CHESS #1349

After a huge tie for first at Dubai, there was another huge tie at the Gamma Open in Reykjavík, Iceland. By contrast, only two players tied at the Bangkok Open. The Shenzhen GM has just got underway and the Grenke Chess Classic starts this weekend. 

Dubai was a success for 17-year-old P Iniyan, who was one of the seven players who tied for first. Apart from Iniyan, who has just become India’ 61st GM, K S Raghunandan scored his maiden GM norm, and Bharath Subramaniyam, his second IM norm.

At the Gamma, eight players tied with 7 points after nine rounds. Constantin Lupulescu had the best tiebreak, with Alireza Firouzja second. Abhijeet Gupta was one of the “joint champions”. Unfortunately, his last round win came at the expense of Prithu Gupta, who was hoping for a GM norm. In Bangkok, Jan Gustaffson and Deep Sengupta (both 7.5/9) tied, with Gustaffson having the better tiebreak. 

The Shenzhen is a six-player double round robin with Ding Liren and Yu Yangyi facing off versus Richard Rapport, Anish Giri, Harikrishna and Dmitry Jakovenko. It started with three draws. The Grenke features Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Viswanathan Anand, Maxime Vachier Lagrave, Levon Aronian, Peter Svidler, Arkadij Naiditsch, Francisco Vallejo Pons, Georg Meier and the young Vincent Keymer. 

Carlsen is on a roll with monster performances since he retained the title. Caruana won in 2018. But despite the presence of the two “Cars”, one major point of interest will be the performance of the 15-year-old German IM who's lowest rated. It will be a trial by fire even for an exceptional talent. 

Speaking of youth, the Indians took eight medals at the Asian Youth Standard for under-16 and below at standard time controls. FM Sreeshwan Maralakshikari and Moksh Amit Doshi won Gold in the under-14 and the under-16 open categories, respectively. Silvers came for Mayank Chakraborty, Mahendra Teja Mekala, Sankalp Gupta and WFM Harshini A in under-10, 12, 14, 16 open and under-18 girls, respectively. Jaivardhan Raj and FM Mitrabha Guha won bronze in the under-8 and the under-18 open category. Sreeshwan (born 2006) now has 2462 Elo and two IM norms. 

The Diagram , White to Play, (White: Iniyan Vs Black: Sandro Mareco, Dubai 2019) is a nice position for deep tactics practice. Black has two queens. But White wins with 33. Nh6+!! gxh6 34. Qe8+! Rxe8 35. Rxe8+ Qf8 36. Rxf8+ Kxf8 37. Rxd1 Ne5 38. Rd5 Nc6  39. Rd7 (1-0). The rook cuts off the king and takes off pawns. 

The complex line is 34 Qe8+ Qf8!? 35. Rg3+ Ng5 36. f7+ Kg7 37. Qe5+ Kg6 38. Qf5+ Kh5 39. Rxg5+! hxg5 40. Qxh7+ Qh6 41. g4+ Kh4 42. Qxh6+ Kg3 43. f8=Q and 44. Qf2 is the killer. That's why the g-file must be opened. 

Devangshu Datta is an internationally rated chess and correspondence chess player

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