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Sethuraman finishes second at the BRICS Masters Rapid

by Sagar Shah - 30 April 2017

You are a piece up and completely win. You not only throw away the win, but also lose the game! Such instances are common, but what is rare is the ability to fight back after such a disastrous first round. Sethuraman did exactly that. After a painful loss to Yu Yangyi at the start of the tournament, he steadied his ship and finished second at this strong BRICS Masters rapid event held in China. Yu Yangyi was the champion. Ganguly was the other Indian participant and in the combined standings India took the bronze.

BRICS is the acronym for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The BRICS members are all leading developing or newly industrialized countries, but they are distinguished by their large, sometimes fast-growing economies and significant influence on regional affairs. As of 2015, the five BRICS countries represent over 3.6 billion people, or about 40% of the world population; all five members are in the top 25 of the world by population, and four are in the top 10.

 

In terms of chess three of these five countries - Russia, China and India are real superpowers. Brazil has good chess players, while South Africa is an improving nation. Two players from each of these countries took part in this event, making it a ten player round robin rapid tournament. The time control was 25 minutes + 10 seconds increment per move. These were the participants:

Brazil: Rafael Leitao and Alexander Fier
Russia: Vladimir Potkin and Alexander Motylev
India: S.P. Sethuraman and Surya Ganguly
China: Yu Yangyi and Li Chao
South Africa: Cawdery and Steel.

A grand welcome to the players

China is spending a lot of money to ensure that the chess culture develops in their country

The tournament was held in Baoji, Shaanxi province of China

The settings of the playing hall were quite grand

The exquisite ceiling!

A pretty huge turn out for the games

In the first round Sethuraman faced Yu Yangyi. The Indian was completely winning until he messed it up big time.
[Event "1st BRICS Masters 2017"]
[Site "Fufeng CHN"]
[Date "2017.04.23"]
[Round "1.1"]
[White "Sethuraman, S."]
[Black "Yu Yangyi"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C50"]
[WhiteElo "2619"]
[BlackElo "2750"]
[Annotator "Sagar,Shah"]
[PlyCount "158"]
[EventDate "2017.04.23"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. d3 Nf6 5. a4 a6 6. c3 d6 7. Bg5 Ba7 8. Nbd2
h6 9. Bh4 g5 10. Bg3 Nh7 11. O-O O-O 12. Kh1 Kh8 13. b4 f5 14. exf5 Bxf5 15. b5
Ne7 16. bxa6 bxa6 17. d4 $1 {I liked this idea. In order to keep the position
closed Black will have to play e5-e4 and then the knight can make its way to
e3 via e1-c2.} e4 18. Ne1 Bg6 19. Nc2 Nf6 20. Ne3 $14 {White has a comfortable
position.} a5 21. Bb3 Qd7 22. Bc2 Rae8 23. Qe2 Ned5 24. Bb3 Nf4 (24... Nxc3 25.
Qc4 $16) 25. Qb5 Ra8 $2 (25... c6 $1 26. Qxa5 Ra8 $1 27. Qb4 c5 $1 $36) 26.
Qxd7 Nxd7 27. Bd5 Rae8 28. Bc6 Re7 29. Rab1 Nb8 30. Bb7 Ne2 31. Rb3 h5 32. h4
g4 (32... Nxg3+ 33. fxg3 Rxf1+ 34. Ndxf1 c5 $15) 33. Re1 Nxg3+ 34. fxg3 Rf2 35.
Ndc4 Ref7 36. Bd5 {Now White has complete control.} Rg7 37. Nxa5 c5 38. dxc5
dxc5 39. Nac4 Nd7 40. a5 Nf6 41. Ne5 Kh7 42. Bc4 Re7 43. Nc6 Rc7 44. Nxa7 Rxa7
45. a6 {The a-pawn is extremely strong.} Ne8 46. Reb1 Kh6 47. Rb7 Ra8 48. R1b6
Rf6 49. Rxf6 Nxf6 50. a7 Be8 51. Rc7 (51. Nf5+ Kg6 52. Rg7+ Kxf5 53. Rg5# {
was a nice mate!}) 51... Kg6 52. Nd5 Nd7 53. Bb5 Nf6 54. Bc6 Bxc6 55. Rxc6 Kf5
56. Rxf6+ (56. Nxf6 $18) 56... Ke5 57. Ra6 $4 (57. Nb6 $18) 57... Kxd5 58. Ra4
e3 59. Kg1 Kc6 60. Kf1 Kb6 61. Ke2 Rxa7 62. Rxa7 Kxa7 63. Kxe3 Ka6 64. Ke4 Ka5
65. Ke5 $2 (65. Kf5 $1 Ka4 66. Kg5 Kb3 67. Kxh5 Kxc3 68. Kxg4 c4 69. h5 Kd2 (
69... Kd3 70. h6 c3 71. h7 c2 72. h8=Q c1=Q 73. Qh7+ Kd4 74. Qa7+ Kd5 75. Qd7+
Ke5 (75... Ke4 76. Qf5+ Kd4 77. Qf4+) 76. Qf5+ Kd6 77. Qf4+ $18) 70. h6 c3 71.
h7 c2 72. h8=Q c1=Q 73. Qh6+ $18) 65... Ka4 66. Ke4 $4 $19 (66. Kf5 {was still
a draw.}) 66... Kb3 67. Kd3 Kb2 68. Kc4 Kc2 69. Kxc5 Kxc3 70. Kd5 Kd3 71. Ke5
Ke3 72. Kf5 Kf2 73. Kg5 Kxg2 74. Kxh5 Kxg3 75. Kg5 Kf3 76. h5 g3 77. h6 g2 78.
h7 g1=Q+ 79. Kf6 Qd4+ {A heartbreaking loss for Sethuraman.} 0-1

