Sharjah Masters 04-05: Children warriors

by Albert Silver
3/28/2017 – Rounds four and five of the Sharjah Master open saw the final confrontations between hugely disparate ratings, with top boards still facing as much as 600 Elo differences. It wasn’t all fun and games for the favorites though, with Gawain Jones tweeting about ‘near perfect defense’ from his 10-year-old opponent. Illustrated report with videos and analysis.

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All photos by Maria Emelianova

Meet CM Aditya Mittal, 10 years old, who faced...

... GM Gawain Jones in round four, one of the leaders. The photo above is not merely a chance to suggest it was not an easy fight.

It was not just him though:

Wang Hao faced 11-year-old FM Sadhwani Raunak, rated 2218 in round four

It almost seems like everyone is going to be baptized with a tough fight against a youngster:

And then of course there are the 10-year-old IMs... ok, 11 years old now. One thing is clear: they don't make those 10-year-olds like they used to... Below, Indian prodigy Praggnanandhaa shares his entertaining win in round four:

Praggnanandhaa vs Abdulkarim 

 

11-year-old Paggnanandhaa plays an excellent game, with a dose of chaos (left in the notes) and shares his analysis and what he saw

The surprises aren't only coming from the kids either. 19-year-old WFM Srija Seshadri, rated a modest 2166 FIDE, started with three easy wins over sub-2000 opponents, only to face a 2643 rated GM in round four. She drew! But that was not the only surprise. The biggest one was when she faced another 2643 rated GM in round five, and drew him as well! Go girl, go!

Video report on round four by Daniel King

 

In this short video, you will find live footage of Jones and the exhausting opponent mentioned above, as well as comments by Srija Seshadri after her first GM draw

French WGM Anda Safranska is now at 3.0/5, and will face her third straight GM in round six

Pawan Dodeja vs Matthias Bluebaum

 

Matthias Bluebaum, the German no.2, find himself against a hyper aggressive rival who refuses to be intimidated. What ensues is a dynamic battle, handled with aplomb. An interesting and instructive game.

Daniel King with Murad Abdulla as they plot their next videos. The slew of video analysis, interviews, and reports have been a delight to follow.

Priyanka Nutakki v Rasmus Svane

 

19-year-old GM Rasmus Svane shows how he converted an endgame in textbook fashion

Indian GM Sethuraman may have lost to Wang Hao in round three, but with four other wins, he is still very much in the mix. It shows how tough the event is that with 4.0/5 he is still only 25th in the standings this far.

Daniel King analyzes Amin Bassem vs Akila 

 

This is the opening Amin Bassem hoped would bring a swift and easy victory. It turned out a lot harder than he had expected.

 

Imagine being nearly 600 Elo over your opponent. You imagine an easy win and thus try to bully your way to it with a highly irregular opening, but instead find yourself questioning your strategy as your opponent responds well. Daniel King shares insights on how to handle this 'blitz' opening play.

Arkadij Naiditsch vs Karthikeyan P.

[Event "1st Sharjah Masters 2017"] [Site "Sharjah"] [Date "2017.03.27"] [Round "5"] [White "Naiditsch, Arkadij"] [Black "Karthikeyan, P."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A48"] [WhiteElo "2702"] [BlackElo "2507"] [Annotator "A. Silver"] [PlyCount "67"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. Bf4 Bg7 4. e3 d6 5. Be2 O-O 6. O-O Nbd7 7. c3 {A48:1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 g6: Torre, London and Colle Systems} (7. h3 Qe8 8. Bh2 e5 9. Na3 exd4 10. exd4 Qd8 11. c4 Re8 12. Bd3 Nf8 13. Nb5 Bd7 14. Nc3 Qc8 15. Nd5 Ne6 16. Qd2 {1-0 (69) Naiditsch,A (2684)-Gupta,A (2626) Douglas 2016}) 7... b6 8. a4 a6 9. h3 Bb7 10. Na3 c5 11. Bh2 Ra7 {LiveBook: 4 Games} 12. Qb3 $146 (12. Nd2 Qa8 13. Bf3 Rb8 14. Re1 Bxf3 15. Qxf3 Qxf3 16. Nxf3 {0-1 (76) Kostic,V (2435) -Damljanovic,B (2567) Goracici 2015}) 12... Qa8 13. Rfd1 b5 14. axb5 axb5 { Black wants to play ...Bd5.} 15. Bxb5 ({Obviously not} 15. Qxb5 $2 Ba6 { and the bishop on e2 is lost.}) 15... Bxf3 16. gxf3 Qxf3 17. Bf1 $1 Ne4 18. Qc2 Ng5 19. Bg2 Qh5 $1 (19... Nxh3+ {is not as precise, and Black showed great alertness by avoiding the obvious.} 20. Kf1 Qh5 21. Qe2 Qh6 (21... Qxe2+ 22. Kxe2 Ng5 23. Nc4 {and White is much better as he conquers the a-file.}) 22. Qg4 Ng5 23. Bf4 Bf6 24. Nc4 Rxa1 25. Rxa1 $18) 20. Kf1 $1 Rb8 (20... cxd4 {was stronger and would have kept the balance.} 21. exd4 Nf3 22. Bg3 Nh4 23. Bxh4 Qxh4 24. Qe4 $1 {and the position is roughly equal.}) 21. Nc4 Rc7 $2 {[#] Black misses White's next shot, and is now lost.} (21... Rxa1 $11 22. Rxa1 cxd4 ) 22. Nxd6 $1 $16 exd6 23. Bxd6 Rbc8 24. Bxc7 Rxc7 25. d5 Nxh3 26. Ra8+ Nf8 27. Rd2 $1 Ng5 $2 (27... Nxf2 $16 {is a better chance.} 28. Rxf2 Be5) 28. Qd1 $2 ( 28. d6 Rd7 29. Qa4) 28... Qxd1+ $2 (28... Qh4) 29. Rxd1 $18 Rd7 30. f4 $1 Nge6 31. dxe6 $1 {Losing the rook, but winning the game.} Rxd1+ 32. Ke2 {Strongly threatening e7.} Rg1 (32... fxe6 $142 33. Kxd1 Bf6) 33. e7 Rxg2+ 34. Kf3 1-0

