Hastings: the incredible rally of Deep Sengupta

by Klaus Besenthal
1/9/2018 – At the 93rd Congress in Hastings, England, Grandmaster Deep Sengupta from India and Chinese IM Yiping Lou shared the Masters tournament with 7.0 / 9 each. Sengupta had a wild an unlikely ride, losing in both round 1 and 4 to players rated about 300 Elo points lower, due to tactical oversights. The fact that he managed nevertheless to battle back to the very top after such a start in an open tournament, is rare! | Photo: Brendan O'Gorman

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Thrown in the Deep end

Deep Sengupta is no stranger to Hastings, having already won the tournament in 2010/11 and 2016/17, however Yiping Lou won for the first time. The names of these two winners are now added to a long list — the tournament, now dubbed the Tradewise International Chess Congress — hasbeen around since 1920. The cast of characters is not quite as elite as it used to be (past winners include: Paul Keres, Mikhail Botvinnik, Mikhail Tal, Boris Spassky, Vassily Smyslov and Anatoly Karpov, to name a few), but in terms of tradition, it can't be beat.

Co-winner: IM Yiping Lou from China

Adam C. Taylor is the name of the FIDE Master who was able to lay a glove on Sengupta in Round 1. From the Indian's point of view, this game must probably be considered a failure of the opening:


The Slav against the Reti

Against the incredibly flexible Reti Opening (1.Nf3), Henrik Danielsen relies on a Slav setup: Black plays d5 followed by c6 and quickly develops his Bc8. The Islandic GM shows you many subtleties and tricks which you definitely need to know!

FM Adam C. Taylor: After the strong start, he ended up with a 5½ / 9 on a shared 12th place in the end.

Sengupta's other mishap was at the hands of German FM Frank Buchenau, who profited in Round 4 from another tactical oversight:


The Advance Caro-Kann 2nd edition

The Caro-Kann Defence, which arises after the moves 1.e4 c6 followed by d7-d5, is considered to be one of the most reliable defences to White’s 1.e4. Black fights for his share of the centre and patiently awaits his chance. Shirov’s preferred weapon against this solid setup by Black has always been the Advance Variation 3.e5 - with chances and risks for both sides.

What was the advice that a wise old Sir Winston Churchill once gave to his listeners? Never, never, never, never give up! Deep Sengupta did not do that either and so, with a furious victory in the ninth and final round against GM Daniel Gormally, he actually caught up with Yiping Lou, who had taken the lead in Round 8:


Play the Sicilian Najdorf

In 60 minutes you will get a crash course how to play such a complicated opening like the Sicilian Najdorf by the hands of GM van Wely who knows by experience how the dangers look like! The contents:
• Video 1, 2, 3: how to survive versus whites most aggressive approach: 6. Bc4, 6. Be3 and 6 Bg5
• Video 4: how to deal with the latest fashion in the Najdorf 6. h3 and last but not least
• Video 5: how to play vs the more classical set ups 6. Be2 and 6. g3

 English Grandmaster Daniel Gormally was taken down by the tournament winner | Photo: Brendan O’Gorman

Final Standings (top 20)

Rk. Name  TB1 
1 SENGUPTA Deep 7,0
  LOU Yiping 7,0
3 STANY G.A. 6,5
  VAKHIDOV Jakhongir 6,5
  DAS Arghyadip 6,5
6 GORMALLY Daniel W 6,0
  HEBDEN Mark L 6,0
  ARKELL Keith C 6,0
  MANNION Stephen R 6,0
  ROYSET Pal 6,0
12 FIER Alexandr 5,5
  CHERNIAEV Alexander 5,5
  WEGERLE Joerg 5,5
  LALIC Bogdan 5,5
  RADOVANOVIC Jovica 5,5
  MURPHY Conor E 5,5
  MUIR Andrew J 5,5
  PITSCHKA Claus 5,5
  TAYLOR Adam C 5,5

... 86 players

All games


Translation from German: Macauley Peterson


Klaus Besenthal is computer scientist, has followed and still follows the chess scene avidly since 1972 and since then has also regularly played in tournaments.


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