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China Stretches Lead At Hyderabad

China Stretches Lead At Hyderabad
By Arvind Aaron

Two defeats in rounds five and six have given China a huge edge over India in the India v China Summit Clash at Hyderabad. The 2.5-1.5 defeat in round five was a normal score in this event but the sixth round defeat by 3-1 margin is both hurting to the morale of the team and the fans alike.

Two back-to-back wins in the fifth and sixth rounds have placed China in the driver’s seat in the Indo-China Summit Match that is taking place at Hyderabad.

China were favourites into this match and both Sethuraman and Lalith Babu have done well. With two rounds still remaining in the match, China are well placed with a 13.5-10.5 lead. They need just three points from the remaining two rounds or eight games to win the event which is played for the Komatireddy Prateek Reddy Trophy.

Among the Indians, Sethuraman (4/6) and M.R. Lalith Babu (3/6) are playing above their expected scores while Sasikiran (1.5/6) and Adhiban (2/6) are playing well below their known levels.

For China, World No.14 Ding Liren is performing to expectations with 4/6. Zhou Jianchao has hit a 2707 rating performance with 3.5/6. International Master Wang Chen (rating 2500) has scored 50% at 3/6 to play at 2620. The only Chinese who has not lived to expectations is Wei Yi with 3/6 and is playing at 98 Elo below his level.

The India-China Summit is for the Komati Reddy Prateek Reddy Trophy organised by the Telangana Chess Association. The prizes are Rs.600,000 to the winner and Rs.400,000 to the loser. It is sponsored by the All India Chess Federation.

Zhou Jianchao made a 2-0 score against Adhiban. Adhiban never obtained anything against the mixed ideas of the Najdorf Sicilian used by the Chinese player. Sethuraman was a pawn down but never in danger as opposite colour bishops ensured that he drew in 50 moves against Wang Chen.

Sasikiran faced the Benko gambit from Ding Liren. In the queen and rook ending that followed Sasikiran’s pawn storm, the players repeated the position and drew in 58 moves. Wei Yi obtained a two pawn advantage on the king side in the rook ending that gave him victory over Lalith Babu in 55 moves.

Round six: B Adhiban lost to Zhou Jianchao, Wang Chen drew with Sethuraman, Sasikiran drew with Ding Liren and M.R. Lalith Babu lost to Wei Yi.

The second half had started disastrously for the Indians. Zhou Jianchao beat Adhiban in a rook ending after winning a pawn. Ding Liren hunted down Sasikiran’s king in 46 moves after sacrificing two pawns and luring the black queen from its defensive role.

Sethuraman gave the Indians something to cheer about in his 68-move victory over Wang Chen. Sethuraman converted with an extra exchange against knight and pawn. Wei Yi offered a draw on move 30 which Lalith Babu accepted. The players were left with a rook and three pawns on the same side at that juncture.

Round five: Zhou Jianchao beat B Adhiban, Sethuraman beat Wang Chen, Ding Liren beat Sasikiran, Lalith Babu drew with Wei Yi.

Report – Round 4

It is Chinese turn to win Round 4 

China made a strong comeback by inflicting a defeat on the Indian team in the 4th round of the India- China Chess Summit, being held at Marriott Hyderabad. The summit is organized by Telangana Chess Association under the auspices of All India Chess Federtion. The first phase of the 8 round event is over and the two teams are tied with 4 match points each 8 game points. SP Sethuraman, former Under 16 world champion was the lone winner for the Indian team, whereas Ding Liren and IM Wang Chen ended up with victories for the Chinese team. The tussle will begin after a rest for the players tomorrow.

Overnight hero of the Indian team GM Lalith Babu lost today to GM Ding Liren of China.  Lalith playing the white side of Semi Slav defense, sacrificed a knight and bishop and gained a rook in process and disallowed castling by black king. Lalith’s Queen manoeuvre to g8 square on 16th move cast some doubt and allowed Ding Liren to equalise with black’s queen sortie to g6 square. Ding unleashed his pieces when Lalith played his bishop  to g8 square  on 22nd move to wind up the game in 35 moves. Ding has a sweet revenge after losing to the same opponent yesterday.

