All players in the tournament have chances to grab the title in the end. Surprisingly, the lowest rated player, Sasikiran, is leading. Today he meets Gata Kamsky, who constantly improves his form.
1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 a6 5. e3 Kamsky goes back to his favorite variation in the Slav Defence with a6, while Sasikiran chooses the solid 5. e3 and not the popular 5. c5.
5... b5 6. c5 g6 7. Bd3 Bg7 8. h3 Bf5 Kamsky plays an opening novelty.
9. Bxf5 gxf5 10. Qc2 Qc8 Kamsky achieved a nice exchange of White squared bishops and took control of "e4". His last move is preventive. He protects the "c6" and "f5" pawns and his Knight also after "g2-g4, fxg4, Nxg4".
11. Ne5 Ne4 12. Nd3 Nd7 After 13.Ne2 and 14.Ndf4 the position of White nicely structured, but that does not mean that Black is not standing well.
13. Ne2 Bf6 14. Bd2 Rg8 15.0-0-0 Rg2 16.Rdg1 Rg1 17.Rg1 Kf8 18.f3 looks like a promising pawn sacrifice.
15. g3 Typically in his style, Sasikiran does not take risks and chooses solid continuations.
Kamsky obviously has difficulties finding the counter the plan 0-0-0 и g3-g4.
15... e6 16. O-O-O h5 17. Rdg1 Sasikiran prepares the breach g3-g4.
17... Qc7 18. Nef4 Nxd2 19. Qxd2 h4 20. g4 e5 21. Ne2 e4 21.g5 was an interesting attempt to take advantage, but the Indian chess player did not move that. Sasikiran has a totally different style of play and that did not fit his plans.
22. Ndf4 fxg4 23. hxg4 Bg5 24. Nh3 f6 25. Nef4 Nf8 26. f3 exf3 27. Rf1 O-O-O 28. Rxf3 With methodical play, Sasikiran achieved a small positional advantage.
28... Re8 29. a4 Bh6 30. Nf2 Nh7 31. Ng2 Re6 32. Rxh4 The strategy of Sasikiran gave him material advantage. Now he has a pawn more, but the game may be decided by time trouble for both players.
32... Bg5 33. Rhh3 Rge8 34. Kb1 Nf8 35. Nf4 Bxf4 36. Rxf4 Nh7 37. axb5 axb5 38. Rf5 Ng5 39. Rh1 Rxe3 40. Rxf6 Nf3 Due to the time trouble, Sasikiran not only lost his advantage, but after the time control he will have to sacrifice an exchange.
41. Rxf3 Rxf3 42. Nd3 After a long calculation, the Indian GM sacrificed an exchange. He will be counting on the strong "e5" square for his Knight, in order to gain some compensation.
42... Ref8 43. Qe2 After 43...Qg7 (43...Qf7 44.Ka2) 44.Ne5 R3f6 45.Qd3 Rh6 46.Rh6 Qh6 47.g5 white have chances for counter play
43... Qf7 44. Rh6 Rf1+ 45.Ne5 Qg7 46.Rh3 Kb7 and the opened position of the White King, give Black excellent chances in the coming time trouble for Sasikiran.
45. Kc2 Rf6 46. Rxf6 Qxf6 47. g5 Qg6 48. Kc3 Qe4 49. Qxe4 dxe4 50. Ne5 Kc7 51. Kd2 Rf2+ 52. Ke3 Rxb2 53. Kxe4 Rg2 54. d5 cxd5+ 55. Kxd5 Rxg5 56. Kd4 Rh5 57. Nd3 Rh4+ 58. Kc3 Kc6 59. Kb3 Kd5 60. Kc2 Kc4 0-1