 

Sethu described this loss as the most embarrassing and painful one in his chess career. "I was just a piece up and couldn't win the game. I shockingly even went on to loss it! On the next day thanks to my "good karma" I managed to win a completely lost position against Vladimir Potkin!"

[Event "1st BRICS Masters 2017"]
[Site "Fufeng CHN"]
[Date "2017.04.24"]
[Round "4.4"]
[White "Potkin, V."]
[Black "Sethuraman, S."]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B08"]
[WhiteElo "2594"]
[BlackElo "2619"]
[Annotator "Sagar,Shah"]
[PlyCount "126"]
[EventDate "2017.04.23"]
1. d4 d6 2. e4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Be2 O-O 6. O-O e6 7. Re1 Nc6 8. Be3
a6 9. Qd2 b5 10. a3 Bb7 11. Bh6 e5 12. Bxg7 Kxg7 13. Rad1 Re8 14. Bf1 h6 15. b4
exd4 16. Nxd4 Nxd4 17. Qxd4 Qe7 18. f3 {The position is around equal.} Rad8 19.
Qa7 c6 (19... c5 $5) 20. a4 Qc7 21. axb5 cxb5 (21... axb5 $14) 22. Qd4 Qe7 23.
Nb1 Kg8 24. Nd2 Nh5 25. c4 Qg5 26. cxb5 axb5 27. Qe3 $16 {White has
positionally outplayed his opponent.} Re5 28. Nb3 Qxe3+ 29. Rxe3 f5 30. Nd4
fxe4 31. Nxb5 d5 32. Rxe4 $1 Rxe4 33. fxe4 Kf8 34. Nc7 Rd6 35. exd5 Nf6 36. Bc4
Ke7 37. Nb5 Rb6 38. d6+ Kd8 39. Rf1 Nd7 40. Re1 Ba6 $2 41. Nc7 $1 Nb8 (41...
Bxc4 42. Re8#) 42. Nxa6 (42. b5 Bc8 (42... Bb7 43. Re8+ $18) 43. Re8+ Kd7 44.
Be6+ Kxd6 45. Rxc8 $18) 42... Nxa6 43. Re6 Nxb4 44. Rxg6 h5 45. h4 Kd7 46. Rh6
Rxd6 47. Rxh5 Ke7 48. Rf5 (48. Rh7+ $18) 48... Rd4 49. Rf7+ Ke8 50. Rc7 Rxh4
51. g3 Rd4 52. Kf2 Rd6 53. g4 Nd5 54. Ra7 Nf6 55. Be2 Kf8 56. Bf3 Rd7 57. Ra6
Kg7 58. Kg3 Re7 59. Kf4 Rf7 60. Kg3 Re7 61. Rb6 Rf7 62. g5 Nd7 63. Be4 $4 {
Just giving up the rook!} Nxb6 0-1

