Myanmar Open won by Short and Belous (1/2)

by Sagar Shah
12/3/2014 – The Zaw Win Lay Myanmar International tournament was held in Yangon, Myanmar from the 24th of November to 29th of November 2014. It was a nine round Swiss event with 128 players taking part in it. The tournament was held in the memory of GM Zaw Win Lay who passed away on 3rd of October 2014. Although no games were saved for the event, we bring exclusive key games sent by the players.

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The above picture is taken from the Thai Open 2011. GM Zaw Win Lay (left) was the first
and only grandmaster of Myanmar. One of his most notable results was a draw with the
former World Champion, Anatoly Karpov, in the Japfa Classic in 2000.

The tournament was held in the Central Hotel, Yangon

The event was organized by the Myanmar Chess Federation and was generously funded by the Kasparov Chess Foundation of Asia Pacific. The time control of the event was one hour thirty minutes plus thirty seconds increment from the start. The schedule was quite hectic as it consisted of three double rounds. But there was a rest day on the 27th of November after four rounds. The tournament became the centre of attraction for the spectators due to the participation of two stalwarts of the game.

With an Elo of 2677, Sergey Tiviakov was the top seed of the event

The 1993 World Championship Challenger, Nigel Short (2661) was the second seed

In addition to these two player, there were eight more GMs that included Vladimir Belous, Nguyen Duc Hoa, Jahongir Vakhidov, Arun Prasad, M. R. Venkatesh, Vishnu Prasanna and Alexander Fominyh. So the tournament was quite strong, in spite of the many unrated players also participating in the event. After five rounds, it was the Indian GM Vishnu Prasanna (2463) who was in the sole lead with a perfect score of 5.0/5.

Vishnu was the early leader but later lost steam and finished sixth with a score of 7.0/9

A group of four players Tiviakov, Short, Nguyen and Arun followed the leader with 4.5/5. The sixth round turned out to be the most crucial round of the event as there were a lot of decisive results. Vishnu’s run was halted by Sergey Tiviakov when he played an excellent game in the Rossolimo Sicilian from the white side. Tiviakov’s prior experience in the line against Caruana and Kuzubov came handy as he won the game in smooth positional style.

