Qatar 2015 round six: race for the title

by Sagar Shah
12/27/2015 – The top five boards ended in draws, so that Magnus Carlsen maintained his half-point lead, but now has 13 people following him. With three rounds to go the race to the title is getting intense. In this report we reveal the secret of what players like Kramnik, Li Chao, Hou Yifan eat during the game, and also how Karjakin, Wesley and Carlsen’s sisters spend the rest day. Illustrated report with pictures, video and analysis.

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Qatar Masters 2015 round six – a race for the title

Report from Doha by Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal

It was a quiet day at the top boards at the sixth round of the Qatar Masters Open 2015. The first five boards ended in draws. This meant that Magnus Carlsen, who is on 5.0/6 now, still has a half point lead over the field. However, many players who were on 3.5/5, won their games, and 13 of them trail the World Champion with a score of 4.5/6. So let us dive in to the round six action:

Really, you're going to play 1…h5?!! Magnus Carlsen came two minutes late to the game
against Wesley So and was simply adjusting his pieces. He replied with 1…e5 and played
the Chigorin Variation of the Closed Ruy Lopez. The game ended in a tame draw in 39 moves.

Vladimir Kramnik played an endgame variation in the Bg5 Grunfeld with the white pieces against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. It seemed just like the position that Kramnik would like to milk, but Mamedyarov was alert and gave his opponent absolutely no chances to try for a win.

Kramnik was extremely focused before the game, and in order to sustain his energy level...

…brought along a supply of walnuts, dates and RedBull!

After a draw with Kramnik, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov played some football in the night.
We can confirm that he is an excellent goalkeeper.

One person who will be livid with himself for not being able to convert
a completely winning position is surely Anish Giri

Top players like Anish take special care to keep tabs on all the top level encounters that take place. And most of the times they also have an improvement over some of the theoretically important encounters. So when Topalov lost in the Najdorf just 20 days ago to Vishy Anand at the London Chess Classic 2015 Giri took special care to prepare a novelty that came in handy in his game against Surya Shekhar Ganguly. Very soon the Dutch grandmaster had a nearly winning position. However, the Indian player kept fighting and was rewarded at the end with the half point when Giri couldn’t convert his advantage.

[Event "Qatar Masters Open 2015"] [Site "Doha QAT"] [Date "2015.12.26"] [Round "6.3"] [White "Ganguly, Surya Shekhar"] [Black "Giri, Anish"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B90"] [WhiteElo "2648"] [BlackElo "2784"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "130"] [EventDate "2015.12.20"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 e5 7. Nde2 h5 8. Bg5 Be6 9. Bxf6 Qxf6 10. Nd5 Qd8 11. Qd3 Nd7 12. O-O-O g6 13. Kb1 {The thing about top players like Giri is that they are not only very well updated with the latest games but they also find improvements over it. Here the players are following the game Anand vs Topalov from the London Chess Classic that took place 20 days ago. Anand had won a nice game with white so Ganguly tried it once again but Anish already had an improvement prepared.} Nc5 (13... Rc8 { was Anand-Topalov.}) 14. Qf3 Bg7 15. Nec3 b5 16. Be2 Rb8 17. a3 Bd7 {Defending the b5 pawn and preparing a5-b4.} 18. Qe3 a5 19. b4 {While this stops b4, one thing is certain that White's king is quite exposed now.} Ne6 20. g3 Nd4 21. Bd3 Be6 22. f4 axb4 23. axb4 Ra8 24. f5 gxf5 25. exf5 Nxf5 26. Bxf5 Bxf5 27. g4 hxg4 28. hxg4 Rxh1 29. Rxh1 Be6 {Black has won a pawn and looks pretty solid, although White with his excellent knights does have some compensation.} 30. g5 $6 (30. Qe4 {with the idea of Nc7 was interesting.}) 30... Kf8 31. Nf6 Ra6 32. Qf3 Qc7 33. Nh7+ Ke8 34. Nf6+ Bxf6 35. gxf6 Kd7 {Black got rid of his bad bishop and his king is also safe. Add to it the fact that he is a pawn up and you can realize that the rest is just a matter of technique for a player of Giri's calibre.} 36. Rd1 Qa7 37. Kb2 Bc4 38. Qe4 Kc7 39. Nd5+ Kb8 40. Nc3 Kc7 41. Qf3 Qa8 42. Qe3 Qc6 43. Qg3 Ra8 44. Ra1 Rxa1 45. Kxa1 Qb6 46. Qh4 d5 47. Kb2 Qd6 (47... e4 48. Qg5 (48. Qf4+ Qd6 $19) 48... Qd4 49. Qg7 Kd6 50. Qf8+ Ke5 51. Qe7+ Kf5 {would have been quite an easy win for Anish. The king escapes the perpetual and the e-pawn marches towards the last rank.}) 48. Kc1 Qa6 49. Qg5 Kd6 50. Qg8 Qa3+ 51. Kd2 Qa7 52. Qe8 Qd7 53. Qg8 Qb7 54. Qe8 Qd7 (54... e4 55. Qg8 Qa7 56. Qe8 Qd7 57. Qg8 Ke5 $19 {It is important to activate the king is in order to win. The f6 pawn will fall now.}) 55. Qg8 e4 56. Qg3+ Kc6 57. Qe5 Qc7 58. Qe8+ Kb6 59. Qe7 {White has just too much activity now.} Qf4+ 60. Kd1 Qf1+ 61. Kd2 Qf4+ 62. Kd1 e3 63. Qd8+ Ka6 64. Qa8+ Kb6 65. Qd8+ Ka6 { Quite a depressing draw for Anish, who was better for almost the entire game. A great result for Ganguly who is having a superb tournament.} 1/2-1/2

