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38th Cappelle la Grande Open R1-5: Nihal's incredible king walk

by Shahid Ahmed - 16/02/2022

Nihal Sarin had a relatively slow start at 38th Cappelle la Grande International Open. Even for the world-class players in any sport, it takes a bit of time to overcome jet lag and get themselves adjusted to a new setting and environment. He drew the first two rounds, and then he won the next three games. The hat-trick win was against IM Piotr Nguyen (POL) in Round 5 where Nihal made an incredible king walk in the endgame to earn himself a victory. Nihal is now just a half point behind the leaders - GM Daniel Dardha (BEL), IM Vladislav Bakhmatsky (UKR) and IM Jakub Kosakowski (POL) 4.5/5. The wunderkind will face Dardha in Round 6 which starts at 1:30 p.m. IST today. Photo: Amruta Mokal

Nihal scores a hat-trick

Nihal Sarin's fifth round victory against IM Piotr Nguyen (POL) is definitely a thing of beauty.

Nihal Sarin is picking up the pace 4.0/5 | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Round 1: Nihal - Macon

Nihal Sarin got a good position against FM Arthur Macon (FRA) in the first round. However, he was unable to capitalize on his advantage, most likely due to time trouble.

Position after 25...Rcc8

White has a pleasant position. 26.Bf1 maintains the upper hand. However, the game continued 26.d5 e5 27.b4 Nef6 and Black managed to equalize.

Position after 32.Ne4

Tables turned very quickly and Black got a winning opportunity after 32.Ne4. Find out why it was a big mistake. After 32...Qxb4 33.Qc2, the game was drawn.

Round 4: Annmarie - Nihal

Nihal drew with WFM Michalina Rudzinska (POL, 2211) and defeated Yves Duhayon (BEL, 2121) in Round 2 and 3 respectively. In Round 4, Nihal defeated WIM Annmarie Muetsch (GER, 2279)

Position after 38.Bb3

38.Be2 would have continued the fight. However, 38.Bb3 accelerated things in Black's favor. Find out the winning continuation for Black.

Round 5: Nihal - Piotr

Nihal Sarin used his king beautifully in the endgame to beat IM Piotr Nguyen (POL, 2401) in Round 5.

Position after 34.Ke5

In spite of the position being completely open, Nihal decided to bring his king into action, all the way from g1 to the center of the board at e5. The king walk definitely played a crucial role in Nihal scoring a win.

A total of 322 players including 13 GMs, 23 IMs, a WGM and 6 WIMs are taking part in this tournament organized by L'Echiquier Cappellois. The event is taking place at Palais des Arts at Cappelle la Grande, France from 12th to 18th February 2022. The nine-round Swiss league had a time control of 90 minutes + 30 seconds increment for the first 40 moves, then 30 minutes + 30sec/move for the rest of the game.

Replay Nihal's games

Round 5 results

ScalePoints blanks Res.Black  Points
16[4]BAKHMATSKY Vladislav2443FX-XDARDHA Daniel2541F[4]6
2[3½]SONG Michael2404 FX-XPETROV Martin2542F[3½]
3[3½]DROIN Augustine2343FX-XSOCHACKI Christophe2485F[3½]
4[3½]BENTEL Robin2171F0 - 1KOSAKOWSKI Jakub2442F[3½]
55[3]NIHAL SARIN2656F1 - 0NGUYEN Piotr2401 F[3]5
65[3]FEDORCHUK Sergey A.2605FX-XSALIMOVA Nurgyul2400 F[3]5
75[3]THYBO Jesper Sondergaard2592FX-XFUS Jakub2384F[3]5
85[3]SONIS Francesco2542F1 - 0BOURNEL Antoine2381F[3]5
95[3]NASUTA Grzegorz2530FX-XMAEREVOET Sim2375F[3]5
105[3]CLERY Nicolas2329 F0 - 1BELLAHCENE Bilel2509F[3]5


Round 6 pairings

ScalePoints blanks Res.Black  Points
1[4½]KOSAKOWSKI Jakub2442F BAKHMATSKY Vladislav2443F[4½]
2[4½]DARDHA Daniel2541F NIHAL SARIN2656F[4]6
36[4]PETROV Martin2542F PANTZAR Milton2422F[4]6
46[4]ZWIRS Nico2461F SONIS Francesco2542F[4]6
56[4]BELLAHCENE Bilel2509F VLACHOS Anatole2412F[4]6
66[4]DIMITROV Radoslav2487F SONG Michael2404 F[4]6
76[4]SOCHACKI Christophe2485F EUGENE Floryan2404 F[4]6
86[4]TERNAULT Mathieu2355F LOISEAU Quentin2465F[4]6
9[3½]LENIART Arkadiusz2467F DROIN Augustine2343F[4]6
10[3½]FEDORCHUK Sergey A.2605F BUJISHO Benjamin2296F[3½]



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