[Event "Zaw Win Lay International Open "] [Site "Yangon"] [Date "2014.11.26"] [Round "6"] [White "Tiviakov, Sergei"] [Black "Vishnu Prasanna, V."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B51"] [WhiteElo "2677"] [BlackElo "2463"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "73"] [EventDate "2014.11.24"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "MYA"] {This game helped Tiviakov to go into sole lead in the tournament with 5.5/6. And the game was very simple and clear. Let's have a look.} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 d6 4. O-O Bd7 5. Re1 Nf6 6. c3 a6 {If the bishop had been kicked on the previous move i.e 5...a6, then it would not have been possible for it to go to a4 as it would have been trapped. Most probably it would have gone to f1. But now it has an option and Tiviakov chooses to reroute his bishop to c2.} 7. Ba4 b5 8. Bc2 e5 {Vishnu converts the game from a Sicilian into almost an e4-e5 position. I must say that the bishop does look a little silly on d7 here.} 9. h3 {Before going d4, White removes the possibilty of Bg4 pin.} g6 10. d4 Bg7 11. dxc5 {Tiviakov's experience in this line must not be underestimated. He played this line with the White pieces against Kuzubov in February 2009 and made a draw. Then he tried it with black pieces against Caruana in April 2009 and lost. So the black player was battling not only a top class grandmaster but also a player who was well versed with the position. A dangerous combo!} dxc5 12. a4 {White intends to open the queenside. In this way he will deflect the black queen to a8 and then get to infiltrate on the weakened d6 square.} ( 12. Be3 {is another way to play}) 12... O-O ({Tiviakov himself played Rb8 against Caruana.} 12... Rb8 13. Be3 Qe7 14. Nbd2 O-O 15. Nb3 c4 16. Nc5 Bc8 17. axb5 axb5 18. b3 (18. Re2 Rd8 19. Rd2 {was much better with a stable plus for White.}) 18... Rd8 $6 (18... b4 $1 {would have equalised immediately.} 19. bxc4 Rd8 20. Qe2 bxc3 $15) 19. Qe2 cxb3 20. Bxb3 {White pieces are excellently placed and he went onto win a nice game. 1-0 (60) Caruana,F (2649)-Tiviakov,S (2697) Dagomys 2009}) 13. axb5 axb5 14. Rxa8 Qxa8 15. Qd6 c4 {Vishnu follows the footsteps of Peter Svidler. He played this against Ni Hua in 2008. The Russian player had lost with the black pieces. Somehow this line doesn't really inspire confidence. It seems too one sided.} (15... Rc8 16. Nxe5 Nxe5 17. Qxe5 b4 18. Bg5 Ne8 19. Qd5 Bc6 20. Qd2 Qa2 21. cxb4 cxb4 22. Qxb4 Qxb2 23. Qxb2 Bxb2 {And even though Kuzubov managed to draw this position, one thing is for sure, no one wants to be a pawn down in a one sided endgame after just 23 moves. ½-½ (39) Tiviakov,S (2684)-Kuzubov,Y (2626) Neustadt an der Weinstrasse 2009}) 16. Bg5 $1 {Tiviakov is extremely well prepared and plays the best move according to the engine.} (16. Nxe5 Nxe5 17. Qxe5 {was also possible but after} Bc6 18. Qf4 Re8 19. f3 Nh5 $44 {Black has some compensation for the pawn.}) 16... Be6 (16... Qb8 $2 17. Rd1 $1 $18) 17. Nxe5 Nxe5 18. Qxe5 Nd7 19. Qg3 b4 20. cxb4 Bxb2 (20... Qb7 $5 {was an interesting option.} 21. Bd2 Bxb2 22. f4 $14 {White maintains a solid edge.}) 21. Bc1 $5 c3 $6 {This is a bad move by Black. He could have simply retreated his bishop and enjoyed some compensation thanks to the dangerous c-pawn and active pieces. But after c3 he just drifts into a completely inferior endgame.} (21... Bg7 22. f4 Qb8 {pinning the f-pawn.} 23. Qf2 Rd8 (23... Qxb4 24. Ba3 $16) 24. f5 $36 { It's difficult to play as black here.}) 22. Nxc3 Qa3 23. Bxb2 Qxb2 24. Ba4 $1 { extremely accurate.} Qxb4 (24... Nb6 25. Rb1 $18) 25. Bxd7 Bxd7 26. e5 (26. Rb1 $16 {would have been precise.}) 26... Rc8 27. Re3 Bc6 28. Kh2 {It's easier to play as White and he has an additional advantage of a knight against a bishop as the play is concentrated on just one side of the board.} Qc4 29. Ne2 {The knight is rerouted to f4 where it will be perfectly placed for the f4 break. Look how White posts all his pieces on dark squares and makes the bishop on c6 look pretty useless.} Rd8 30. e6 $6 {Why to hurry?} (30. Nf4 Rd4 31. Nh5 $1 $18 ) 30... fxe6 31. Nf4 Be4 (31... Bd5 {was the best but it is a little scary to allow a sacrifice on g6.} 32. Nxg6 hxg6 33. Qxg6+ Kf8 (33... Kh8 34. Rg3 $18) 34. Qf6+ Ke8 $11 {and there is no way to finish off the black king.}) 32. Rc3 Qa2 $2 (32... Qb4 33. Nxe6 Re8 34. Qe5 {was also very strong but Black could play} Qb8 $1 35. Rc7 Re7 $16 {and somehow prolong the battle.}) 33. Rc7 {It's all over now. Qc3 is threatened.} Rf8 34. Qc3 (34. Qh4 Rf7 35. Qd8+ Kg7 36. Qd4+ $18 {was another way to finish the game.}) 34... Rf7 35. Rc8+ Rf8 36. Rxf8+ Kxf8 37. Qb4+ {A very nice game by Sergey Tiviakov who showed superior understanding of the position. I am not sure if many black players would be willing to venture into this line again.} 1-0