Everyone had left, all hope seemed to have been lost, but Ganguly fought on

Sergey Karjakin was under some pressure against…

…Dariusz Swiercz, but the game eventually ended in a draw

China’s Li Chao and Yu Yangyi faced off against each other. Li Chao with an extra pawn
had quite decent winning chances in the game, but the defending champion
fought tenaciously and the peace treaty was signed in an equal pawn rook endgame.

Li Chao always brings with himself a small bottle of some sort of oil and water with special kind of leaves.
Any reader who knows what these secret Chinese ingredients could be please tell us in the comments section below!

Pentala Harikrishna had absolutely no difficulties in beating Vladimir Fedoseev
from the black side of a Queen’s Indian

Dmitry Jakovenko showed some high class preparation to score a full point against Viktor Bologan

The line essayed by Jakovenko against the a6 Slav is one that is pretty sharp. It has a reputation of being quite a good variation for black. However, Jakovenko came well prepared to the game and showed some new ideas which haven’t been tried before. Bologan responded well up to a certain point, but later he went astray and even fell in to a mate in one! When in the press conference Dmitry was asked whether this line has been refuted thanks to his analysis, the Russian player replied, “This line in the a6 Slav is something which Tomashevsky plays. And Evgeny’s lines can never be refuted! He will surely have some improvement prepared for the black side.” Svidler, too, agreed, saying, “It’s better to wait for Tomashevsky to come up with an improvement rather than wasting your time in trying to find the best way for Black to play!”