A look at the playing hall. Notice the very comfortable chairs for all players, something all players will appreciate.

Gabriel Sargissian vs Srinath Narayanan

 

Rasmus Svane vs Mykhaylo Oleksiyenko

 

Once again, showing off his technical skills, Rasmus Svane reaches this rook endgame against GM Oleksiyenko, rated 2643, and converts it in a virtuoso display.

 

Watch the analysis by 19-year-old Rasmus Svane as he shows how he converted the rook endgame, proving that not all rook endgames are drawn.

Daniel King analyzes Valeriy Neverov vs Sandro Mareco

 

Sandro Mareco, the Elo favorite, faces the veteran GM Neverov, and scores a fairly smooth victory. Daniel King looks at the game, and notably the opening system the Argentinian player employed.

Standings after five rounds

Rk
SNo
Ti.
Name
FED
Rtg
Pts
 TB 
rtg+/-
1 6 GM Adhiban B. IND 2682 4,5 13,5 8,3
2 10 GM Jones Gawain C B ENG 2676 4,5 13,0 8,6
3 5 GM Wang Hao CHN 2683 4,5 12,0 7,6
4 16 GM Fressinet Laurent FRA 2662 4,5 10,0 5,7
5 21 GM Kravtsiv Martyn UKR 2641 4,5 9,5 7,1
6 38 GM Svane Rasmus GER 2570 4,5 9,5 7,6
7 11 GM Akopian Vladimir ARM 2675 4,0 12,5 1,1
  28 GM Adly Ahmed EGY 2593 4,0 12,5 6,2
9 17 GM Amin Bassem EGY 2660 4,0 12,0 1,5
10 2 GM Kryvoruchko Yuriy UKR 2708 4,0 11,5 -0,5
11 4 GM Naiditsch Arkadij AZE 2702 4,0 11,0 -0,5
12 35 GM Idani Pouya IRI 2576 4,0 10,5 2,4
13 19 GM Kuzubov Yuriy UKR 2643 4,0 10,5 -2,9
14 46 GM Schroeder Jan-Christian GER 2543 4,0 10,5 3,3
15 22 GM Bluebaum Matthias GER 2632 4,0 10,5 -1,5
16 45 GM Pichot Alan ARG 2556 4,0 10,0 2,2
17 47   Xu Yinglun CHN 2540 4,0 10,0 2,7
18 36 GM Maghsoodloo Parham IRI 2576 4,0 10,0 0,2
19 15 GM Mareco Sandro ARG 2664 4,0 10,0 -1,6
  40 GM Fier Alexandr BRA 2568 4,0 10,0 -1,5
21 31 GM Gledura Benjamin HUN 2588 4,0 9,5 2,9
22 48 GM Harika Dronavalli IND 2539 4,0 9,0 2,1
23 49 GM Vishnu Prasanna. V IND 2534 4,0 9,0 2,6
24 57 GM Deepan Chakkravarthy J. IND 2483 4,0 8,0 10,7
25 23 GM Sethuraman S.P. IND 2629 4,0 8,0 2,7
26 142 WFM Srija Seshadri IND 2166 4,0 7,5 29,2
27 9 GM Anton Guijarro David ESP 2676 3,5 13,0 -4,6
28 20 GM Oleksiyenko Mykhaylo UKR 2643 3,5 12,0 -5,3
29 80 GM Laxman R.R. IND 2403 3,5 11,5 10,4
30 12 GM Iturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo VEN 2673 3,5 11,5 -4,7

Click for complete standings

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Links

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Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications.
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