Easy for Gukesh, Adhiban, Sethu

Prominent Indians had an easy outing in the first round of the Gibraltar Chess Tournament on Tuesday.
Adhiban during the Gibraltar Open inauguration
Adhiban during the Gibraltar Open inauguration


Chennai’s Super Grandmasters Baskaran Adhiban and SP Sethuraman won with black against weak opponents and so did teen sensation Dommaraju Gukesh. Gukesh, the youngest Grandmaster at the moment, defeated Eugenia Crespo (2169) and will meet Pavel Eljanov (2680) in the second round. Adhiban dumped compatriot Rahul Shrivastav while Sethuraman outwitted WGM Hoolt Sarah (2358).

The surprises in the first round were the draws conceded by fourth and fifth seeds, Yu Yangyi of China (2764) and Hikaru Nakamura of the US (2749). In fact, Yu Yangyi was distinctly fortunate to escape with half a point against 17-year-old Israeli IM Ariel Erenberg.

Nakamura was held by Serbia’s Blesic Vaso. Top seed Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France) was kept hard at work by Estonian IM Kalle Kiik. The Frenchman outplayed Kiik and was in cruise control from about move 30, but it took a bit of work as his opponent could legitimately play on to move 60.

17-year-old Indian Anand Nadar managed a draw with 2700-rated Russian GM Maxim Matlakov. IM P Iniyan beat Gilles Suez-Panama while India’s strongest ladies Koneru Humpy and Dronavalli Harika started off with wins.

Vidit Gujrathi shocks Kramnik

India’s Vidit Santhosh Gujrathi created a major upset as he defeated Vladimir Kramnik of Russia in the 10th round of the Tata Steel Super Chess Tournament in Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands, on Wednesday. Vidit, playing white, countered Kramnik’s Nimzo India Defence with a meticulously planned Kingside attack. After 29 moves, the Indian cornered Kramnik’s Limg with a mating attack. The much-awaited meeting between Viswanathan Anand and World champion Magnus Carlsen seemed to end in the Norwegian’s favour. Anand was fighting a pawn-down position in a rook and knight ending. Earlier on Tuesday, Anand played out an easy draw as black with Richard Rapport of Hungary. Tackling his first of the two back-to-back black games in a row with ease, Anand had a level position on board for the major part.

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