31/2016 01:25
Gupta is certainly a gifted player who became an IM at the young age of 16-17. Now he is a battle field hardened strong GM. In this game though, even according to GM Gupta's note in the game published here, his very young opponent who obtained his IM tilte 4-5 years younger than GM Gupta, had chances for an equal game by as late as move 28. "Wipe out" in English means no chances for the whole game for the losing side, I think. Awonder Liang clearly had chances in this game. He was barely out-played by a much higher rated and much more experienced opponent but not "wipe out".
karavamudan karavamudan 3/31/2016 06:41
Tania, Way to go, Improve your ELo to at least 2500

Best Wishes
1