With this win Tiviakov moved into the sole lead as the other 2650+ GM suffered a catastrophic defeat  at the hands of GM M. R. Venkatesh. Venkatesh’s laptop crashed after the tournament and he immediately went to Malaysia to participate in another event.  He worked on the ChessBase application on his android mobile device and sent the following analysis. Big thanks to him for that.

M. R. Venkatesh: The man who beat the eventual winner

Analysis by GM M. R. Venkatesh

[Event "Zaw Win Lay International Open"] [Site "Myanmar"] [Date "2014.11.26"] [Round "6"] [White "Venkatesh, M R."] [Black "Short, Nigel"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B65"] [WhiteElo "2477"] [BlackElo "2661"] [Annotator "M. R. Venkatesh"] [PlyCount "39"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] {It was the third day of double round and I did not have much time to prepare and anyway it's difficult to prepare for Short because he plays more number of openings e5, c5 and c6. I was expecting 1...e5.} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bg5 {Both of us were spending quite some for each and every move in the opening itself because we did not have any particular line in mind before the game. Hence, we had to decide over the board as to which line is to be chosen.} e6 7. Qd2 Be7 8. O-O-O O-O 9. f4 Nxd4 10. Qxd4 Qa5 11. h4 h6 12. Qe3 Rd8 (12... Ng4 13. Qg3 f6 {was the game Shirov-Greenfeld in which the black player won. But after} 14. Qxg4 fxg5 15. g3 $14 {White seems to be doing well.} (15. hxg5 $2 Rxf4 $1)) 13. Be2 Kf8 14. Kb1 d5 $6 15. e5 ({ Equally good is} 15. Bxf6 Bxf6 16. e5 Be7 {I wanted black's knight to be on e7 instead of bishop (check the variation below). Here Black might sacrifice his d5 pawn with d4, opening up the position and creating counter chances.} 17. Nb5 $1 {with the idea of putting my knight on d4 and start rolling my kingside pawns.}) 15... hxg5 (15... d4 16. exf6 dxe3 17. fxe7+ $18) (15... Ng8 16. Bxe7+ Nxe7 17. Nb5 {I will get the blockade on d4 and can start rolling pawns on the kingside. Now I thought sacrificing d-pawn won't be so effective as with dark squared bishop in the given 15.Bxf6 variation.}) 16. hxg5 Ng8 17. Rh8 Bb4 ( 17... Bc5 18. Qh3 Ke7 19. Qh7 Bd7 20. Qxg7 $18) (17... d4 18. Qh3 dxc3 19. Rxg8+ Kxg8 20. Rh1 f5 21. g6 $18) 18. Nb5 Bd7 (18... a6 $142 19. Nd4 {white has too many attacking possibilities such as Qd3-Qh7, Nb3 and a3, f5 & g6. Hence, I thought white should be close to winning.}) 19. a3 Be7 (19... Bxb5 20. axb4 Qxb4 21. Bxb5 Qxb5 22. Qa3+ Ke8 23. Rxg8+ Kd7 24. Qd6+ $18) 20. Rdh1 {The idea is to take on g8 and play Qh3 which leads to checkmate!} 1-0

In the seventh round Tiviakov drew his game and was joined by three players: Nguyen Duc Hoa, Arun Prasad and Gong Qianyun. All four of them led the tournament with 6.0/7.

GM Nguyen Duc Hoa (2507) played a very fine tournament and finished third

Arun Prasad turned out to be the hero of the eighth round as he beat the super solid Sergey Tiviakov. It was a game where Tiviakov made a small tactical oversight and was punished for it.