Sethu's favourite game from event was his win against Ganguly. It was the third round of the tournament, "I managed to forget about my painful loss against Yu Yangyi and came back stronger with a beautiful win against Surya."

Sethuraman vs Ganguly

White to play. What would you do?
[Event "1st BRICS Masters 2017"]
[Site "Fufeng CHN"]
[Date "2017.04.23"]
[Round "3.1"]
[White "Sethuraman, S."]
[Black "Ganguly, S."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C11"]
[WhiteElo "2619"]
[BlackElo "2640"]
[Annotator "Sagar,Shah"]
[PlyCount "39"]
[EventDate "2017.04.23"]
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 dxe4 5. Nxe4 Be7 6. Bxf6 gxf6 {Indians
players including Harikrishna, Vidit all play this line with Black.} 7. Qd2 b6
8. Nc3 c6 9. O-O-O Bb7 10. Be2 Nd7 11. Kb1 h5 12. Nh3 f5 13. Rhe1 Qc7 14. Ng5 {
All that White is doing is getting all his pices into play.} h4 (14... Nf6 $14)
15. Bc4 Nf8 16. d5 $3 {This was surely on the cards considering the king is in
the center.} Rd8 17. Nb5 $3 {The blows keep falling!} Qd7 (17... Qxh2 18. d6
Bxg5 19. Qxg5 Rd7 20. g3 $1 hxg3 21. Nc7+ Rxc7 22. dxc7 $18) (17... Qb8 18.
dxe6 $1 Rxd2 19. exf7+ Kd8 20. Rxd2+ Kc8 21. Rxe7 $18) 18. Nxf7 $1 cxd5 19.
Nxh8 dxc4 20. Qe2 {A great game by Sethu showing the importance of development
and king safety in chess.} 1-0

 

 

Although he lost brutally, Ganguly realizes that it is important to understand where he went wrong. Hence, analyzes his game with Sethu. Great temperament.

Sethuraman scored 6.5/9 and finished second, while Ganguly with 4.5/9 had to be content with the seventh place

The top three: Yu Yangyi, Sethuraman and Motylev

At the team event where the scores of both the players are added together India finished third with 11 points. Russia scored 11.5 and China 12.5

Sethu went back home with not just US$ 6,000 but also two glittering trophies!

Says Sethuraman, "This was my best performance in rapid so far. Honoured to play in China again; one of the grandest tournaments I have took part in and the organization was simply amazing with very impressive hospitality and conditions."

Final Standings

1. Yu Yangyi (2750) 7,0/9
2. Sethuraman (2619) 6,5/9
3. Motylev (2658) 6,0/10
4-5. Li Chao (2720), Potkin (2594) 5,5/9
6. Leitao (2618) 5,0/10
7. Ganguly (2640) 4,5/9
8. Fier (2562) 4,0/9
9. Steel (2414) 1,5/9
10. Cawdery (2434) 0,5/9

After the tournament the players do their job of spreading the game in Chinese schools! These small activities are sure to boost chess even further in China.

Photos from the official Facebook page of Sethuraman.


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