[Event "Qatar Masters Open 2015"] [Site "Doha QAT"] [Date "2015.12.26"] [Round "6.7"] [White "Jakovenko, Dmitry"] [Black "Bologan, Viktor"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D15"] [WhiteElo "2737"] [BlackElo "2654"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "55"] [EventDate "2015.12.20"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 a6 5. e3 Bf5 6. Qb3 b5 7. cxd5 cxd5 8. a4 b4 $5 {This is a very interesting pawn sacrifice. What Black intends to do is to play Nc6 followed by e6 and take control of the b4 square. In this way he gets a lead in development at the cost of a pawn.} 9. Qxb4 Nc6 10. Qc5 (10. Qb3 Rb8 11. Qd1 Nb4 {is already very bad for White.}) 10... Na5 11. Bxa6 $5 (11. Qa3 {is the other theoretical move but after} e6 12. b4 Nc6 13. Na2 Bd6 { it looks somehow that Black has excellent compensation.}) 11... Rxa6 12. Qb5+ Rc6 13. Ne5 Bd7 14. Nxd7 (14. Nxc6 Bxc6 15. Qe2 Nb3 $17 {followed by e6 is clearly better for Black.}) 14... Nxd7 15. Bd2 $5 (15. Nxd5 e6 16. Bd2 (16. Nc3 $2 Be7 {followed by Qc7 and 0-0 is just better for Black.}) 16... exd5 17. Bxa5 Qa8 {and here Black is ok.}) 15... Qa8 16. Nxd5 e6 17. Nf4 $5 {This is the first new move in the databases – although truth be told I played the same move against Abhilash Reddy in the eighth round of Mumbai Mayor's Cup 2014. However that game did not make it to the databases. White asks Black to defend the a5 knight.} Ra6 (17... Nc4 18. Rc1 $16) 18. O-O (18. d5 {was played by me and after} e5 19. Nd3 Bd6 20. Rc1 $6 Ke7 $1 {Black was threatening already to trap my queen with Rb8, and he won the game. Jakovenko found a much better move order. 0-1 (34) Sagar,S (2309)-Abhilash,R (2189) Mumbai Mayor's Cup 2014.} ) 18... Bd6 19. d5 $5 exd5 (19... Bxf4 20. exf4 $16) 20. Rfd1 Nc6 {Jakovenko had not studied this move and when he reached this position it was quite unclear for him what is to be done. That is because he had prepared with the computer and the engine never suggested the move. This is the downside to computer preparation: often when our opponent deviates we do not know how to continue. Yet Dmitry is a strong player and could work out the best way to play on the board.} (20... d4 {is the computer's suggestion, and also what Jakovenko had prepared.} 21. Bb4 Bxb4 22. Qxb4 Nc6 23. Qa3 {when White has good compensation as Black cannot 0-0.}) 21. Bc3 (21. Qxd5 Ne7 22. Qxa8+ Rxa8 23. Bc3 (23. a5 $5 $14) 23... Be5 24. Rxd7 Bxc3 25. Rxe7+ Kxe7 26. Nd5+ Kd6 27. Nxc3 Rhb8 $11 {and Black cannot lose this position.}) 21... Bxf4 (21... O-O { was also possible.}) 22. exf4 O-O 23. Rxd5 Nb6 $6 (23... Nf6 {was much better as after} 24. Bxf6 gxf6 $11 {this structure looks ugly, but Black is doing absolutely fine here.}) 24. Rg5 $1 g6 (24... f6 {Viktor might have wanted to continue with this move but later saw that Rxg7 is simply crushing.} 25. Rxg7+ $3 Kxg7 26. Qg5+ Kf7 (26... Kh8 27. Bxf6+ Rxf6 28. Qxf6+ Kg8 29. Ra3 $1 { The rook makes a dramatic entrance and ends the game.}) 27. Qxf6+ Ke8 28. Re1+ Kd7 29. Qg7+ $1 Kd6 30. Bb4+ $1 Nxb4 31. Qe7+ Kd5 32. Qe5+ Kc4 33. Qc3+ Kd5 34. Re5+ Kd6 35. Qc5+ Kd7 36. Re7+ Kd8 37. Qc7# {So many black pieces but none of them controlled the key e5, c5, c7, e7 squares.}) 25. a5 Rd8 26. Re1 Nc8 27. Rd5 Rxd5 $2 (27... Rf8 {would have put up a fight, but White is better after} 28. b4 $18) 28. Re8# {A fine game by Jakovenko who contributed to the development of the theory in this variation.} 1-0

Dmitry analyzing his game with Svidler at the post-game conference

For all those who want to learn the art of positional play
take a look at Ivanchuk’s classy effort against Baris Esen

