China wraps up in India

by Alejandro Ramirez
3/11/2015 – Things were looking rough for India as they entered the penultimate round with a two match deficit against China. Sethuraman continued with an great performance, defeating Ding Liren. However the rest of the team was unable to come through. A disastrous performance by Sasikirian allowed China to draw round seven. To add insult to injury, China also won comfortably on the last round.

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India and China will face off in a Scheveningen Match on four boards at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Banjara Hills, Hyderabad from March 1-10.

Round Seven

Video from Vijay Kumar

by Arvin Aaron

India drew their seventh round encounter against China, keeping their chances alive in the India – China Chess Summit 2015, organized by Telangana State Chess Association, on behalf of All India Chess Fedreation at Marriott Hotel, Hyderabad. To strike the winner's purse of six lakh rupees, all four Indians have to win the final round games, which is highly difficult.

Sethuraman continued his fine form by beating the top Chinese Ding Liren in 23 moves. Sethu adopted the Grunfeld defense with black pieces and was gifted with a bad move by Ding with Nd4?!. A quick castle on the opposite side allowed Sethu to seize the initiative. Unable to find a good plan, Ding faltered once again, lost a knight on the 22nd move and resigned a move later. For Indian followers, the game was a big hope to win the match with Sethuraman being the top scorer on 5.0/7.

The above win was short lived, when Sasikiran once again threw away his advantageous position against, this time against Wei Yi. Sasi’s 3.f3 against Wei’s Grunfeld must have been a result of the preparation with Anand against Carlsen in the World Championship. Sasi enjoying a favourable position by the 22nd move, but he played out a wrong sequence of exchanges along the d-file. Wei uncorked a beauty in 26...Nc3, choosing to enter the endgame with a passer pawn and Knight against Sasi’s rook. Unhappy by the sudden twist, Sasi was unable to defend perfectly and resigned the game in 40 moves when Wei’s e2 pawn was threatening to be promoted.

Sasikirian was a big disappointment in the Indian squad

[Event "IND-CHN Summit 2015"] [Site "Hyderabad IND"] [Date "2015.03.09"] [Round "7.1"] [White "Sasikiran, Krishnan"] [Black "Wei, Yi"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D70"] [WhiteElo "2682"] [BlackElo "2706"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "3r4/pp4k1/1n1q1np1/1B1Prb1p/3Q1N2/2N1pP2/PP4P1/K2R3R w - - 0 23"] [PlyCount "36"] [EventDate "2015.03.02"] 23. Bd3 Nbxd5 24. Nfxd5 $2 {Sasikirian underestimates his opponent's chances.} (24. Bxf5 $1 gxf5 25. Ncxd5 e2 26. Rde1 Nxd5 27. Ne6+ $3 {Would have been a brilliant way to gain an advantage.} (27. Rxe2 {the far more normal move, also was good for a plus.}) 27... Qxe6 28. Rxe2 {and the rook on e5 will fall.}) 24... Bxd3 25. Rxd3 Nxd5 26. f4 Nxc3 27. Qxd6 Rxd6 28. Rxd6 Rd5 $1 {A beautiful sequence. Sasikirian has no choice but to take the rook, and although he is up the exchange, the powerful knight on d5, the passed pawn on e3 and the quickness with which the king can approach the center is enough to render his position hopeless.} 29. Rxd5 Nxd5 30. g3 Kf6 31. Rd1 Ke6 32. Kb1 h4 33. gxh4 e2 34. Re1 Nxf4 35. Kc2 Kf5 36. Kd2 Ke4 37. b4 Kf3 38. a4 Kf2 39. b5 b6 40. Rh1 Ng2 0-1

With each team winning a game, the remaining 2 games of Zhou vs Lalith and Adhiban vs Chen vs were expected to bring some hopes for Indian team. To their dismay, Adhiban could’nt extract much from the White side of the Sicilian Kan. Adhiban's kingside attack was well thwarted by Chen who won a bishop by the 37th move. Adhiban's extra pawns for the piece did not hold much longer and was involved in an unpleasant task of defending R+B vs R endgame. Chen tested Adhiban’s nerves and played up to 88th move and a stalemate appeared.

Adhiban Baskaran just did not seem in shape this tournament

Two of India's players had a phenomenal performance, one of them was Lalith Babu

Meanwhile Lalith Babu settled for a draw against Zhou in 47 moves from a Rubinstein variation of the Nimzo Indian defense. Zhou went for an unsound sacrificial line handing over the initiative to Lalith who enjoyed two minor pieces against his opponent's rook. A weak continuation by Lalith by choosing Nd7 instead of Qf6 put the brakes on. Zhou's pieces coordinated well in the endgame, just enough to make a draw.

