China extended their lead to 2 match victories by scoring an emphatic 3 – 1 win over India at the end of 6th round of India – China Summit for the Komatireddy Prateek Reddy Trophy, organised by Telangana Chess Association, on behalf of All India Chess Federation at Marriott Hotel, Hyderabad. With 2 rounds still to go, the home team has the difficult task of winning the remaining matches to be on par with China. They also need to win one match with a margin of 3 – 1.
GM Zhou defeated Adhiban for the second consecutive time – in the fifth and sixth rounds. He used his dark colored pieces well to beat GM Adhiban quickly to put the Chinese team in a commanding position. In the Sicilian game, white’s bishop got struck on black’s queen side and the plan to retrieve it cost him dearly. A pawn sacrifice first, later a knight sacrifice became a full rook down and it was curtains for white in 38 moves.
GM Sethuraman was unable to do the same magic like yesterday against IM Wang Chen who was determined to hold this game. The positional moves in the Closed Sicilian game chosen by Chen allowed less freedom to Sethu’s minor pieces. A lifeless endgame appeared in the bishop’s of opposite colours and they mutually agreed for a draw in 50 moves.
The third game to finish was between GMs Wei Yi and Lalith Babu. Wei replied with the advance variation against the Caro Kan defense of Lalith. Wei infiltrated black with his Queen and Rook, thereby creating pressure on the e6 square. Lalith’s time pressure forced him to seek lesser alternative, which in turn handed the advantage to white. The ensuing tactics resulted in a two pawns deficit for Lalith, who resigned on 55th move.
With two losses in three games and already the match point in the China’s court, all the eyes were set on Sasikiran vs Ding Liren game. Ding sprang an early surprise by opting for the Benko gambit against the white pieces of Sasi. White’s strategy of invasion through the King file as well as holding of the Black’s Queen side counterplay did happen, much to the relief of the spectators. In a complex middle game Sasikiran probably missed a knight pseudo sacrifice on the 48th move to get closer to win. Ding seized the opportunity to get his defenses right and drew the game in 58 moves. It was unlucky for Sasi who came back well after three consecutive losses, only to let Ding off the hook.
Results of sixth round
Adhiban B. lost to Zhou Jianchao
Sethuraman S.P. drew with Wang Chen
Sasikiran Krishnan drew with Ding Liren
Lalith Babu M.R. lost to Wei Yi