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Chess (#1027)

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 11, 2013 19:32 hrs

The 11th Parsvnath Open is developing into the usual dog-fight. It features three sections and roughly 900 players. Section B (rated Elo 1900-2200) has ended with Sushant Banerjee winning first place and Rs 1 lakh (total fund of Rs 3 lakhs). Section C (Under 1900 Elo) has over 550 players and a prize fund of Rs 6 lakhs.

The premier has over 100 players, rated above 2200, and a prize fund of Rs 12.5 lakhs. Roughly half the premier field is titled.

After seven rounds, newly-minted GM Vaibhav Suri leads with 6 points while Aleksej Alexandrov, Lalith Babu and Marat Dzumaev are in 2-4 with 5.5 points each. In the next bunch of players sharing 5-12, 13-year old Murali Karthikeyan is doing well with 5 points. The 2341-rated youngster is in the running for a GM norm.

This weekend, the Tata Steel starts in Wijk An Zee. The top section is category 20 with an average rating of 2732. It features in rating order, Carlsen, Aronyan, Caruana, Karjakin, Anand, Nakamura, Wang Hao, Leko, Giri, Harikrishna, Van Wely, Ivan Sokolov, L'Ami and Hou Yifan. My guess is, a score of plus five is required to win clear first place. Carlsen is likely to try and win every game as always. Indian hopes rest on Anand despite his streak of poor form. Harikrishna is debuting the top section by winning the 2012 B.

Group B is category 15 (average 2620) with Naiditsch (2708) top-seeded. Group C is category 10 (average 2476) with GM Fernando Peralta (2617) top seeded. Unusually, there are no Indian invitees to the lower groups.

The Diagram, BLACK TO PLAY (Xiu Deshun Vs Wen Yang, PRC League , Beijing 2012) features one of the best novelties of 2012 and was annotated by Kasparov. The known moves here are 12-- exd4 and 12. - dxc5.

Black played 12.---d5! 13.exd5 b4! 14.dxc6 bxc3 15.cxd7? A clear error. Instead 15. Nxc3 exd4 16. cxd7 dxe3 17. d7xc8=Q Rfxc8 is equal or unclear. Black responded 15.---Nd5!! 16.dxc8Q Rfxc8.

Now black gets every piece into action while the Bf1 and Rh1 are useless. The most obvious wins are 17. Bf2 Rab8 or 17. Bc1 Nb4. White tried 17.Qe4 Rab8 18.Bc1 Rxb2+! Alternatively 18. Qxe4 Rxb2+ 19. Kc1 Qa3 is as horrible.

The following mop-up is not tough but it's deep. Of course, anybody with prior analysis just has to use his memory. 19.Bxb2 Rb8 20.Ka1 Rxb2 21.Nxc3 Qxc3 22.Qd3 exd4 23.Qxc3 dxc3 24.Rxd5 Rb8! Black has to see this. 25.Rd8+ Rxd8 26.Kb1 Rd2 27.g3 Bd4 (0-1). The threat of 28. Bc4 Rb2+ 29. Kc1 Be3+ is killing. In effect black is two pieces ahead

Devangshu Datta is an internationally rated chess and correspondence chess player

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