Isle of Man Rd5 - Upsets and superstitions

by Manuel Weeks
10/6/2016 – Some days you have quiet rounds where the top seeds do their business without much fuss, most of them win with a few draws but the fifth round of the Isle of Man tournament saw a few big names have a real setback. Second seed Hikaru Nakamura, former world championship challenger Peter Leko and top Paraguayan GM Axel Bachmann were all defeated by lower-rated opponents in very sharp games. Report with games and test positions.

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Isle of Man - round five

By Manuel Weeks

Photos by Harry Gielen

Nakamura lost against young Dutchman Benjamin Bok in a very double edged Benoni where he was always a bit behind in development. It is a game typical of the variation: White takes up more space but has to waste a few extra pawn moves, and move a knight twice early on. As long as White is given a bit more time then the space advantage and the typical weaknesses of the Benoni structure will give him a real edge. However, Black has a lot of early piece activity to compensate. This is a incredibly complex game well worth playing through and studying.

It was a significant feather in his cap, as Benjamin Bok took his greatest scalp to date

Hikaru Nakamura - Benjamin Bok

Wesley So grinded away on the white side of a minority attack against Israeli GM Maxim Rodshtein to no avail on board one while on board two Ukrainian GM Pavel Eljanov showed that knowledge and understanding of rook endings can still be useful in modern classical chess as he won against Azerbaijan GM Arkadij Naiditsch in a long drawn out endgame.

It may sound incredible, but Alexei Shirov, who was co-leader with a perfect 4.0/4, opted for a bye in round five. This was not for health reasons, but rather a superstition! He will be back for round six, rest assured.

The “quiet” Italian has become a very popular opening choice for many 1.e4 players, if for no other reason than it avoids the Berlin variation of the Spanish and it can lead to complex play with all of the pieces still on the board. Young Jorden Van Foreest played it against Hungarian legend Peter Leko with an early Bg5. This is not supposed to be very dangerous but at least Black has pushed h6 and g5 in front of his own king. Forcing the normally unbeatable Leko to have some weaknesses to defend is already a big concession!

17-year-old Jorden van Foreest, with 4.0/5 and a 2813 performance, rained hail and fire upon...

... the otherwise ultrasolid Peter Leko.

Jorden van Foreest - Peter Leko

Australian grandmaster Max Illingworth has had an average year since gaining the GM title but the air of the Isle of Man seems to agree with him as he defeated the strong Paraguayan GM Axel Bachmann in a very clean game that started from a Pirc defence. Bachmann surrounded the white d5 pawn but missed a series of tactical blows that left the black position in ruins. Illingworth was already one of the lowest players in the three point score group and now he sits proudly on 4.0/5.

Australian GM Max Illingworth is at 4.0/5

Max Illingworth - Axel Bachmann

Fabiano Caruana has been superb as well, and sits at the top of the group on 4.0/5

Armenian Sergei Movsesian never solved his opening problems and paid the price for it

Top seed Fabiano Caruana played the trendy 7.Qf3 against the Taimanov Sicilian. This variation has been giving black headaches in recent times. Armenian Sergei Movsesian cannot really claim to have solved his opening problems as the American sacrificed a pawn for obvious compensation. Movsesian offered his weak d-pawn or the b-pawn which opened lines on his own king but the top seed was up to the challenge. Play through the game to see the line that Taimanov players fear more than any other.

Fabiano Caruana - Sergei Movsesian

The young Indian wonderkid Praggnanandhaa lost today to top Armenian GM Hrant Melkumyan but not without an amazing drawing resource he had.

Hrant Melkumyan - R. Praggnanandhaa

There are always interesting subplots away from the top boards, there is a sizable women’s prize and the women’s world champion Hou Yifan is showing the way but the pairing gods are not helping, so far she has survived tough games against Maxim Rodshtein and Michael Adams and tomorrow finds herself opposite top seed Fabiano Caruana! Liz Paehtz has been talking about slowing down her chess activities for a while now but her chess seems to have matured as well! The top female German is participating in her own super GM tournament, starting from round two her opponent list reads Fressinet, Melkumyan, Eljanov and Meier the lowest rated player being 2648. Who does Elisabeth play tomorrow? None other than Hikaru Nakamura! These two ladies are certainly leading the way!

Tomorrow Alexey Shirov comes back to face Pavel Eljanov while the big winner of today, Benjamin Bok is playing in his own mini US Championship by sitting across from Wesley So! At 1:30 PM UTC time there will be some incredible clashes that can be seen on Playchess direct from the Isle of Man!

Top pairings and results of Round 5

No.
Ti.
Name
Rtg
Pts
Res.
Pts
Ti.
Name
Rtg
No.
2
GM
So Wesley
2794
½ - ½
GM
Rodshtein Maxim
2687
8
5
GM
Eljanov Pavel
2741
1 - 0
GM
Naiditsch Arkadij
2684
10
1
GM
Caruana Fabiano
2813
3
1 - 0
GM
Movsesian Sergei
2677
12
3
GM
Nakamura Hikaru
2787
3
0 - 1
3
GM
Bok Benjamin
2594
26
22
GM
Grandelius Nils
2642
3
½ - ½
3
GM
Adams Michael
2745
4
24
GM
Van Foreest Jorden
2615
3
1 - 0
3
GM
Leko Peter
2709
6
9
GM
Vidit Gujrathi
2686
3
1 - 0
3
GM
Lalith Babu M R
2586
28
13
GM
Fressinet Laurent
2676
3
½ - ½
3
GM
Sunilduth Narayanan
2536
35
44
IM
Batsiashvili Nino
2480
3
½ - ½
3
GM
Sargissian Gabriel
2670
14
25
GM
L'ami Erwin
2605
3
½ - ½
3
GM
Salem A.R. Saleh
2650
16
17
GM
Hou Yifan
2649
3
1 - 0
3
 