Meanwhile, GM Wei Yi of China was unable to avenge his defeat against GM Adhiban of India. Wei sitting behind the light colored pieces chose the quiet Italian Game against e5 move of Adhiban. A strategical exchange of major and minor pieces in the middle game led to Rook endgame with less chances. A further simplication to pawn endgame and pawn promotion of queen for each resulted in players agree for draw in 48 moves.

A major setback for India was the consecutive loss of GM Sasikiran against IM ChenWang of China. Sasi was coasting well in the Closed Sicilian and held a small advantage out of the opening. Nurturing it into an advantageous position, the experienced Indian GM overlooked a defensive move on the 29th move by Chen. In an urge to complete 40 moves Sasi ended up a pawn deficit in an inferior Rook and bishop endgame. Sasi threw in the towel on the 41st move when the last counterplay with rook was nullified. IM Chen Wang rated 182 Elo points less than Sasikiran has pocketed two crucial points for the Chinese team.

With China already winning the match with two wins, the game between Sethuraman and Zhou turned out to be interesting in view of the game points. In a Caro Kan defense, Sethu as white won a rook for his knight on the 30th move sending some relief to the Indian team. A mistake by Sethu, who decided to return the exchange on the 36th move allowed Zhou to come strong with counter play. Sethu undisturbed, set a bait by sacrificing the queen knight pawn, in which Zhou fell. In the opposite colour bishop ending, Sethu’s pawns were better placed, when Zhou’s flag fell, signaling his loss.

Results of fourth round  China beat India 2.5 -1.5

Wei Yi                      drew with           Adhiban B.

Zhou Jianchao     lost to                 Sethuraman S.P.

Wang Chen             beat                    Sasikiran Krishnan

Ding Liren                beat                    Lalith Babu M.R.

Overall standings after round 4     India and China are equal with 4 match points and 8 game points

Report – Round 3

Round – 3

Two superlative performances by Adhiban and Lalith Babu helped India win the third round of the India – China Chess Summit 2015, organised by All India Chess Federation, with the support of Telangana Chess Association at Marriott Hotel, Hyderabad today. Both defeated the top two players Ding Liren and Wei Yi, rated above 2700 to infuse confidence into the Indian team, putting behind the unexpected loss of Sasikiran to IM Wang Chen.

On the black side of Queens Indian defence, Lalith Babu doubled up his rooks with the support of the queen in the middle game to gain a positional advantage. Lalith forced the exchange of queens to leave a weak pawn structure to Ling. Finally in the rook and pawns end game, Lalith’s three connected pawns on the kingside played havoc, whereas Ling had a lone rook pawn. Ding fought in vain, only to give up the fight after 85 moves. In an interview with Indian team manager IM PDS Girinath, Lalith admitted that it was a nice win and did not expect initially. Ling’s Nd2 on 23rd move was a blessing in disguise to Lalith, after which he never looked back. This is Lalith’s first win over a player with a rating above 2750.

Adhiban played a brilliant game today, outwitting world junior champion Wei Yi in just 25 moves. He allowed Wei to capture the poisoned b2 pawn on the eighth move of the Najdorf variation of Sicilian defence. Adhiban sacrificed his knight on 18th move and when he posted the knight on d6 two moves later threatening the king with a check, the verdict became clear. Wei had to lose his bishop to avoid the checkmate or loss of queen. Adhiban unleashed another knight sacrifice, forcing Wei to surrender. At the end of the game, Wei had three minutes left on the clock, whereas Adhiban had more than an hour.

Sasikiran lost to international master Wang Chen in a queen pawn game lasting 45 moves. Sasikiran’s pawn sacrifice on 18th move was unwarranted, enabling his opponent’s knight and bishop to combine effectively, which led to the loss of his rook for Wang’s knight. Wang controlled the open –c file with his rook and combined it with the queen to deliver a big threat. Though Sasi had a good counter attack, defence was his first priority and lost the game.

