Sunway Sitges: Six players on 4/4

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
12/16/2022 – After four rounds, six players still have perfect scores in Group A of the Sunway Chess Festival. Among the co-leaders is Samant Aditya, rated 2470, who defeated Adhiban (2611) in round 4. Two players from the top ten in the starting rank list are also among those with perfect scores — i.e. Hans Niemann and Kirill Alekseenko.

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Aditya upsets Adhiban

While an 1811-rated player was shockingly sharing the lead after three rounds — Kushal lost with black against Andrey Esipenko on Thursday — the lowest-rated player in the leading pack after four rounds has a 2470 rating. Samant Aditya, from India, defeated his compatriot Adhiban to remain among the players with perfect scores after four rounds in Sitges.

Aditya got his IM title just six months ago, at 15 years of age. In the fifth round, he will face a third Indian player in a row (no fewer than 65 Indian representatives have made their way to Catalonia), as he will get the white pieces against Karthikeyan Murali on board 4.

Sharing first place with the aforementioned Aditya and Karthikeyan are Hans Niemann, Kirill Alekseenko, Karen Grigoryan and Puranik Abhimanyu.

Playing white against Adhiban, Aditya made the most of his opponent’s questionable decision of leaving his king in the centre.

 

White has both a better structure and better chances to create an attack. There followed 20.Rxd6 Qxd6 21.bxc5 Qxc5 and now, crucially, the e6-pawn falls.

After 22.Qxe6+ Kf8 23.c3 Rb8, the younger Indian spent close to 10 minutes before playing the strong 24.Ng5, simplifying into a winning position.

 

Adhiban had nothing better than 24...fxg5 25.Qxg6, but after 25...gxh4 26.Re3, the black monarch’s precarious situation cannot be dealt with successfully. The rook is ready to join the attack, with decisive effect.

 

Black is doomed. Resignation came after 26...Qa3 27.Qe6 Qc1+ 28.Kh2. A fine, quick victory by yet another talented youngster from the South Asian chess powerhouse.

In round 3, Aryan Chopra could have suffered a similar upset loss to the one suffered by Adhiban, but his opponent, Ortig Nigmatov from Uzbekistan, did not find the precise path to victory in a very complicated ending with two rooks and a light-squared bishop per side. Our in-house expert Karsten Müller analysed the instructive position.

 

Standings after round 4

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Puranik Abhimanyu 4 9
2 Samant Aditya S 4 8
3 Alekseenko Kirill 4 7,5
4 Niemann Hans Moke 4 7,5
5 Karthikeyan Murali 4 7,5
6 Grigoryan Karen H. 4 7
7 Van Foreest Jorden 3,5 9
  Aryan Chopra 3,5 9
9 Aravindh Chithambaram Vr. 3,5 9
10 Nigmatov Ortik 3,5 8,5
11 Svane Frederik 3,5 8,5
  Abdurakhmonov Mukhammadali 3,5 8,5
13 Esipenko Andrey 3,5 8
  Safarli Eltaj 3,5 8
15 Yu Yangyi 3,5 8
  Durarbayli Vasif 3,5 8
  Gines Esteo Pedro Antonio 3,5 8
18 Tahay Alexis 3,5 8
19 Kollars Dmitrij 3,5 7,5
20 Demchenko Anton 3,5 7,5
21 Petrosyan Manuel 3,5 7
22 Aditya Mittal 3,5 7
23 Sankalp Gupta 3,5 6,5
24 Korobov Anton 3,5 6

...326 players


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Carlos Colodro is a Hispanic Philologist from Bolivia. He works as a freelance translator and writer since 2012. A lot of his work is done in chess-related texts, as the game is one of his biggest interests, along with literature and music.
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