Hemant Sharma (del)
2371
71
46
GM
Illingworth Max
2465
3
1 - 0
3
GM
Bachmann Axel
2645
20
15
GM
Melkumyan Hrant
2653
1 - 0
IM
Praggnanandhaa R
2442
54
55
GM
Sundararajan Kidambi
2429
1 - 0
GM
Granda Zuniga Julio E
2648
18
19
GM
Meier Georg
2648
½ - ½
IM
Paehtz Elisabeth
2459
49
21
GM
Howell David W L
2644
1 - 0
IM
Daulyte Deimante
2429
56
23
GM
Gupta Abhijeet
2626
1 - 0
IM
Alvarado Diaz Alejandro
2425
58
27
GM
Lenderman Aleksandr
2593
½ - ½
IM
Karavade Eesha
2421
60
59
IM
Gaponenko Inna
2421
½ - ½
GM
Donchenko Alexander
2581
29
30
GM
Marin Mihail
2569
½ - ½
FM
Merry Alan B
2388
66

Full results of all 68 games

Top standings after five rounds

Rk.
SNo
Ti.
Name
FED
Rtg
Pts
rtg+/-
1
5
GM
Eljanov Pavel
2741
4,5
5,5
 
11
GM
Shirov Alexei
2679
4,5
11,9
3
1
GM
Caruana Fabiano
2813
4,0
1,2
 
2
GM
So Wesley
2794
4,0
-0,1
 
8
GM
Rodshtein Maxim
2687
4,0
9,3
 
9
GM
Vidit Santosh Gujrathi
2686
4,0
5,7
 
17
GM
Hou Yifan
2649
4,0
7,0
 
24
GM
Van Foreest Jorden
2615
4,0
13,0
 
26
GM
Bok Benjamin
2594
4,0
10,8
 
46
GM
Illingworth Max
2465
4,0
11,0
11
4
GM
Adams Michael
2745
3,5
-2,4
 
10
GM
Naiditsch Arkadij
2684
3,5
3,6
 
12
GM
Movsesian Sergei
2677
3,5
3,7
 
13
GM
Fressinet Laurent
2676
3,5
-1,8
 
14
GM
Sargissian Gabriel
2670
3,5
-1,0
 
15
GM
Melkumyan Hrant
2653
3,5
-5,7
 
16
GM
Salem A.R. Saleh
2650
3,5
1,5
 
21
GM
Howell David W L
2644
3,5
1,6
 
22
GM
Grandelius Nils
2642
3,5
8,9
 
23
GM
Gupta Abhijeet
2626
3,5
-0,9
 
25
GM
L'ami Erwin
2605
3,5
2,4
 
31
GM
Brunello Sabino
2566
3,5
-0,3
 
34
GM
Svane Rasmus
2552
3,5
-3,8
 
35
GM
Sunilduth Narayanan
2536
3,5
6,9

Click for complete standings

Pairings of round 6 (October 6, 2016)

Bo.
No.
Ti.
Name
Rtg
Pts
Res.
Pts
Ti.
Name
Rtg
No.
1
5
GM
Eljanov Pavel
2741
 
GM
Shirov Alexei
2679
11
2
17
GM
Hou Yifan
2649
4
 
4
GM
Caruana Fabiano
2813
1
3
26
GM
Bok Benjamin
2594
4
 
4
GM
So Wesley
2794
2
4
8
GM
Rodshtein Maxim
2687
4
 
4
GM
Van Foreest Jorden
2615
24
5
46
GM
Illingworth Max
2465
4
 
4
GM
Vidit Santosh Gujrathi
2686
9
6
4
GM
Adams Michael
2745
 
GM
Gupta Abhijeet
2626
23
7
10
GM
Naiditsch Arkadij
2684
 
GM
L'ami Erwin
2605
25
8
12
GM
Movsesian Sergei
2677
 
GM
Svane Rasmus
2552
34
9
31
GM
Brunello Sabino
2566
 
GM
Fressinet Laurent
2676
13
10
14
GM
Sargissian Gabriel
2670
 
GM
Harika Dronavalli
2528
36
11
35
GM
Sunilduth Narayanan
2536
 
GM
Melkumyan Hrant
2653
15
12
16
GM
Salem A.R. Saleh
2650
 
IM
Batsiashvili Nino
2480
44
13
55
GM
Sundararajan Kidambi
2429
 
GM
Howell David W L
2644
21
14
45
IM
Puranik Abhimanyu
2471
 
GM
Grandelius Nils
2642
22
15
49
IM
Paehtz Elisabeth
2459
3
 
3
GM
Nakamura Hikaru
2787
3
16
6
GM
Leko Peter
2709
3
 
3
IM
Lou Yiping
2458
50
17
60
IM
Karavade Eesha
2421
3
 
3
GM
Meier Georg
2648
19
18
20
GM
Bachmann Axel
2645
3
 
3
IM
Gaponenko Inna
2421
59
19
51
GM
Romanishin Oleg M
2456
3
 
3
GM
Lenderman Aleksandr
2593
27
20
28
GM
Lalith Babu M R
2586
3
 
3
IM
Wallace John Paul
2355
74

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Manuel has been an international arbiter, a national coach at various world Juniors, a press officer, the Director of various tournaments and has been to eleven Olympiads as captain of the Australian Open team. Straight after the last Olympiad a small group went immediately from Tromso to Mainz to see Manuel get married to his lovely wife Brigitta. They live in London.

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