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38th Cappelle la Grande Open R6-7: Nihal Sarin joins the lead 6.0/7

by Shahid Ahmed - 17/02/2022

When Nihal Sarin picks up the pace, you know he has hopped on the bullet train. On the fifth day of 38th Cappelle la Grande Open, Nihal demolished GM Daniel Dardha (BEL) and IM Anatole Vlachos (GRE). Both victories were convincing ones. While the Belgian was unable to assess the intensity of Nihal's attack correctly, the Greek just sacrificed his pawns and imploded in the Dutch defense. For the first time in this event, Nihal is in the lead with IM Vladislav Bakhmatsky (UKR). They will face each other in the penultimate round in a virtual final, where a win moves Nihal that much closer to the championship. Round 8 starts today at 6:30 p.m. IST. Photo: Lennart Ootes

Nihal on a double hat-trick

Nihal Sarin both of his sixth and seventh round games. It means Nihal has won five games in-a-row after starting the event with two draws. A win against IM Vladislav Bakhmatsky (UKR) in the penultimate round will not only complete his double hat-trick, but also make him sole leader of the tournament.

Nihal Sarin registers his fifth consecutive win | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Round 6: Dardha - Nihal

Nihal Sarin got a promising position against GM Daniel Dardha (BEL).

Position after 17.b3

Here, Black needed to play 17...Bxd2 18.Qxd2 and then go h4. The subtle difference lies in the fact that 17...h4 18.Bxb4 Rxb4 can be met with 19.Qxc6 Qxc6 20.Rxc6 hxg3 21.Rb6 and White keeps the position from falling apart. Thankfully, Nihal's opponent did not go for it. Instead, he played 19.g4

Position after 19.g4

19.g4 seems to have created a prime target for Black. Find out the best way to exploit it. Nihal made the practical decision of taking it with his bishop, 19...Bxg4 20.a3 Rxa4 21.bxa4 Bd7. Practically, it is still difficult for White to defend.

Position after 25...Qc8

White can defend only one between f2 and h3-pawn. Which one should he defend? Although, it would not have made a major impact in the outcome. 26.Kh2 Nxf2 27.Qxh4 Nd3 28.Rf1 Rxe3 Black might be down by an exchange which he sacrificed, however the initiative and two pawns as a compensation is more than enough for him to convert his advantage into a win.

Round 7: Nihal - Vlachos

IM Anatole Vlachos (GRE) made a couple of incorrect pawn breaks in Dutch against Nihal Sarin.

Position after 12...b5

12...b5 is an ambitious pawn sacrifice as Black does not get much compensation for it. 13.cxb5 d5 14.Ne5 Bxe5 15.dxe5 Rf7 16.Qd2 Qe8 17.Bd4 Nihal showed that he does not need to be bothered about defending the pawn as the activity of the pieces is far more important.

Position after 23...f4

The straw that broke the camel's back for Black would be 23...f4. Nothing went in Black's way throughout the game. This final attempt did not help his cause either 24.exf4 gxf4 25.gxf4 Qf8 26.Rg3+ Kh8 27.Bh3 and White won the game in another five moves.

The tournament hall | Photo: L'Echiquier Cappellois

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 6 results

ScalePoints blanks Res.Black  Points
1[4½]KOSAKOWSKI Jakub2442F0 - 1BAKHMATSKY Vladislav2443F[4½]
2[4½]DARDHA Daniel2541F0 - 1NIHAL SARIN2656F[4]6
36[4]PETROV Martin2542FX-XPANTZAR Milton2422F[4]6
46[4]ZWIRS Nico2461FX-XSONIS Francesco2542F[4]6
56[4]BELLAHCENE Bilel2509F0 - 1VLACHOS Anatole2412F[4]6
66[4]DIMITROV Radoslav2487FX-XSONG Michael2404F[4]6
76[4]SOCHACKI Christophe2485FX-XEUGENE Floryan2404F[4]6
86[4]TERNAULT Mathieu2355F0 - 1LOISEAU Quentin2465F[4]6
9[3½]LENIART Arkadiusz2467F1 - 0DROIN Augustine2343F[4]6
10[3½]FEDORCHUK Sergey A.2605F1 - 0BUJISHO Benjamin2296F[3½]

Details

Round 7 results

ScalePoints blanks Res.Black  Points
1[5½]BAKHMATSKY Vladislav2443FX-XLOISEAU Quentin2465F[5]7
27[5]NIHAL SARIN2656F1 - 0VLACHOS Anatole2412F[5]7
3[4½]PANTZAR Milton2422F0 - 1FEDORCHUK Sergey A.2605F[4½]
4[4½]THYBO Jesper Sondergaard2592 F1 - 0KOSAKOWSKI Jakub2442F[4½]
5[4½]EUGENE Floryan2404F0 - 1PETROV Martin2542F[4½]
6[4½]SONIS Francesco2542F1 - 0SALIMOVA Nurgyul2400 F[4½]
7[4½]SONG Michael2404F1 - 0DARDHA Daniel2541F[4½]
8[4½]FUS Jakub2384FX-XDIMITROV Radoslav2487F[4½]
9[4½]SONG Julien2352FX-XSOCHACKI Christophe2485F[4½]
10[4½]ROSHKA Yevgeniy2478F1 - 0PICEU Tom2336F[4½]

Details

Round 8 pairings

ScalePointsblanks Res.Black Points
16BAKHMATSKY Vladislav2443F NIHAL SARIN2656F6
2FEDORCHUK Sergey A.2605F SONG Michael2404F
3LENIART Arkadiusz2467F THYBO Jesper Sondergaard2592 F
4PETROV Martin2542F ROSHKA Yevgeniy2478F
5LOISEAU Quentin2465F SONIS Francesco2542F
6ZWIRS Nico2461F BEERDSEN Thomas2508 F5
75SHIRAZI Kamran2311 F BELLAHCENE Bilel2509F5
85NIKOLOV Momchil2501F FARMANI ANOSHEH Armin2346F5
95LEVER Erwan2255F DIMITROV Radoslav2487F5
105SOCHACKI Christophe2485F CLERY Nicolas2329F5

Details

Links

Official site


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