Adopting Semi Slav defence against Zhou Jianchao, Jianchao exchanged the queens early in the game – on the 8th move. Both played attacking game, but the bishop Vs knight with equal pawns petered out into a draw after 48 moves. The players will have reversed colours with the same opponents tomorrow in the fourth round.

Results of third round

India beat China 2.5 – 1.5

Adhiban B.                beat              Wei Yi

Sethuraman S.P.       drew with     Zhou Jianchao

Sasikiran Krishnan    lost to           Wang Chen

Lalith Babu M.R.       beat              Ding Liren

Report – Round 2

India Levels with China

India made a sweet revenge, inflicting a 2.5 – 1.5 margin defeat on China, to level the game points and match points at the end of the second round of India – China Chess Summit 2015, organised by Telangana State Chess Association at Hotel Marriott, Hyderabad today. Local lad MR Lalith Babu, a former Commonwealth champion provided the ray of hope to India, as he defeated IM Wang Chen in 59 moves of a Caro Kann defence game and all the other three games were drawn. Both teams have scored 2 match points and five game points so far and six more rounds remain to be played.

Lalith castled on the queen side on 10th move and traded the queens two moves later. The three connected pawns on the king side provided a big advantage to Lalith, compared to the isolated pawns of Wang in the end game. Wang was forced to forego his bishop and he resigned the game, when he was about to be checkmated.

Ling DIren, who has a rating of 2755, declined the Queen’s gambit by Adhiban and the tussle was interesting and gruelling. Adhiban managed to grab a pawn in the middle game, but had to give it back a few moves later. Ling tried for a win in a rook ending with an extra pawn, but Adhiban forced him to split the point in 70 moves.

In the Sicilian defence between Indian team captain K Sasikiran and GM Zhou Jianchao, both players castled their kings late in the game, after 17 moves. Immediately, Sasi pushed his king side pawns forward, applying pressure on Zhou’s king. Sasi sacrificed a pawn on 26th move and exchanged the queens, but Zhou parried Sasi’s double bishop advantage on 30th move. Pseudo sacrifice of bishop did not pay much dividends and Sasi had to be content with a draw in 42 moves, when both were left with a rook and pawn each.

SP Sethuraman followed the Caro Kann defence against sixteen year old Wei Yi, who eclipsed Carlsen’s  record to be the youngest to reach 2700 elo rating. They played at a fast pace, reeling off 20 moves in the opening in just 20 minutes of total time.  Sethuraman’s  Nexd2 on 20th move forced Wei Yi to ponder over 48 minutes to make his next move. It seemed as if Sethu will build up an advantage, but Wei revealed his fighting prowess to level the position. Both had connected pawns on different flanks in a rook and pawns ending. Though Sethu had an extra pawn, they had to settle for a draw after well fought 49 moves for four and half hours.

Adhiban plays Wei Yi in a crucial game of third round tomorrow. In the games, Sethuraman plays Zhou, Sasi faces Wang Chen and Lalith Babu meets Ding Liren.

Results of second round:

India beat China 2.5 – 1.5

Adhiban B.                                  drew with               Ding Liren

Sethuraman S.P.                         drew with               Wei Yi

Sasikiran Krishnan                      drew with               Zhou Jianchao

Lalith Babu M.R.                        beat                        Wang Chen

India Takes Lead After Round Three

India Takes Lead After Round Three
By Arvind Aaron

India took the lead over China at the end of the third round in the Summit Match at Hyderabad on March 4, 2015. Round three saw three higher rated players lose and one of them made a draw. None of the higher rated players won on either side!

India’s 2.5-1.5 win in round three gave the home team an overall slender 6.5-5.5 lead in the four board Scheveningen match. Five rounds or 20 games remain to be played.

Andhra’s Lalith Babu was the hero of round three as well. He shocked World No.14 Ding Liren with the black pieces. His endgame display was sufficient to defeat the strongest Chinese player in a marathon rook ending.

Posting back to back wins, Lalith Babu has turned the fortunes of the home country. He is leading with a big 2.5/3 personal score among all eight players.

Adhiban shocked Wei Yi with the white pieces. The Chinese player went for the piosoned pawn variation of the Najdorf Sicilian. Adhiban finished him off with a knight sacrifice to win a miniature game.