[Event "Qatar Masters Open 2015"] [Site "Doha QAT"] [Date "2015.12.26"] [Round "6.16"] [White "Ivanchuk, Vassily"] [Black "Esen, Baris"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B92"] [WhiteElo "2710"] [BlackElo "2562"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "103"] [EventDate "2015.12.20"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. Bg5 Be6 9. Bxf6 Bxf6 10. Qd3 O-O 11. O-O-O Be7 12. Nd5 Bxd5 13. Qxd5 Qc7 14. Bg4 Nc6 15. Kb1 Rfd8 {This position is typical for the Be2-Bg5 system in the Najdorf. However, we should learn from the great Vassily Ivanchuk who completely outplayed his opponent from this point onwards.} 16. a3 {Stopping Nb4.} Bf6 17. Rd3 Qb6 18. Rf1 Rab8 19. g3 {A useful move – can be helpeful to gain space with f4 as well as h4.} Nd4 20. Na5 $1 {The knight is coming to c4 and the d4 knight can be kicked away at some point with c3.} Nc6 21. Nc4 Qc7 22. Ne3 {[%csl Gd5][%cal Gb3a5,Ga5c4,Gc4e3] You can see how the knight made its route from b3-a5-c4-e3 and is now looking at the juicy hole on d5.} (22. Nxd6 $2 Nd4 $17) 22... Ne7 23. Qc4 Qa5 24. Rfd1 b5 25. Qb4 Qxb4 26. axb4 { A strategic victory for White who has left Black with absolutely no counterplay and lots of weaknesses.} Rb6 27. h4 {Stopping Bg5 just in case.} g6 28. Rc3 Rb7 $6 (28... d5 $1 {Good or bad this was a chance to activate his pieces as after} 29. Nxd5 (29. exd5 e4 30. Rc7 Rbd6 {White is surely better here but Black keeps an eye on the d5 pawn and at least has some play.} 31. f4 $1 Nxd5 32. Rc8 $1 $18) 29... Nxd5 30. exd5 Be7 {Black attacks the b4 pawn, and in this opposite coloured bishop endgame the drawing chances are pretty good.}) 29. Bh3 h5 30. f3 Bg7 31. g4 Bh6 32. g5 Bf8 33. Ra3 Rb6 34. c3 $1 { Ivanchuk now shifts his attention to the a6 pawn. But not so soon. He will first make sure that d6-d5 is not possible.} Ra8 35. Kc2 Kg7 36. Kd3 Ra7 (36... f6 {Black should play this. But here too it is not clear how to create counterplay.}) 37. Ke2 Ra8 38. Kf2 Ra7 39. Rda1 Ra8 40. Ra5 Ra7 41. Ke1 Kg8 { The next task is to relocate the bishop is such a manner to control the d5 square.} 42. Bf1 Nc6 43. R5a2 Ne7 44. Bd3 Kg7 45. Ke2 Kg8 46. Bc2 Bg7 47. Kf2 Kf8 48. Bd3 Ke8 49. Nd5 $1 Nxd5 (49... Rc6 50. Bxb5 $18) 50. exd5 {The problem is that there is no way to stop Ra5 followed by Bxb5 and the a6 pawn also falls.} Bf8 51. Ra5 Be7 52. Bxb5+ {A smooth positional victory by Ivanchuk.} 1-0

Ni Hua didn’t have a particularly enjoyable football session, but in his game against
Vidit Gujrathi he gave a model lesson in why space is an important factor in chess

[Event "Qatar Masters Open 2015"] [Site "Doha QAT"] [Date "2015.12.26"] [Round "6.11"] [White "Ni, Hua"] [Black "Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E60"] [WhiteElo "2693"] [BlackElo "2644"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "67"] [EventDate "2015.12.20"] {If ever you were in doubt about how important space advantage is then you should have a look at this game!} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. e3 O-O 5. Be2 {This line with not committing your knight to c3 is becoming quite popular against Grunfeld experts. ...d5 now would not be so great due to cxd5 Nxd5 and e4, and there is no knight to exchange on c3.} d6 (5... c5 $5 {It could be the best idea to transpose the game into a Benoni structure where e3 is not such a dangerous line.}) 6. O-O Nbd7 7. Nc3 e5 8. Qc2 Re8 9. Re1 exd4 (9... e4 10. Nd2 Qe7 {is a reversed King's Indian Attack. Being Black the attack might not be very dangerous, but it is better than what happened in the game.}) 10. exd4 Nb6 11. Bf4 {White now has a static advantage that is difficult to neutralize due to the symmetrical pawn structure.} Bf5 12. Bd3 Bxd3 13. Qxd3 Qd7 14. b3 Rxe1+ 15. Rxe1 Re8 16. Rxe8+ Qxe8 17. h3 {So what exactly is White's advantage? In one simple word it is - space! White has so much space in this position that it is extremely difficult for Black to find a constructive plan. And Ni Hua is pretty good at converting such technical dry positions.} a6 18. a4 Nbd7 19. a5 Qd8 20. b4 b6 {Tired of waiting passively, Vidit lashes out, but now the a6 pawn becomes weak.} 21. axb6 Nxb6 22. Bg5 Qa8 23. Bxf6 Bxf6 24. c5 Nd7 (24... Nd5 25. Qe4 c6 26. Nxd5 cxd5 27. Qf4 $16) 25. Qc4 dxc5 26. bxc5 a5 27. Nd2 Bg7 28. Nde4 Nf6 (28... h6 29. d5 Qe8 {is better than what happened in the game, but this still looks pretty rishy for Black.}) 29. d5 Nxe4 30. Nxe4 a4 31. d6 $1 {The d-pawn is much more dangerous than the a-pawn.} a3 32. dxc7 Qb7 33. Qd5 $1 a2 (33... Qxd5 34. c8=Q+ Bf8 35. Nf6+ $18) (33... Qxc7 34. Qa8+ $1 Bf8 35. Nf6+ Kg7 36. Ne8+ $18) 34. Qxb7 (34. Qxb7 a1=Q+ 35. Kh2 Qe5+ 36. g3 $18 { A superb game by Ni Hua who showed why Space is one of the important assets to have in the game of chess.}) 1-0