[Event "IND-CHN Summit 2015"] [Site "Hyderabad IND"] [Date "2015.03.09"] [Round "7.4"] [White "Ding, Liren"] [Black "Sethuraman, S.P."] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E60"] [WhiteElo "2755"] [BlackElo "2623"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "46"] [EventDate "2015.03.02"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 c6 4. Bg2 d5 {The c6 line agains the fianchetto Grunfeld, is, as we have seen, a very solid way of dealing with White's attempts for and advantage. However, just because it is normally a solid line does not mean it always stays that way.} 5. e3 $5 {Not completely new, and maybe a trend? Kramnik used it recently and now Ding Liren is giving it a try.} dxc4 6. Ne2 Nbd7 (6... Bg7 7. O-O Nbd7 (7... O-O 8. Na3 Nbd7 9. Nxc4 { eventually led to a draw in Kramnik-Gelfand, but the Russian already held a small edge here with his powerfully placed knight on c4 and open bishop on g2.} ) 8. Na3 Nb6 9. Qc2 {was Potkin-Timman from Wijk aan Zee 2015.}) 7. O-O Bg7 8. Qc2 {a new attempt, instead of recovering the pawn as quickly as possible Ding Liren tries to establish a strong pawn center.} Nb6 9. e4 e5 $5 {Breaking the position and creating a complex structure.} 10. dxe5 Ng4 (10... Qd3 $2 11. exf6 $3 {Would have led to a beautiful white victory.} Qxc2 12. fxg7 Rg8 13. Nbc3 $18 {and now Black has real problems: the threat is Nd4 and Rd1, trapping the queen, while there doesn't seem any good way of helping it. Also a threat is Rd1-Rd2!}) 11. Rd1 Qe7 12. f4 {Risky but the only way to fight for an advantage.} (12. Nbc3 Nxe5 {simply leaves Black up a pawn.}) 12... f6 (12... Qc5+ 13. Nd4 {is not that dangerous yet.}) 13. exf6 Bxf6 14. e5 Bf5 15. Qc3 ( 15. exf6 Qc5+ {is a big problem; White cannot take on f6 yet.}) 15... Qc5+ 16. Nd4 Be7 {Only sixteen moves of chess, but already a position that is incredibly complicated. White has the structural advantage with a powerful passed pawn on e5, but Black's pieces are fully mobilized, more than White can say for his own, and the monarch on g1 feels uncomfortable with that pin down g1-a7. White has to be very precise to not be worse, but if he survives he would be strategically much better.} 17. Na3 $2 (17. b3 $1 {Forced and sufficient. The move is dual purpose: The first it adds pressure on to c4, which is very important, second it liberates both a3 and b2 for the dark-squared bishop.} cxb3 $1 (17... O-O-O 18. Ba3 $1 Rxd4 19. Qxd4 $1 Qxd4+ 20. Rxd4 {an Black does not have enough for his lost material.}) 18. axb3 $1 O-O-O 19. Ba3 Qxc3 20. Nxc3 Bxa3 21. Rxa3 {White is structurally better, but Black has the following resource:} Ne3 22. Rd2 Nc2 $1 23. Rxc2 Rxd4 24. Re2 a6 $11 {and Black's activity and blockade on the lightsquares should give him acceptable chances against White's pawn structure.}) 17... O-O-O {White is now not on time to defend his diagonal.} 18. h3 Bd3 {Of course! Blac kdoesn't bother moving back the knight.} 19. hxg4 Na4 {This is the real key: White cannot lose control of d4, but where does his queen go?} 20. Qe1 (20. Rxd3 Nxc3 21. Rxc3 Qxd4+ 22. Be3 Qd7 {is clearly insufficient.}) 20... Qxd4+ 21. Be3 (21. Kh2 Bxa3 {is a horrible pin.}) 21... Qxb2 {alas, and unexpectedly, it is the knight on a3 that costs White the game. It is trapped, and with its loss White has no chance of surviving.} 22. Qa5 Qxa3 23. Bxc6 {some clever last minute counterplay, but Black has many ways of countering it.} Bc5 (23... bxc6 24. Qa6+ Kd7 {also worked, actually.}) 0-1

Round Eight

Video from Vijay Kumar

by Arvin Aaron

China won the India – China Chess Summit 2015 comfortably by beating India in the final round. They collected 18 game points and 11 match points, compared to that of 14 and 5 respectively by India, to win the Komati Reddy Prateek Reddy trophy. The Chinese team collected six lakhs rupees (~9000 euros) for their stupendous efforts and the Indian team received four lakhs rupees (~600 euros) for their runner up spot.

