Nisipeanu leads in India

by ChessBase
9/9/2004 – A chess tournament near a fort with spikes to ward off enemy elephants? It must be India! The city of Pune is hosting the strongest all-play-all event ever to take place in India, a category 16 that includes FIDE champ Kasimdzhanov and a host of local stars, sans Anand. We bring you an onsite report, analysis, and some beautiful local color.

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India hosts the elite

Pune, India • Sep. 2-12, 2004 • Standings after round 5View and download games

By Vijay Kumar / Vishal Sareen

Few would have given a thought to a city like Pune, especially in the Chess World. For, so far there were no major International chess events organized here. However, this had to change what with Chess is on a certain boom in the country and major events being organized in all parts. But again not many thought that the Puneiites will churn out with the biggest in India yet!

Okay the World Championship, the World Cup and the World Juniors are hardly Indian events though they have all been organized here. What was lacking till now was a high-category closed event and with the Category 16 now underway, the vacuum has been filled to a certain extent. But definitely there have got to be many more!

Pune is a city of about 2.3 million. It's a seat of North Indian Classical music and an eminent center of education. The City folk flocked in numbers to see some of the stars present here. The biggest of course is World Champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov (right) who is not finding it too tough to handle his new status!

The pick of the tournament thus far has been Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu who started off with two draws but then three victories on the trot have put him as a clear favourite for the title. The fifth round victory by Dieter (yes that's what he prefers to be called) over Chanda was something that the buffs here will not forget for a long time.

Emil Sutovsky of Israel is firing on all cylinders as usual. Very, very attacking is how he termed in this event. Yet it was a strange loss at the hands of Ganguly that will haunt the Sutovsky for some days. Good wins? Quite a few. It is quite strange that - normally the person with high appetite for decisive chess isn't usually at the top of the tables.

Leader Nisipeanu tackles Sandipan Chanda

Alexander Beliavsky of Slovenia and Georgian Zurab Azmaiparashvili complete the line up for foreign GMs here and apart from them there are five Indians led by country's second son in Chess Krishnan Sasikiran.

But it's not Sasikiran who has hogged the limelight thus far. In fact Sandipan Chanda is playing the tournament of life. So far Chanda has got the highest score by an Indian and is on three points from 5 games. His victims include none other than Beliavsky and P Harikrishna.

Sasikiran and Harikrishna, the biggest names in India since Anand, have lost one, won one and drawn the rest. They need to get their act together before its too late! Indian National Champion Ganguly mishandled a few promising positions but beat Sutovsky in a keenly contested game. No not his biggest scalp Sutovsky. Ganguly has to his credit a win against Morozevich in the World Cup!

Kunte-Kasimdzhanov after 41.Qd2

It looks like Black is in deep trouble. If he wins the queen with 41...Rxd2+ 42.Rxd2 Qe4+ 43.Kf2 Qf5+ 44.Ke1 and Black can't stop the d-pawn.

The FIDE world champion found a beautiful shot. 41...Qe4+!! 42.Kf2 The king has no good squares so the pin stays. 42...Qxd4 (Not taking the queen and losing to the pawn as above.) 43.Qxc2 Qxd7 and Black won in 82 moves with his two extra pawns.

Sutovsky-Kunte after 22.Bxe6

Not to pick on poor Abhijit Kunte, the winner of the 2003 British Championship, but he was again the victim of a brilliancy, this one by Sutovsky. This game had enough sacrifices for an entire tournament, but we'll just give one impressive diagram. You can check out the entire wild affair on the replay page. According to Fritz, 22...Re5 offered some survival chances, but this is not a position a human can defend.

22...Ne5? [22...fxe6 23.Qxe6] 23.Nb5! [23.Rxe7+?! fxe6 24.Qc2 Kb8=] 23...Qxb5 [23...Rxb5 24.Rxb7+] 24.Rd5+ fxe6 25.Rxb5 Rxb5 26.Qxb5 Rg6 [26...Kc7 27.Bxe5+ fxe5 28.Qxe5+] 27.Qe8+ 1-0

All the players attend the Azmaiparashvili - Sutovsky post-mortem

Ganguly (right) is prepared in case Sutovsky starts singing

Pune University – Established in 1948, the 400 acre Pune University campus houses 40 departments This stately mansion was the official residence of the Governor of Mumbai during the monsoon season. A large building in Italian-Gothic style built with the local gray trap rock, it is surrounded by a high square tower (30 meters high), a swimming pool and well kept lawns.

With 800 temples, some of them dating back to the 12th century, Pune could well be called the city of temples.

Shaniwarwada Fort – The influence of Moghul design and the hallmark of the Maratha craftsmanship, a timeless masterpiece, Shaniwar Wada in all its glory and moments of its eventful existence. Built in 1736, The palace was burnt down in 1828, but the massive walls remain. The front doors are studded with large spikes to stop enemies' elephants from breaking the Massive Doors.

The Aga Khan Palace – This beautiful building with salons and suites, is a great historical landmark. It was here that Mahatma Gandhi and other leaders of the Indian National Congress were imprisoned during the 1942 Quit India Movement.

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