The top two seeds GMs Aleksej Aleksandrov of Belarus and Andrei Deviatkin of Russia scored neat victories in the seventh round of the Mumbai Mayor’s Cup-International Chess tournament organised by the Venus Chess Academy and co sponsored by LIC of India.
The duo are now leading this 335-player 11-round Swiss League event with 6.5 points. From the Indian point of view it was a disappointing day as main hope and the highest rated Indian in fray B Adhiban was defeated by Aleksandrov while Deviatkin accounted for Ziaur Rahman of Bangladesh.
However Abhijit Kunte scored over yesterday’s giant killer Rakesh Kulkarni and is trailing half a point behind the leaders along with five other players. Oliver Barbosa had another unsatisfying day, this time drawing against Abhishek Das.
After some impressive show in the first few rounds, the Indians appeared to run out of steam while the foreign GMs showed good technique to prevail over lower rated players.
There were a few minor flutters with some draws conceded by the lower rated GMs, but basically it was a quiet rounds.
In the Queen’s Gambit Accepted game, Adhiban playing Whites was rather subdued and Aleksandrov was on the aggressive side. Adhiban could never get back the gambited pawn in the opening and later lost another one. Aleksandrov then immediately forced the exchange of pieces and won after 48 moves.
Yesterday in the 6th round played late evening, local lad Rakesh Kulkarni scored a double delight, upsetting two GMs in the two rounds played. Otherwise it was a round which the higher rated players dominated.
Kulkarni with a modest rating of just 2234 had double Whites in both the games played yesterday and made full use of them. Coincidentally both his opponents chose the Centre counter Gambit against him.
Barbosa strangely moved his queen many times during the game and Kulkarni kept attacking and forcing her to retreat. Kulkarni also craftily forced the exchange of pieces and once the queen’s were exchanged the player reached a minor piece each ending where Kulkarni’s powerful bishop escorted his passed pawn to the last rank to clinch victory after 46 moves.
Videos from the tournament are available on YouTube
Top round 8 pairings:
GM Aleksandrov Aleksej BLR 2606 6½ – 6½ GM Deviatkin Andrei RUS 2577
Padhya Saumil IND 2236 6 – 6 GM Chadaev Nikolai RUS 2563
GM Hoang Thanh Trang HUN 2449 6 – 6 GM Kunte Abhijit IND 2538
GM Stupak Kirill BLR 2513 6 – 6 GM Gomez John Paul PHI 2507
WGM Gara Ticia HUN 2365 5½ – 5½ GM Adhiban B IND 2555
GM Paragua Mark PHI 2521 5½ – 5½ IM Ravi Lanka IND 2324
GM Rahman Ziaur BAN 2520 5½ – 5½ FM Chatterjee Debaraj BAN 2316
Sagar Shah IND 2301 5½ – 5½ IM Grover Sahaj IND 2506
GM Deepan Chakkravarthy J IND 2461 5½ – 5½ Kulkarni Rakesh IND 2234
Report by Vitthal Madhav