Monday, 12 August 2013

Indians at the Tromso Chess World Cup

The Chess World Cup is taking place in Tromso, Norway. The top 2 winners qualify for the Candidates, the winner of which will wrestle against the world champion.
There are 4 Indians participating at the Tromso World Cup (Sasikiran, Negi, Adhiban & Akash).

Update after R2:
Adbhiban is the lone Indian standing. He now faces world #9 Hikaru Nakamura in R3.
Sasikiran was ousted after he lost 1.5-0.5 to Sergey Karjakin in the rapid playoffs.

Edit: After the tiebreaks in Round 1:

  • Caruana (2796) 1.5 - 0.5 Akash (2332) => Akash eliminated
  • Alekseev (2714) 3 - 5 Adhiban (2567) => Adhiban wins
  • Kryvoruchko (2678) 4 - 2 Negi (2634) => Negi eliminated
  • Sasikiran (2660) 2.5 - 1.5 Lupulescu (2650) => Sasikiran wins

Caruana (2796) 1.5 - 0.5 Akash (2332) => Akash eliminated
Elo difference: 464 points!!

Game 1 - Akash 0-1 Caruana
Akash lost the first game with White although he was equal for nearly 25 moves. Caruana slowly squeezed Akash back to the wall and cramped his position.
Position after White's 40. Re2
How did Caruana (Black) end the game!?
Solution: (highlight the black box to see the solution) Rxh4!  (Hint: Simplification!)

Game 2 - Caruana 1/2 Akash
Needing a win in the final game of the mini match and playing Black against the World #3 is not easy. The pieces soon came off the board and Akash's extra doubled pawn gave no significant advantage and a draw was signed after 57 moves.

Alekseev (2714) 1 - 1 Adhiban (2567) => Tiebreak
Elo difference: 147 points!

Both games were uneventful draws. So Adhiban has done a good job of taking his higher rated opponent to the tie breaks.

Tie breaks consist of 2 games with a time control of '25 minutes for each player with an addition of 10 seconds after each move'. Tie breaks are on Tuesday, 17:30pm IST.

Kryvoruchko (2678) 1 - 1 Negi (2634) => Tie break
Two decisive games with Black pieces!

Game 1 - Kryvoruchko 0-1 Negi
Negi nicely maneuvered his pieces and exchanged them at the right time. The Rook, Knight and King soon set a nice mating net around the White King and the opponent resigned. Pretty instructive game!

Game 2 - Negi 0-1 Kryvoruchko
With White pieces, Negi only needed a draw to qualify for the next round. But Caissa had other plans!
Negi came out of the opening with a advantage. When things were almost equal, Negi made a mistake by moving his Bishop to e6 at move 42!
Position after White's 42. Be6?
How did Kryvoruchko (Black) force things here?
Solution: 42... d3!! {offering his Knight!} 43. Ra1 (43. Rxb4 Rd8 {
who can stop the pawn?} 44. Re4 Qxe4!! 45. Qxe4 d2 {wins}) 43... Nc2 44. Rd1
Qe2 45. Qg4 Rd8 {and Negi resigned 5 moves later} 0-1

Sasikiran (2660) 1 - 1 Lupulescu (2650) => Tie break

Game 1 - Lupulescu 1/2 Sasikiran
Draw in 19 moves! (I remember reading how Sasikiran has a fighting spirit and generally does not accept quick draws.). But this strategy probably makes sense in a match, where you are content to draw with Black, preserve your energy and fight for a win with White.

Game 2 - Sasikiran 1/2 Lupulescu
Sasikiran did get a tiny advantage in the Nimzo Indian but Black was never into any serious trouble.

Tie breaks consist of 2 games with a time control of '25 minutes for each player with an addition of 10 seconds after each move'. Tie breaks are on Tuesday, 17:30pm IST.

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