[Event "Zaw Win Lay International Open"] [Site "?"] [Date "2014.11.28"] [Round "8"] [White "Prasad, Arun. S"] [Black "Tiviakov, Sergey"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E17"] [WhiteElo "2482"] [BlackElo "2677"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "br1qr1k1/5ppp/p1n2b2/1p1p4/4n3/1N1NB1P1/PP2PPBP/2RQR1K1 b - - 0 23"] [PlyCount "80"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "MYA"] {Black has a very comfortable position here. He can simply continue Na5 and claim equality. But Tiviakov went for the ambitious plan of queenside pawn advance.} 23... a5 $6 (23... Na5 $1 24. Bd4 Nxb3 25. Bxf6 Qxf6 26. Qxb3 h5 $5 $132) 24. Bf4 $1 Rb6 (24... Bg5 {might have been the best.}) 25. Nxa5 $1 {A bolt from the blue.} Nxa5 26. Bc7 Qe7 27. Bxb6 {White wins a pawn and an exchange and is in the driver's seat. Although it must be mentioned that Black has some compensation here.} Nc4 28. Be3 {Not a move that you would make happily but there was no other square for the bishop.} Nxe3 29. fxe3 Nd6 30. Qd2 $6 (30. Qb3 Qxe3+ 31. Kh1 $16 {was clearly better for White.}) 30... Nc4 31. Qb4 Qxe3+ (31... Qxb4 32. Nxb4 Bxb2 33. Rb1 Bc3 34. Rec1 $14) (31... Qd7 $1 $44 {keeping everything defended was a nice idea.}) 32. Kh1 Rb8 {If Black has to make such a passive move with his rook then he cannot have good compensation. It was definitely much better to play 31...Qd7.} 33. Nf4 (33. b3 $1 Be7 34. Qc3 d4 35. Qc2 Bxg2+ 36. Kxg2 Qe4+ 37. Kg1 Ne3 38. Qc6 $1 $16) 33... Qe5 34. Nd3 Qe8 35. b3 Ne3 $6 (35... Be7 36. Qc3 Bf6 37. Qb4 (37. Qc2 Ne3 {it seems very dangerous to just give up the g2-bishop.}) 37... Be7 $11) 36. Bf3 g5 37. Nf2 d4 38. Qd6 Kg7 39. Bxa8 Rxa8 40. Rc6 $1 Qd8 {Black is forced to exchange the queens and he has absolutely no compensation now for the missing material.} 41. Ne4 Qxd6 42. Rxd6 Be7 43. Rd7 Bb4 44. Rb1 Rxa2 45. Rxd4 Ba3 46. Rd2 Rxd2 47. Nxd2 {White is just an exchange up and it's a pretty easy win.} f5 48. Ra1 Bc5 49. Nf3 g4 50. Ne5 Bd6 51. Nd3 Nd5 52. Ra7+ Kf6 53. Rxh7 Nc3 54. Rb7 Ke6 55. Kg2 Kd5 56. Kf1 Kd4 57. Rd7 Kd5 58. Ke1 Ne4 59. Rf7 Kd4 60. b4 f4 61. gxf4 Nc3 62. Rd7 Ne4 63. Nf2 {A very interesting and complex game.} 1-0

With a win over Tiviakov, Arun became the favourite to win the tournament with just one round remaining

After his loss in the sixth round, Nigel made a steady comeback by winning the next two
rounds and was now with a chance to finish at the top

Before the start of the last round, Short tweeted the following:

The last round pairings were as follows. Arun Prasad who was the sole leader with 7.0/8 was to play GM Vladimir Belous on the top board while Nigel Short (6.5) was pitted against the young Uzbeki GM Jahongir Vakhidov (6.5). It was a dramatic last round with Nigel once again proving that he has excellent control on his nerves and overcoming his opponent in a complicated Trompowsky.