India expected Sasikiran to win at the start of this round. He is the highest rated Indian and his opponent, Wang Chen was the lowest rating Chinese. However, pawn advances indicated that the Indian was going for the risk. Wang Chen trooped his minor pieces and won a rook for knight which gave China their lone win in a day of upsets.

All three lower rated players winning thus far, the lone higher rated who did not lose the game was Indian champion Sethuraman. He thwarted the passed pawn threat with a well posted knight to draw Zhou Jianchao in 48 moves.

India won the match 2.5-1.5. In round four, the same players meet with the colours reversed. Olympic champions, China would be seeking revenge for the double defeat suffered in a row.

Lalith Babu Helps India Level Scores

Lalith Babu Helps India Level Scores
By Arvind Aaron

M.R. Lalith Babu of Vijayawada helped India level the scores against China. He defeated Wang Chen with the black pieces in round two to help India win 2.5-1.5. After two rounds, the series is tied 4-4 with six rounds or 24 games still to be played.

India and China are playing a four a side Scheveningen system match with each player facing the rival twice, once with white and once with black.

In the top board, Adhiban could only draw with white against World No.14 ranked Ding Liren. In a rook ending, Adhiban had to fight and get a draw after 70 moves with the white pieces.

In the other two games, Wei Yi-Sethuraman and Sasikiran-Zhou Jianchao ended in draws.In the third round, Sasikiran faces up Wang Chen, the lowest rated Chinese and could look for his first victory.

Lalith Babu won a piece against Wang Chen but was able to cash the point in a touch and go ending after 59 moves. Lalith Babu played the Caro-Kann and his opponent went for the two knights variation. Chances for both sides opened up in the opposite coloured bishop ending. Game became lively. Lalith Babu raced ahead by one move to win the game.

Lalith Babu works for Indian Oil and along with Ding Liren has scored 1.5/2. Adhiban and Wang Chen are on 0.5/2 and the rest of the players are on one out of two. This India v China Summit Class is happening at Hyderabad and can be followed at www.aicf.in

Ding Liren Helps China Wrest Lead In Hyderabad

Ding Liren Helps China Wrest Lead In Hyderabad
By Arvind Aaron

World No.14 ranked Ding Liren made the difference in the first round of the eighth round Indo-China Summit Scheveningen Match that got underway at Hyderabad on Monday.

In the opening game, Ding Liren beat former world under-16 champion B Adhiban of India to give China a 2.5-1.5 lead in the best of four board match. Seven rounds remain to be played.

The event was inaugurated by D.V. Sundar, Vice President of FIDE in the presence of Dinakar Babu IAS, Managing Director and Chairman, Sports Authority of Telangana State, Narasimha Reddy, Chairman, Bar Council of Telangana State and also the Vice President of All India Chess Federation. Bharat Singh Chauhan, CEO, AICF and V. Hariharan, Honorary Secretary, AICF, KS Prasad, Convener of the Summit and Sharath Datta, CMD of Marriott Hotel were also present.

The summit is organised by Telangana Chess Association, on behalf of All India Chess Federation, to commemorate the stunning performance by India in the Olympiad. The AICF is also the sponsor of this Rs.10 Lakh prize money event.

Ding Liren, as white, took advantage of a side variation chosen by Adhiban in the Grufeld defence. The Chinese player, won two pieces for the rook as black was slow to develop his queen side.

The other games were drawn. Indian champion Sethuraman refrained from playing the main line against Wei Yi’s Najdorf and drew by repetition of moves on move 32. China’s strength is the first two boards where they have 2700+ rated players. India can do well against the third and fourth board players of China and we are higher rated there.

However, Sasikiran had black and only drew against Zhou Jianchou in 33 moves from a bishop’s ending. Wang Chen held M.R. Lalith Babu in a bishop ending after 60 moves. To win this match, Indians might have to pick on the lower rated Chinese. The Chinese manager is Xu Jun and the Indian manager is International Master P.D.S. Girinath. The first team to reach 16.5 points will win this series.