Wei Yi is slowly coming back in to the groove. He is now on 3.5/6. Today he beat his German opponent Stefan Bromberger with an aesthetically pleasing queen sacrifice.

[Event "Qatar Masters Open 2015"] [Site "Doha QAT"] [Date "2015.12.26"] [Round "6.29"] [White "Wei, Yi"] [Black "Bromberger, Stefan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C42"] [WhiteElo "2730"] [BlackElo "2521"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "71"] [EventDate "2015.12.20"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Nc3 Nxc3 6. dxc3 Be7 7. Be3 O-O 8. Qd2 Nd7 9. O-O-O c6 10. c4 Nc5 11. Bxc5 dxc5 12. Qf4 Qa5 13. Bd3 Bf6 14. a3 Be6 15. Ng5 Bxg5 16. Qxg5 Rad8 17. Rhe1 Rfe8 18. f4 h6 19. Qh5 f6 20. Bg6 Rxd1+ 21. Qxd1 Rd8 {Diagram [#] Wei Yi has not been having a great tournament in Doha, but in this round he showed some nice tactical brilliance. Here Qe2 was also good for a clear advantage for White, but the Chinese prodigy goes for the queen sacrifice.} 22. Rxe6 Rxd1+ 23. Kxd1 {The funny thing about this position is that the black king can never escape the mating net and hence the queen will always be tied down. At the right moment when the white king will be in the perfect position, White should play Re8+ and transpose in to a winning pawn endgame.} Qd8+ 24. Ke2 Kf8 25. Kf3 Qd7 (25... Qd1+ 26. Kg3 Qd8 27. Re1 {is similar to the game.}) 26. Re1 Qd8 27. Kg4 Qd7+ 28. Kh5 Qd8 29. a4 { Improving the position to the maximum.} (29. Re8+ {Just for curiousity's sake, the pawn ending even now is winning.} Qxe8 30. Bxe8 Kxe8 31. Kg6 Kf8 32. Kh7 Kf7 33. h4 {is also winning as after} b5 34. b3 b4 35. a4 a5 36. g3 $1 (36. g4 f5 $1 37. g5 h5 $11) 36... Kf8 37. g4 Kf7 38. g5 $18 {wins as in the game.}) 29... a5 $2 30. g4 Qd7 31. h4 Qd8 32. Re8+ $1 Qxe8 33. Bxe8 Kxe8 34. Kg6 Kf8 35. Kh7 Kf7 36. g5 $1 (36. g5 hxg5 37. hxg5 fxg5 38. fxg5 Kf8 39. g6 $18 { A nice game for Wei Yi but quite an easy calculation compared to the brilliant ones that he has shown in the past.}) 1-0

NR Vignesh, who had a scintillating performance of 2809 before the start of the round, drew against Hou Yifan in the sixth round. It must be said that the young lad was very much on the verge of winning this game.

Surviving the sixth round by the skin of her teeth: the strongest woman player in the world Hou Yifan

A banana, an oat biscuit and a dark flask are the things Hou Yifan brings every day

India’s famous videographer Vijay Kumar, who has been tirelessly producing daily round-up videos at the Qatar Masters, hurt his right hand when he slipped in his room. However, the dedicated soul that he is, he shot and edited the round six video, which we now present to you:

 

Apart from the round’s action the video also contains interviews with Pentala Harikrishna,
Ruslan Ponomariov, Dmitry Jakovenko, Krishnan Sasikiran, M.R. Venkatesh and Abhimanyu Puranik

Rest Day excursion

Qatar lies in the region of the Arabian Desert. The country receives just five days rainfall per year on average. It was a huge surprise for all the players that on the 25th of December, the rest day, it started to pour. This sort of dampened the spirits of many who preferred to spend time in their rooms rather than going to the excursion and getting wet. Yet a few of the players had absolutely no issues with the rain and the organizers took them to the Al-Shaqab stables.