[Event "Zaw Win Lay Memorial"] [Site "?"] [Date "2014.11.29"] [Round "9"] [White "Short, Nigel"] [Black "Vakhidov, Jahongir"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A45"] [WhiteElo "2661"] [BlackElo "2661"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "77"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. Bg5 {In the final crucial game that would decide the outcome of the tournament, Short goes for the sharp and unbalanced trompowsky variation.} Ne4 3. Bf4 c5 4. f3 Qa5+ 5. c3 Nf6 6. d5 (6. Nd2 {is another line but there Black's task of equalising is much easier.} cxd4 7. Nb3 Qb6 8. cxd4 e6 $11) 6... Qb6 7. b3 (7. Bc1 {is another possibility.}) (7. e4 Qxb2 8. Nd2 Qxc3 9. Bc7 $5 {is a very dangerous line. A famous game being the one in which Chernyshov beat Alexander Grischuk.}) 7... e6 8. e4 exd5 9. exd5 Bd6 10. Bg5 Be7 11. Qd2 {Maybe Nigel was already out of theory and plays} (11. Ne2 {has been played by two strong players before: Moiseenko and Navara.}) 11... O-O 12. Na3 d6 {Black is comfortable out of the opening. He has a nice Benoni like structure and the black pieces are developing quite easily. It is difficult to say what Nigel got from the opening. Maybe just an original position where he could show his superior understanding.} 13. O-O-O $5 {Brave decision.} Qd8 ( 13... Bf5 {With the idea of a harmonius development with Nbd7 is not a good idea as it gives White important tempi to launch a kingside attack.} 14. Re1 Qd8 15. g4 Bg6 16. h4 $40) 14. h4 a6 15. Ne2 b5 16. Ng3 Re8 17. Nc2 Nbd7 18. Nf5 Bf8 {Black has played this phase of the game in a very accurate fashion.} 19. h5 h6 20. Bh4 Qa5 ({Kasparov once said (with a touch of hyperbole)," a knight on f5 just about everytime justifies a pawn sacrifice!" His game against Marjanovic from Malta 1980 is a great example of that. Here is was important to take out the knight from f5 immediately.} 20... Nb6 {with the idea of taking out the knight on f5.} 21. Qf4 (21. Nce3 Bxf5 22. Nxf5 Re5 $15 { loses a pawn.}) 21... Bxf5 22. Qxf5 Be7 $15 {and follow it up with c5-c4.}) 21. Kb2 Bb7 22. Nce3 {Short has managed to co-ordinate his forces and has the ready made plan of attack with g4-g5 now.} c4 23. g4 Nh7 24. f4 $40 {The situation has changed, Black is on the defensive and now he has to defend accurately. A task not so easy to achieve in a high pressure last round.} cxb3 25. axb3 Nc5 26. Bd3 (26. Bg2 {might have been better.}) 26... b4 27. cxb4 Nxd3+ 28. Qxd3 Qxb4 {The White king looks exposed but no black pieces can join quickly into the attack while the black king is fully covered with three pawns yet falls to a massive attack. Such is the irony of life!} 29. g5 $1 hxg5 30. fxg5 g6 31. Nh6+ (31. hxg6 fxg6 32. Be1 $1 Qe4 33. Nh6+ Bxh6 34. Rxh6 Qxd3 35. Rxd3 $18 {Gives White a winning attack.}) 31... Bxh6 32. gxh6 g5 33. Nc4 $1 { A very nice move cutting the Black queen off from the defense.} gxh4 34. Rhg1+ Kf8 (34... Kh8 35. Rg7 Nf6 36. Rf1 $18) 35. Rd2 $2 {It's a natural way play. When you see a threat, you want to prevent it. But there was a faster way to win.} (35. Qxh7 $2 Re2+ {would be the end of the game but in Black's favour.} 36. Ka1 (36. Rd2 Rxd2+ 37. Nxd2 Qxd2+ $19) 36... Qc3+ 37. Kb1 Qxb3+ $19) (35. Rg7 $1 Nf6 36. Qf1 $3 {A difficult move to see. keeping control on the e2 square and also attacking f6.} Rac8 37. Qxf6 Re2+ 38. Ka1 $18 {and now there is no Qc3+}) 35... Nf6 $2 (35... Qc5 $1 {was the neat defense.} 36. Rg7 Bxd5 37. Rxh7 (37. Qxd5 Qxd5 38. Rxd5 Nf6 39. Rxd6 $14 {White maintains an edge but maybe it is not sufficient to win.}) 37... Bxc4 38. bxc4 Re3 $1 39. Qxd6+ Qxd6 40. Rxd6 Kg8 $11) 36. h7 $1 Ke7 37. Qf5 Bxd5 38. Re2+ Be6 39. Rxe6+ {A very typical last round game filled with nervous energy and tension. As is usual the player who made the second last mistake is the one who wins!} 1-0

