AAI International: Caruana leads with a 2876 performance

by ChessBase
6/30/2011 – This Category 17 GM tournament, the strongest ever staged in India, is being dominated by the world's top junior, Fabiano Caruana, who after seven rounds is 1.5 points ahead of his nearest rivals. Another piece of good news: women's world champion Hou Yifan, 17, seems to have overcome her crisis and started to score. Yifan was also the only player on the free day to take a grand tour of Delhi.

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The Delhi Chess Association, along with Airport Authority of India, under aegis of All-India Chess Federation and the World Chess Federation are conducting India's first ever Category 17 chess tournament, a unique double round robin event with six grandmasters. The list of players headed by World Junior No. one GM Fabiano Caruana, while Women's World Champion GM Hou Yifan of China and the World's second youngest ever grandmaster Indian National Champion Parimarjan Negi add colour to the event. The other three in the fray are reigning World Open Champion and Czech No. two GM Viktor Laznicka, Indian No. two GM K Sasikiran, and Philippines No. one GM Wesley So.

Round six: Caruana stretches lead with win over Negi

Fabiano Caruana of Italy living up to his top billing stretched his lead to a full point as he beat Parimarjan Negi after a marathon 98 moves in the sixth round of the inaugural AAI Grandmasters Chess Tournament on Tuesday. Meanwhile the other two games in the round ended in draws.

In a Sicilian Najdorf, Caruana (above) with white was determined to keep the advantage and he kept his slight edge. But Negi did have the clock on his side and the position looked fine for him. He had a lot of time advantage over his rival, but just then he made a mistake in the middle game, as has been the trend this tournament.

Into the middle game, Caruana displayed his greater experience as Negi (picture above) sought a risky route. Caruana sacrificed a queen for three pieces and then kept pushing the Indian back. Negi for his part, knew he was fighting a losing battle but kept hoping for a draw, which was not to be. He finally resigned after 98 moves and after both players queened their pawn. Negi had two queens to Caruana’s queen and three pieces. Caruana kept his advantage intact and eked out a fine win. “It was a tough and tiring battle, but I knew I was winning so I had to keep going,” said Caruana with a smile of a tired but satisfied man. Full report here.

Round seven: Sasi draws with Caruana, Yifan downs Negi

It seemed to be a day for revenge in the seventh round of the inaugural AAI Grandmasters Chess Tournament as Filipino Welsey So and China’s Hou Yifan avenged their earlier losses in the tournament against Czech Viktor Laznicka and India’s Parimarjan Negi respectively. In the third game, a variation of the King's Indian, Krishnan Sasikiran held the advantage for a good part against tournament leader Fabiano Caruana. But the World Junior No. 1 hung in tenaciously and after 92 moves and seven hours the game ended in a draw.

Wesley So (above) beat Czech GM Viktor Laznicka in 31 moves. Was it the weather? The rain brought much cooler temperatures, and Wesley’s mood also changed. “When I looked out of the window during the game it was raining for a while. I love the weather to be cool and it did change my mood,” he said. “It was a long wait for a win after the first one in the first round. I finally managed to get something substantial from the opening. In the past games I was not able to make much headway, maybe I was not good enough. Maybe I was not well prepared for India. I came from Sweden and I had not spent much time.” Asked if it felt satisfying to avenge his second round defeat at the hands of Viktor Laznicka, the smiling Filipino added, “It is always nice to avenge a defeat, but I kept thinking others were avenging their defeats against me.”

Women’s world champion Hou Yifan (above) took 62 moves for her win over Negi. “I think the rest day did me good,” said Yifan, who went around the Capital with her coach on the rest day. She had scored just half a point in first five rounds but seems to be making some ground in the second half. Yifan now has two points, which pushed Negi (1.5) to bottom of the table.

Yifan scored her first win of the tournament. “I played badly with too many mistakes in the first four games, but after that the mistakes have become less,” admitted the shy teenaged world champion. “In today’s game I had a better opening, but somewhere in the middle I made a mistake. But my opponent missed the chances of a draw.” Full report here.

Standings after seven rounds

Videos by Vijay Kumar

Free day and round six impressions

Round seven report

Hou Yifan tours Delhi

Yifan at Rashtrapati Bhawan, the official residence of the President of India. Until 1950 it was known as "Viceroy's House" and served as the residence of the Viceroy of India. It is at the heart of an area known as Lutyens' Delhi. It is the largest residence of any Head of the State in the world.

With her trainer and an Indian guide at the Laxminarayan Temple (also known as the Birla Mandir). It was built in honour of Laxmi, th Hindu goddess of wealth, and her consort Narayana, Preserver in the Trimurti. The temple is one of the major attractions of Delhi and is visited by thousands of devotees on the Hindu festivals.

In front of India Gate, a national monument situated in the heart of New Delhi. It was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and was originally known as All India War Memorial, commemorating the 90,000 soldiers of the British Indian Army who lost their lives while fighting for the British Indian Empire, or more correctly the British Raj in World War I and the Third Anglo-Afghan War.

Very close to the India Gate there is a canopy or domed kiosk, with a roof of red sandstone, under which the marble statue of Sir George V once stood. The canopy was also designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and was built in 1936. The statue has been removed, and the emptiness of the canopy is symbolic of the British retreat from India.

The Qutub Minar is the world's tallest brick minaret, with a height of 72.5 meters (237.8 ft). It is notable for being one of the earliest and most prominent examples of Indo-Islamic architecture.

Qutub Minar is surrounded by several other ancient and medieval
structures and ruins, collectively known as Qutub complex.


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 11 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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