Al Shaqab is Qatar Foundation’s equestrian centre, where Arabian horses are trained. Founded in 1992 by Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Emir of Qatar, Al Shaqab is now the region’s leading equine education resource centre and features the breeding of Arabian horses.

Spread out over 980,000 square metres and with a stable capacity for more than 400 horses,
Al Shaqab stands out for its dynamic architectural design, with a central horseshoe shape

A sauna for horses!

Wesley So and his foster mother Lotis Key had a nice relaxed time with each other

A six minute interview with Wesley So where he speaks about preparation,
why he prefers two rounds a day and who will win the Candidates 2016

Tournament Director Mohamed Al Modiahki takes a selfie with a GM race horse!

Sergey Karjakin takes a selfie with the other race horse!

The women in the Carlsen family: Ingrid, Ellen, Signe and Sigrun

Ellen feeds a horse its favourite fruit – apples!

Gazal Al Shaqab, Marwan Al Shaqab and Al Adeed Al Shaqab, three World Champion horses

Creating such champion horses is not an easy task. They have to indulge in rigorous training every day. In the above picture you can see a horse being forced to walk in the water in order to increase its stamina! Here’s a video which shows the entire process:

Yes he can fly! Magnus never ever misses a chance to play his second favourite sport!

Round seven will be one of the most crucial rounds of the entire event as Magnus Carlsen will play against Anish Giri. Yu Yangyi will take on Vladimir Kramnik, with the white pieces. The Big Vlad will be searching for his revenge, as a loss to the Chinese player was exactly the reason why he couldn’t win the Qatar Masters 2014.

Photos by Amruta Mokal of ChessBase India

Pairings and results for round 6 (26.12.2015 at 15:00 local time)

