The clash between the top two seeds and overnight joint leaders GM Aleksej Aleksandrov of Belarus and GM Andrei Deviatkin of Russia was an intense struggle with both fighting all out, but in the end they had to settle for a peaceful result in the 8th round of the Mumbai Mayor’s Cup International Chess tournament in progress at the Chetana College.
On the second board Nikolai Chadaev of Russia was also stretched all the way by local lad Saumil Padhya but the latter was outplayed in the ending.
In another important result John Paul Gomez of Philippines defeated slightly higher rated Kirill Stupak of Belarus. After the draw between the leaders on the top board, they are now joined in the lead by Gomez and Chadaev, all having scored 7 points apiece.
An unwell Abhijit Kunte took shelter in a short draw against GM Hoang Thanh Trang and these two are half a point behind the leaders along with B Adhiban who scored a victory over WGM Ticia Gara.
In fact there are now 7 players with 6.5 points each among them talented teenagers Sahaj Grover (playing despite a severe reaction to antibiotics) who defeated Sagar Shah and his Delhi mate Vaibhav Suri.
Vishnu Prasanna and Deepan Chakravarthy also have tallied 6.5 points. Three more rounds remain in this 335 player Swiss League event conducted by Venus Chess Academy and co sponsored by LIC of India.
The Slav defence game on the top board lasted for 50 moves where the players signed truce only when they were left with a rook and one pawn each and it was completely dead.
In the Spanish game Saumil Padhye played enterprisingly with the White pieces against Chadaev and did not miss any opportunity to exchange pieces. In the ending, the Russian showed better technique to first win a pawn and then the game after 76 moves.
Stupak lost after 48 moves of a Queen’s Gambit to Gomez.
Videos from the tournament are available on YouTube
Top round 9 pairings:
GM Chadaev Nikolai RUS 2563 7 – 7 GM Aleksandrov Aleksej BLR 2606
GM Gomez John Paul PHI 2507 7 – 7 GM Deviatkin Andrei RUS 2577
GM Adhiban B IND 2555 6½ – 6½ GM Hoang Thanh Trang HUN 2449
GM Kunte Abhijit IND 2538 6½ – 6½ GM Deepan Chakkravarthy J IND 2461
IM Grover Sahaj IND 2506 6½ – 6½ GM Rahman Ziaur BAN 2520
IM Vishnu Prasanna V IND 2431 6½ – 6 GM Stupak Kirill BLR 2513
IM Situru Muhammad Ivan INA 2290 6 – 6 GM Paragua Mark PHI 2521
G Akash IND 2275 6 – 6 IM Vaibhav Suri IND 2485
Abhishek Das IND 2264 6 – 6 GM Czebe Attila HUN 2475
Report by Vitthal Madhav