Lalith Babu beat the resilient Zhou from the white side of Queen's Indian defense in 32 moves. Zhou Jianchao, annoyed by the passer c pawn of Lalith, erred and lost a pawn. Zhou resigned when the forced exchanges seem to be fatal.

Like yesterday, the above win was short lived when Adhiban lost to the unassuming IM Chen Wang. The Closed Sicilian adopted by Chen restricted Adhiban from any combinative play. Chen penetrated with his rook along the 6th rank exposing the black king. A couple of inaccurate moves by Adhiban was sufficient to bring down the curtains in 44 moves, thus bringing the match to 1-1. Adhiban just scored half a point from the last two rounds and only scored 2.5 points from 8 games. Chen's score of 4.5 out 8 is far better considering his rating.

The four knights game between Wei Yi and Sasikiran was the third game to finish. A safer approach by Wei disallowed Sasi to unleash any tactics despite his Queen and knight being closer to White King. An attack on the f7 square by Wei forced Sasikiran to take a draw by repetition in 44 moves. Sasikiran ended up the event with no wins, scoring 4 draws and 4 losses, a lackluster performance from a player of his calibre. Much was expected in scoring terms from Wei Yi, who holds an impressive Elo rating of 2706.

Wei Yi didn't impress, but he held on to his 2700 rating

With the match still tied by 1.5 points each, the onus was on Sethuraman to bring some consolation to the home team. The Zaitsev variation of the Ruy Lopez chosen by Ding Liren allowed less space to maneuver on both sides. At the end of the first time control Sethu missed a tactical shot on the 36th move to get the better of Ding. A rook sacrifice on the g6 square coupled with another piece would have exposed black king enough. An uncompromising attitude by both was a treat to the spectators, with Sethu going for the kill and Ding standing tall in defense. Sethu went for an unsound pawn sacrifice on the 62nd move, instead of going for piece exchange which would have ended in a draw. Ding went up by two pawns in the rook endgame and Sethuraman threw in the towel at the 74th move. Sethuraman was impressive in his 5/8 and Ding had the same score for China.

Zhou Jianchao was China's wors scorer... with 50%!

Sri. Narasimha Reddy, Vice President, All India Chess Federation was the chief guest for the closing ceremony in the presence of Sri. K. Chandrasekara Reddy, Secretary, AP. Billiards & Snooker Association.

The winners with their prize

A great effort from both teams

[Event "IND-CHN Summit 2015"] [Site "Hyderabad IND"] [Date "2015.03.10"] [Round "8.3"] [White "Lalith, Babu M.R"] [Black "Zhou, Jianchao"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E16"] [WhiteElo "2556"] [BlackElo "2578"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "63"] [EventDate "2015.03.02"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Bb7 5. Bg2 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 c5 {A novelty idea. It scores relatively well, but if White follows some of the most principled routes it might be dubious for Black.} 7. Bxb4 cxb4 8. a3 {breaking with a3 soon is important: many people like to simply leave the pawn be on b4, and that always ends up back firing. The correct way of dealing with these kinds of set ups is, essentially, trading your a-pawn for the c-pawn. Meanwhile Black should fight for the dark squares.} bxa3 9. Nxa3 O-O 10. O-O a5 11. Nb5 Na6 12. Qd2 Qe7 (12... d5 $1 {Is definitely more difficult for White to deal with. The game continuation allows Lalith to binding his opponent.}) 13. Qf4 Rab8 14. Qd6 {of course. Now Black's lack of space is a real issue.} Qd8 15. Rfc1 Nb4 (15... Ne8 16. Qf4 {is playable but that knight doesn't want to be on e8.}) 16. Ne5 $1 Bxg2 17. Kxg2 Rb7 {The White knights on e5 and b5 are beautiful. Balck does have an annoying threat, though, to play Ne8 and trap the White queen!} 18. Nd3 $1 Ne8 19. Qf4 Nxd3 20. exd3 {Excellent understanding. Lalith knows that the only way to break out of the bind is to eventually play d5, so he sets up his structure to counter that!} d5 21. Ra3 dxc4 22. dxc4 Rd7 23. c5 $1 {this passed pawn sill cause serious problems.} Nc7 24. c6 e5 $2 (24... Rd5 $1 {Was a difficult to find computer move. It was probably Black's best chance to survive, though after} 25. Nxc7 Rf5 26. Qe3 Qxc7 27. Qc3 {It's impossible to question White's edge.}) 25. dxe5 Rd5 26. Nxc7 Qxc7 27. Re3 {White's up a pawn and Lalith brings it home comfortably.} Re8 28. Qe4 Rb5 29. Qd3 Rc5 30. Rxc5 bxc5 31. Qd5 Re6 32. Rd3 1-0

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Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.


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