Bo. No. Title Name Rtg
Pts.
Result
Pts.
Title Name Rtg No.
1 4 GM So Wesley 2775
4
½-½
GM Carlsen Magnus 2834 1
2 2 GM Kramnik Vladimir 2796
4
½-½
4
GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2748 7
3 30 GM Ganguly Surya Shekhar 2648
4
½-½
4
GM Giri Anish 2784 3
4 34 GM Swiercz Dariusz 2646
4
½-½
4
GM Karjakin Sergey 2766 5
5 6 GM Li Chao B 2750
½-½
4
GM Yu Yangyi 2736 11
6 24 GM Fedoseev Vladimir 2664
0-1
GM Harikrishna P. 2743 9
7 10 GM Jakovenko Dmitry 2737
1-0
GM Bologan Viktor 2654 27
8 36 GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son 2642
½-½
GM Vitiugov Nikita 2724 13
9 14 GM Wojtaszek Radoslaw 2723
0-1
GM Sjugirov Sanan 2646 33
10 62 GM Al-Sayed Mohammed 2520
0-1
GM Ponomariov Ruslan 2710 17
11 18 GM Ni Hua 2693
1-0
GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi 2644 35
12 52 GM Tregubov Pavel V. 2589
½-½
GM Matlakov Maxim 2684 21
13 22 GM Hou Yifan 2683
½-½
IM Vignesh N R 2422 102
14 43 GM Salem A.R. Saleh 2622
0-1
3
GM Korobov Anton 2713 15
15 8 GM Tomashevsky Evgeny 2744
3
½-½
3
GM Lu Shanglei 2618 47
16 16 GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2710
3
1-0
3
GM Esen Baris 2562 53
17 44 GM Bartel Mateusz 2620
3
½-½
3
GM Howell David W L 2688 20
18 48 GM Hamdouchi Hicham 2597
3
½-½
3
GM Duda Jan-Krzysztof 2663 25
19 26 GM Dubov Daniil 2655
3
0-1
3
IM Lin Chen 2532 57
20 28 GM Khismatullin Denis 2654
3
½-½
3
GM Xu Jun 2526 59
21 63 GM Harika Dronavalli 2513
3
0-1
3
GM Akopian Vladimir 2648 29
22 56 GM Kosteniuk Alexandra 2542
3
0-1
3
GM Khairullin Ildar 2647 31
23 66 IM Yuffa Daniil 2504
3
1-0
3
GM Sethuraman S.P. 2639 37
24 38 GM Sasikiran Krishnan 2638
3
1-0
3
IM Gagare Shardul 2470 78
25 79   Xu Yinglun 2470
3
1-0
3
GM Piorun Kacper 2637 39
26 40 GM Grandelius Nils 2632
3
1-0
3
IM Wang Yiye 2438 92
27 124   Raja Harshit 2325
3
0-1
3
GM Naroditsky Daniel 2628 41
28 42 GM Lenderman Aleksandr 2626
3
½-½
3
IM Pham Le Thao Nguyen 2319 126
29 12 GM Wei Yi 2730
1-0
GM Bromberger Stefan 2521 60
30 64 GM Sundararajan Kidambi 2513
0-1
GM Moiseenko Alexander 2689 19
31 75 GM Aravindh Chithambaram Vr. 2486
½-½
GM Adhiban B. 2669 23
32 45 GM Ipatov Alexander 2619
1-0
IM Ma Zhonghan 2463 82
33 46 GM Zhang Zhong 2619
1-0
IM Ali Marandi Cemil Can 2454 84
34 99 FM Rohan Ahuja 2426
½-½
GM Vocaturo Daniele 2597 49
35 50 GM Bok Benjamin 2594
1-0
IM Abhishek Kelkar 2393 109
36 51 GM Bluebaum Matthias 2590
½-½
IM Aryan Chopra 2436 96
37 54 GM Rambaldi Francesco 2560
½-½
WGM Abdumalik Zhansaya 2390 110
38 58 IM Svane Rasmus 2529
0-1
FM Li Di 2389 111
39 115 IM Karavade Eesha 2379
1-0
2
GM Stefanova Antoaneta 2521 61
40 90 IM Sagar Shah 2441
2
½-½
2
GM Dzagnidze Nana 2559 55
41 93 FM Basso Pier Luigi 2438
2
½-½
2
GM Schroeder Jan-Christian 2511 65
42 94   Fang Yuxiang 2438
2
½-½
2
GM Khotenashvili Bela 2496 68
43 69 IM Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan 2494
2
½-½
2
IM Nezad Husein Aziz 2425 100
44 97 GM Carlsson Pontus 2433
2
0-1
2
WGM Goryachkina Aleksandra 2493 70
45 105   Mohammad Nubairshah Shaikh 2414
2
0-1
2
GM Shoker Samy 2489 72
46 73 GM Zhukova Natalia 2488
2
½-½
2
WGM Saduakassova Dinara 2407 106
47 108 IM Saiyn Zhanat 2394
2
1-0
2
IM Sanal Vahap 2487 74
48 119   Roy Prantik 2370
2
1-0
2
IM Tabatabaei M.Amin 2482 76
49 121 IM Tissir Mohamed 2346
2
0-1
2
IM Ly Moulthun 2462 83
50 85 IM Lorparizangeneh Shahin 2454
2
0-1
2
  Firouzja Alireza 2372 118
51 87 IM Kashlinskaya Alina 2448
2
0-1
2
IM Khademalsharieh Sarasadat 2380 114
52 128 WFM Vaishali R 2313
2
0-1
2
IM Firat Burak 2446 88
53 89 IM Puranik Abhimanyu 2442
2
1-0
2
WIM Pratyusha Bodda 2260 132
54 71 IM Ezat Mohamed 2490
0-1
2
IM Guramishvili Sopiko 2368 120
55 101 IM Seyb Alexander 2425
½-½
GM Neelotpal Das 2475 77
56 103 FM Gholami Aryan 2422
0-1
GM Krush Irina 2468 80
57 81 FM Moroni Luca Jr 2466
1-0
IM Christiansen Johan-Sebastian 2385 113
58 86 GM Venkatesh M.R. 2451
1-0
WGM Bartel Marta 2271 131
59 122 WIM Bivol Alina 2344
½-½
IM Vogel Roven 2439 91
60 127 FM Goriatchkin Jouri 2318
½-½
IM Padmini Rout 2437 95
61 123   Dai Changren 2328
½-½
1
IM Batsiashvili Nino 2498 67
62 116 IM Konguvel Ponnuswamy 2377
1
0-1
1
FM Abdusattorov Nodirbek 2429 98
63 129 WIM Derakhshani Dorsa 2307
1
1-0
1
FM Haria Ravi 2416 104
64 125 WGM Pourkashiyan Atousa 2322
1
½-½
½
  Siva Mahadevan 2400 107
65 117 IM Li Ruofan 2372
½
1-0
½
IM Slavin Alexey 2388 112
66 130 IM Piasetski Leon 2287
½
1
 
