Monday, 3 December 2012

Commonwealth Championships 2012 - Second Half

By Moulthun Ly

Going into the 7th round, Junta was sitting on a solid 4.5/6. Up against GM Deepan Chakkravarthy J. with the white pieces. I remember him well from when we played last year, as the win managed to knock me slightly over the rating barrier, earning me the IM title.

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. O-O d5 6. c4 c6 7. Qb3 Qb6 8. Qa3!?

I can't say I've ever seen this idea been played before. More typical is 8. c5 or nc3 but our player here is far from typical I suppose. Possibly Black has to go for some complications with ...dxc4! and Black should remain with a fine position. Although in the game Black gives white the bishop pair and solid advantage. Junta goes on to convert his advantage effectively, developing a swift king-side attack.

Bg4 9. e3 e6 10. Ne5 Nbd7 11. Nxg4 Nxg4 12. Nc3 a5 13. Qa4 Qb4 14. Qd1 Ngf6 15.
c5 a4 16. Bd2 Qc4 17. Re1 Qa6 18. Bf1 Qa7 19. b3 b6 20. b4 Rfc8 21. a3 h5 22.
Rc1 Nh7 23. h3 bxc5 24. bxc5 e5 25. Ne2 Ng5 26. Bg2 Ne6 27. Bb4 f5 28. g4 h4
29. gxf5 gxf5 30. dxe5 Nxe5 31. f4 Ng6 32. Bf3 Kh7 33. Kh1 Rg8 34. Rg1 Kh6 35.
Qd3 Qf7 36. Rg2 Ne7 37. Rcg1 Bh8 38. Qd1 Rxg2 39. Rxg2 Bf6 40. Qc2 Ng7 41. Bc3
Ne6 42. Qb2 Bxc3 43. Qxc3 Kh7 44. Qe5 Rg8 45. Rxg8 Nxg8 46. Nd4 Nxc5 47. Nxc6
Ne4 48. Bxe4 dxe4 49. Nd4 Nh6 50. Ne6 Qb7 51. Ng5+ Kg6 52. Qd6+ Kh5 53. Qd1+

54. Qxa4 {Time} 1-0 

"very lucky, he was just checking the perpetual check (only move to start checking too) but thought for 1 second too long..."

Round 8 was against an Indian IM whereby he played the french for the first time. Sharma chose a lesser known sideline, which I have currently also been playing with a mixed success rate. The play became quite sharp and both players missed some chances to gain an advantage. "missing easy and not-so-easy wins" (Junta)

Round 9 had him paired against IM Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman. When I first saw this pairing, I was immediately reminded of our previous and only encounter. Almost 5 or so years ago when I played her. The game was in the last round of a big open tournament for my final norm. I played a very effective King's Gambit but failed at the very last hurdle, gifting away free point. After that game, I took a break from chess for a couple of years, before returning. But it still serves as a reminder for me, that the final move is always the one that counts.

The games starts as a typical Spanish, which is good to see from white.
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. d3 d6 7. c3 O-O 8. Re1
b5 9. Bc2 Re8 10. a4 Rb8 11. Nbd2 Bf8 12. d4?! [ A little too early to open the position, leaves the white pieces a bit uncoordinated ] Preferable was a simple h3 or Nf1

 ...exd4 13. Nxd4 Bb7 14. axb5 Nxd4
15. cxd4 axb5 16. f3 c5 17. dxc5 dxc5 18. Nf1 c4 19. Be3 Bb4 20. Qxd8 Rexd8 21.
Red1 Kf8 22. Kf2 Rxd1 23. Bxd1 Nd7 24. Bc2 Ne5 25. Ke2 Nc6 26. Rd1 Be7 27. f4
Ke8 28. Ng3 g6 29. e5 Ra8 30. Bb1 Nb4 31. Ne4 Nd5 32. g3 Nxe3 33. Kxe3 Bc8 34.
Nd6+ Bxd6 35. Rxd6 Ra1 36. Be4 Re1+

A critical endgame position is reached, as we know piece activity is important. Therfor 37. Kd4! makes perfect sense. After 37. Kd4 Re2 38. Bc6+ Ke7 39. Bxb5 Rxb2 40. Bc4 Rh2 41. Rc6! with a very small advantage to white due to his activity.

37. Kf3 Bd7 38. Rd2 h5 39. Bd5 Ke7 40. Kf2 Rc1 41. Bxf7 Bf5 42. Bd5 b4 43. Re2 Bg4 44. Bf3 Bf5 45. Bd5 c3 46. bxc3 bxc3 47. Ke3 Bg4 48. Bf3 Bd7 49. Be4 Ba4 50. Kd4 Kf7 51. Kc4 Kg7 52. Kb4 Bd1 53. Ra2 h4 54. gxh4 Bg4 55. Rc2 Rf1 56. Rxc3 Rxf4 57. Rc4 Bf5 58. Bd5 Rf2 59. Kc5 Rxh2

60. Kd6 Rd2 61. e6 Bxe6 62. Kxe6 Re2+ 63. Kd6 Kh6 64. Be6 g5 65. hxg5+ Kxg5 66. Rg4+ Kf6 67. Rf4+ Kg5 68. Rf5+ Kh4 69. Bd5 Re3 70. Kc5 Kg4 71. Rf1 Kg5 72. Rf2 Re1 73. Kd4 Re7 74. Be4 Re8 75. Rf5+ Kh6 76. Ke3 Kg7 77. Rb5 Kf6 78. Kf4 Re6 79. Rb7 Rd6 80. Rc7 Rb6 81. Rh7 Rd6 82. Rh1 Ke7 83. Bf5 Kf6 84. Rg1 Rd4+ 85. Be4 Rd6 86. Rg5 Ke7 87. Bd5 Kf6 88. Rf5+ Kg6 89. Bf7+ Kg7 90. Kg5 Rb6 91. Bd5 Rg6+ 92. Kh4 1/2-1/2

The following round Junta drew with GM Grover, Sahaj as the black pieces. Playing a very interesting sideline with an early ...b6 and ...Bb7 in the Queen's Indian kind of position. He equalized quite comfortably before the game drifted towards a draw.

In the last round, played another IM from India, Narayanan Srinath. Once again managing to draw with his opponent to finish on a respectable 7.5/11. Overall it was a very solid performance, losing only 1 game in the 11 rounds! Looking from the cross table is looks like the tournament results I usually have, with the numerous half points. He will now continue his momentum into the next tournament which is the Kolkata Open, which i believe starts on the 3rd of December. Best of Luck!

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