Report – Round 1

China started with a strategic win over India in the inaugural round of the India – China chess Summit 2015, organised by Telangana State Chess Association, on behalf of All India Chess Federation at Marriott Hotel, Hyderabad. They registered a win on the top board and played it safe on the remaining three boards to win by a margin of 2.5 – 1.5 and gained two match points in the process.

China drew the first blood in the Summit, when the highest rated player Ding Liren defeated former Under 16 world champion B Adhiban in a game arising out of Grunfeld defence transposed to Slav later. A pyrotechnic display was expected in the game between the top ranked players of both teams, but Ding held the upper hand to give an advantage to China. Adhiban exchanged the queens on 17th move and trouble started for him since then. When Adhiban played a weak move of Be6 on his 20th turn, Ding seized the opportunity to grab Adhiban’s bishop and knight and a pawn, giving back only his rook as compensation. Adhiban gave up the fight, when he was on the verge of losing one more pawn.

World Junior champion Wei Yi opted the Najdorf variation of Sicilian defence against former under 16 world champion SP Sethuraman. Though Wei made some attacking moves in the opening, he also went into shell to play cautiously. They repeated the positions of their king and queen three times successively and mutually agreed for a draw.

In the English opening, Zhou Jianchao played an aggressive game against the Indian team captain Sasikiran. Though Sasikiran’s castled kingside was exposed, he played some strong moves to nullify Zhou’s advantage. After exchanging all the pieces except a dark coloured bishop to each, there was nothing left in the game and they settled for a draw after 33 moves.

Though the local lad Laith Babu had a good pawn structure in the middle game, he could not exploit it to a win against the only international master of the Summit Wang Chen in an irregular opening. In a same colour bishop ending, both could not obtain any breakthrough and settled for a draw after 60 moves. The tournament is played under Scheveningen system, where each player of the Indian team will play with all the members of the Chinese team twice, once with White and the other with Black. Tomorrow, opponents of first round will meet again, with reversed colours.

Results of first round

India                             1½ – 2½        China

Adhiban B.                    lost to           Ding Liren

Sethuraman S.P.           drew with     Wei Yi

Sasikiran Krishnan        drew with     Zhou Jianchao

Lalith Babu M.R.           drew with     Wang Chen