Arun Prasad who had a superior tie-break needed only a draw with the White pieces against Belous. But he seemed in no mood to play sterile chess. He played as per the needs of the position and sacrificed two pawns for an attack. By making some excellent moves he was close to victory, when he blundered. His position immediately deteriorated and Belous showed some good technique to win the game.

[Event "Zaw Win Lay International Open"] [Site "?"] [Date "2014.11.29"] [Round "9"] [White "S.Arun Prasad"] [Black "Belous Vladimir"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D85"] [WhiteElo "2482"] [BlackElo "2578"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "108"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "MYA"] {This was the final round of the tournament and Arun Prasad was in a half point lead at this point. He only needed a draw in order to win the tournament. } 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Qa4+ $5 { The queen check has grown in popularity recently.} Nd7 {is the most popular move in the position.} (7... Bd7 8. Qa3 {has given White excellent results.}) ( 7... Qd7 8. Qb3 {is another way to play.}) 8. Nf3 O-O 9. Be2 c5 10. O-O Nb6 ( 10... cxd4 11. cxd4 Nc5 {has been played often} 12. dxc5 (12. Qc2 Ne6 {gives Black a fine position.}) 12... Bxa1 13. e5 $44 {White has more than enough compensation for the exchange.}) 11. Qa3 cxd4 12. cxd4 Bg4 {Black logically tries to increase the pressure on the d4 pawn.} (12... Bxd4 13. Nxd4 Qxd4 14. Bh6 $16 {is almost losing for Black.}) 13. Bg5 $1 {A smart counter attacking move. The e7-pawn is surprisingly not so easy to defend.} Re8 (13... Bxf3 14. Bxf3 (14. Bxe7 Bxe2 15. Bxd8 Rfxd8 $15) 14... Qxd4 15. Rad1 Qe5 16. Bxe7 $14 { Was played in Moiseenko-Hoyer a few months ago and the white player convincingly won.}) (13... f6 $2 {is a positionally horrible move. It shuts your bishop and weakens the a2-g8 diagonal.}) 14. Bb5 (14. Rfd1 Bxf3 15. Bxf3 Bxd4 16. Rac1 {With the idea of later playing e5 and winning the d4 bishop is very strong for White.}) 14... Bd7 15. Bd3 (15. Be2 {it would be interesting to see if the black player would have repeated the position here. White after all only needed a draw to win the title.}) 15... Bc6 16. Be3 $14 {White has preserved his strong center and definitely has emerged out of the opening with a small edge.} Qd6 17. Qa5 {Arun plays ambitiously but misses a tactical idea.} (17. Qxd6 exd6 18. Nd2 Rac8 $11) (17. Qb3 {was relatively the best.}) 17... e6 (17... e5 $1 {was a strong move.} 18. d5 Bxd5 $1 19. exd5 e4 $15 {the pawn forks the two pieces and the g7-bishop is opened. Black stands better.}) 18. Rac1 f5 $1 {A nice move by Belous trying to open the diagonal and at the same time ruin the white center. White has to react dynamically now and Arun is upto the task.} 19. d5 $1 exd5 (19... fxe4 20. dxc6 $16) 20. exf5 d4 {The position has become extremely sharp with both players meeting their opponent's threats with their own counter threats.