Report – Round 5

The second phase of The India-China Chess Summit for Komatireddy Prateek Reddy Trophy, organized by Telangana  State Chess Association on behalf of All India Chess Federation, started today after a free day in which the players were expected to deliver their best. It was the resurgent Chinese who delivered their goods and won the 5th round with the same margin of 2.5 – 1.5 points. China leads the match with 10.5 – 9.5.

The first game to finish  was the one between Lalith Babu and  Wei Yi . Unwilling to take risks both played out a quick draw in 30 moves from a Queen pawn fianchetto. A flurry of exchanges from 9th to 19th move left each with a Rook and 3 pawns and nothing to play for.

China took the lead when Ding Liren beat  Sasikiran of India. The popular Berlin defense of the Ruy Lopez was the topic of their game. Ding chose to move his to Bishop to g5 square instead of the routine Nbd2. A good control over the king file gave Ding to penetrate with a rook on the 7th rank. Sasi used his queen to counter attack and was busy picking few white pawns. When clock was ticking around one minute, Sasi faltered by moving his bishop and allowed a strong attack by Ding. Ding Liren, the youngest ever to win the Chinese Championship, went on to hunt the black king successfully and wrap the game in 46 moves. Sasikiran is not in good shape, as he has lost a hat trick of games so far.

Zhou Jiancho extended the lead for China when he beat Adhiban in 65 moves from a game arising out of semi-Tarrasch defense. Adhiban chose to sacrifice a pawn on the 24th move to gain some access on White’s King which backfired. Zhou digested the pawn successfully by exchanging major pieces and entered a pawn up rook endgame. Zhou notched his first win of the tournament in 65 moves.

Sethuraman , turned out to be the savior once again, at least to reduce the deficit the game point. Sethu gained more space out of the Alekhine opening chosen by Chen. An earlier queen exchange offer by the Chinese must have been a part of strategy to play the game safe. Sethu expanded on the queen side and was able to win a rook for his knight and a pawn on the 36th move. With the Chinese IM putting a good resistance, the win was far from easy. Chen faltered with couple of moves in the time pressure of the second time control and Sethu won the game in 68 moves.

Results of fifth round

Zhou Jianchao beat Adhiban B.
Wang Chen lost to Sethuraman S.P.
Ding Liren beat Sasikiran Krishnan
Wei Yi drew with Lalith Babu M.R.