  bye    

Top rankings after round six

Rk. SNo Ti. Name FED Rtg Pts.  TB1   TB2   TB3 
1 1 GM Carlsen Magnus NOR 2834 5.0 2886 19,0 20,5
2 4 GM So Wesley USA 2775 4.5 2872 21,0 24,0
3 3 GM Giri Anish NED 2784 4.5 2863 20,5 23,0
4 7 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE 2748 4.5 2833 18,0 20,5
5 2 GM Kramnik Vladimir RUS 2796 4.5 2825 18,5 21,0
6 34 GM Swiercz Dariusz POL 2646 4.5 2810 19,5 22,0
7 5 GM Karjakin Sergey RUS 2766 4.5 2808 18,0 19,5
8 11 GM Yu Yangyi CHN 2736 4.5 2790 20,5 22,5
9 9 GM Harikrishna P. IND 2743 4.5 2780 17,5 19,0
10 30 GM Ganguly Surya Shekhar IND 2648 4.5 2772 18,5 21,0
11 33 GM Sjugirov Sanan RUS 2646 4.5 2750 19,0 21,0
12 17 GM Ponomariov Ruslan UKR 2710 4.5 2748 16,5 19,5
13 10 GM Jakovenko Dmitry RUS 2737 4.5 2748 15,0 17,0
14 18 GM Ni Hua CHN 2693 4.5 2746 16,5 19,0

Standings of all 132 players

Schedule for Playchess Commentary

Day Round Time English German
Sun 27 December  Round 7 3 PM Simon Williams Sebastian Siebrecht
Mon 28 December  Round 8 3 PM Daniel King Sebastian Siebrecht
Tue 29 December  Round 9 12 PM Yasser Seirawan Sebastian Siebrecht

Links

The games will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.
 


Sagar Shah 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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autolycus autolycus 12/28/2015 07:08
http://www.axebrand.com.sg/home

The oil is medicated oil for treating headaches and other ailments.
jimliew jimliew 12/28/2015 06:06
The oil that Li Chao uses is favored by many Chinese people. It has many uses, insect bites, headache (apply to the side of your head). Some sniff it as it acts like a pick-me-up, your head becomes clearer.
ubernomics ubernomics 12/28/2015 02:56
Vlad, additionally, carries a pack of what appears to be Lindt's 70% dark chocolate.

Li Chao's water bottle contains tea leaves and chrysanthemem flower, a common blend. The oil, I'll check around (the Chinese characters say only, "this bottle has 28 milliliters". then, it has identifying text that may be Arabic - I cannot tell - a secret concoction of Chinese Muslim, perhaps.) He should upgrade from chemical-leaching plastic to glass (also, the bottle looks unwashed... he's overweight, too, and such outward details bespeak upside as chessplayer - if someone fail to care for body and private possession, how can they hope to be good at anything in life?? and yet he is #15 world chess.)

Ivanchuk always photoed as sticking finger in ear, around mouth and eye. Personal habit or photographer selective bias? Guys with random hair poking out of ear or nose seem to be not clean, in general. In this respect, Ivanchuk and Li Chao may group into same class of personal hygiene (tolerable, but do things that make you go *hmmmm*.)
yesenadam yesenadam 12/27/2015 11:07
Nice report, thanks. Gotta love Wesley's attitude, watching him always makes me smile in admiration. (Your use of the term 'foster mother' bugged me though, it seems distasteful/disrespectful to me. If he says 'mother', maybe you should too.)
qiqiangzhu qiqiangzhu 12/27/2015 06:39
I just finished the movie The Martian and laugh

http://en.chessbase.com/post/magnus-carlsen-s-cousin-in-america
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