} 21. Bg5 h6 $6 {unnecessary move. The bishop anyway will be excellently placed on g3 to defend his king. Why should one push it there?} (21... Bxf3 22. gxf3 Re5 $132 {Would have given Black good counter chances.} 23. Bf4 Rxa5 24. Bxd6 gxf5 $13) 22. Bh4 Bxf3 23. gxf3 (23. Bg3 $1 {was maybe the right way to continue.} Qf6 24. gxf3 gxf5 25. Bxf5 $14 ( 25. Qxf5 Qxf5 26. Bxf5 Nd5 $11)) 23... Qf4 24. Bg3 Qxf3 25. Qb5 gxf5 26. Rc7 { Black is in a dangerous situation. The main reason being that white pieces are all excellently positioned. For eg. the two bishops, queen and rook co-ordinate excellently to launch an attack on the Black king. Inspite of being two pawns down, White has excellent compensation.} (26. Qxf5 Qxf5 27. Bxf5 Nd5 {should be fine for Black.}) 26... Rf8 27. Re1 $1 {Bringing the final piece into the attack and threatening Ree7.} Rac8 28. Bc4+ Kh8 29. Rxg7 $1 {A powerful exchange sacrifice by White which rips open the Black king and makes use of his two bishops to launch an attack.} Kxg7 30. Qe5+ $1 (30. Be5+ Kh7 $19 {is absolutely nothing.}) 30... Kg6 {The final need of the hour is to include the rook into the attack now. How to do that?} 31. Qd6+ $2 {Not this way.} (31. Qe7 $1 {Was the winning move. Arun said the following about this move, "I saw this once i played Qd6 and got annoyed :)"} Rc6 (31... Rf6 32. Re6 $1 $18 Rcf8 33. Qxf8) 32. Re6+ (32. Qxf8 Nxc4 $11) 32... Rxe6 33. Qxe6+ Kg7 34. Qe7+ Kg6 35. Be2 $1 Qe4 36. Qxf8 Qxe2 37. Qg8+ Kh5 38. Qf7+ Kg5 39. h3 $1 {The mating net has been formed and f4# is coming up.} Nd5 40. Qg8+ Kf6 41. Bh4+ Ke5 42. Qe8+ $18) 31... Rf6 {Now Black can defend his position.} 32. Re6 Nd5 $1 {A very tricky defensive move by Belous and maybe the one missed by Arun.} 33. Qxd5 (33. Bxd5 Rc1+ {is curtains.}) 33... Qxd5 34. Bxd5 {The two pawns and rook are stronger than the two bishops in this position.} d3 (34... Rxe6 35. Bxe6 d3 {is similar to the game.}) 35. Bf4 Rxe6 36. Bxe6 Rc2 37. Bb3 Rb2 38. Kf1 b5 $1 {Black creates another passed pawn. White has no meaningful way to create any counterplay.} 39. Be3 (39. Ke1 Re2+ 40. Kf1 a5 $19) 39... Rb1+ ( 39... a5 {was better but I can understand the fact that Black did not want the white king to come to e1.} 40. Ke1 a4 41. Bd5 b4 42. Bd4 Rc2 43. Kd1 Kg5 $19 { Black's idea is very simple. To win the h2 pawn!}) 40. Kg2 a5 41. Kf3 a4 42. Be6 Kf6 43. Bd7 $6 (43. Bg8 $1 {was the staunchest way to defend. The bishop must remain on this diagonal.} b4 44. Bd4+ Kg5 45. Ke3 Rd1 46. f4+ Kg4 47. Bd5 $17 {stopping Rh1. White is on the edge but he is still clinging on.}) 43... a3 $1 {The threat is b4-b3 making a queen!} 44. Bd2 b4 45. Ba4 Rb2 46. Ke3 Rxa2 47. Bxb4 Re2+ 48. Kf3 (48. Kxd3 Rxf2 $19) 48... a2 49. Bc3+ Kg6 50. Bb3 Rc2 51. Bd4 Rc1 52. Bxa2 d2 53. Bb3 d1=Q+ 54. Bxd1 Rxd1 {The rest is pretty easy for Black. A heart breaking loss for Arun Prasad who was in the lead and had a winning position. Chess can be often be an extremely brutal sport! But it is this unpredictable nature of the game that makes it so interesting.} 0-1

It was heartbreaking for the Indian player, and it meant that Belous now joined Nigel at the top with 7.5/9.

The two joint winners Belous (left) and Short hold the elegant knight trophy

Even though the players are holding cheques of different amounts, the prize money was shared.

Vladimir Belous is a 21-year-old talented, young grandmaster from Russia. He has wins over
a number of strong players like Nepomniachtchi (in rapid), Inarkiev (2683), Riazentsev (2692),
and more, and among his notable performances is his win of the very strong Moscow Open in
2011 as well as the Bondarevsky Memorial 2013 when he won with a score of 9/9.

Final standings

Rk.
SNo
Tit.
Name
FED
Rtg
Pts
 TB1 
 TB2 
1
2
GM
Short Nigel D
ENG
2661
7.5
51.0
41.0
2
3
GM
Belous Vladimir
RUS
2578
7.5
51.0
40.0
3
4
GM
Nguyen Duc Hoa
VIE
2507
7.0
56.5
44.5
4
6
GM
Arun Prasad S.
IND
2482
7.0
55.0
43.5
5
7
GM
Venkatesh M.R.
IND
2477
7.0
53.0
41.5
6
8
GM
Vishnu Prasanna. V
IND
2463
7.0
52.5
40.5
7
1
GM
Tiviakov Sergei
NED
2677
7.0
51.0
42.0
8
5
GM
Vakhidov Jahongir
UZB
2502
6.5
51.0
39.0
9
21
FM
Zaw Oo
MYA
2259
6.5
49.0
37.5
10
9
GM
Fominyh Alexander
RUS
2438
6.5
47.5
37.5
11
10
GM
Djuric Stefan
SRB
2402
6.5
47.0
36.5
12
18
IM
Nay Oo Kyaw Tun
MYA
2280
6.0
53.5
41.5
13
13
WIM
Gong Qianyun
SIN
2349
6.0
51.0
40.0
14
20
FM
Kongsee Uaychai
THA
2269
6.0
50.0
40.0
15
19
 
Myint Han
MYA
2277
6.0
48.5
38.5
16
11
IM
Wynn Zaw Htun
MYA
2396
6.0
47.5
37.5
17
34
 
Lee Qing Aun
SIN
2064
6.0
46.5
36.5
18
17
IM
Aung Aung Aung Myo Hlaing
MYA
2299
6.0
45.5
35.0
19
128
 
Zeyar
MYA
0
6.0
45.0
34.5
20
14
FM
Htun Htun Than
MYA
2344
6.0
44.5
34.5

Click for complete standings

This report holds special importance as none of the games from this tournament have been published anywhere on the internet. Huge thanks to Tiviakov, Short, Venkatesh and Arun for providing the games.

Part II will be released shortly and contains an exclusive interview with the champion of the event Nigel Short plus some wonderful pictures from the city of Yangon.

Pictures provided by Sergey Tiviakov and Peter Long




Sagar is an International Master from India with two GM norms. He is also a chartered accountant and would like to become the first CA+GM of India. He loves to cover chess tournaments, as that helps him understand and improve at the game he loves so much. He is the co-founder of the ChessBase India website.
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ulyssesganesh ulyssesganesh 12/4/2014 02:25
great display by the 3 young indian lions!
ex0 ex0 12/4/2014 11:16
Did Vladimir Belous get punched in the face? It looks like he has a big bruise on his cheek in the photo..
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