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Aeroflot R04+05: Bharath's opening misfortune and beastly glimpses of Adhiban

by Satanick Mukhuty - 24/02/2020

Bharath Subramaniyam scored a brilliant upset in round four defeating Zhou Jianchao of China but failed to hold his own against the Azerbaijani veteran Rauf Mamedov. Sethuraman S.P. too slipped down the rank-list after suffering his first loss of the tournament in the hands of Manuel Petrosyan. Elsewhere, Adhiban Baskaran kept his solid form going with intermittent show of ferocity, while Praggnanandhaa R. was stunned by an opening novelty. Rounds four and five of the Aeroflot Open were full of instructive action and in this combined report we bring you the highlights, games, photos, and much more.

Bharath's magic spell is finally broken!

Bharath Subramaniyam's brilliant run was halted rather unceremoniously by Rauf Mamedov in the fifth round of Aeroflot Open 2020. The in-form 13-year-old was surprised and outplayed in the opening itself as the Azerbaijani Grandmaster unleashed his preparation in the c3 Sicilian with white pieces. Bharath faltered early, allowing an unpleasant queenside expansion with b4-b5, and thereafter had to exile his knight to the edge of the board. Rauf, on the other hand, coordinated his pieces well and commanded more space throughout. It was finally on move 37 when the Indian crumbled under pressure and conceded his opponent a strong passer on the c-file. After this, only a dozen more moves were made on the board before the youngster resigned.

Bharath fought well in round five but his efforts clearly fell short against the highly experienced Rauf!

Rauf Mamedov - Bharath Subramaniyam, Round 5

This is what the Azerbaijani had in store. Instead of going into the mainline with 3.d4, he went 3.c3. The game could even enter the French territory after this but Bharath decided to stick to the Sicilian.

12.Nc4 was the critical point. The threat now was b5 and Black had to do something to meet it. 

To make it very clear, b4-b5 is indeed a threat and Black really can't afford to wait here. For instance, if he plays a dummy move like 12...h6 then comes 13.b5 Na5 14.Ba3+ Kd8 15.Rd1+ Bd7 16.Nd6 etc with the powerful threat of Nxf7 and there's no real defense as 16...Rf8 runs into the crushing 17.Ne5. Also note the fact that the simple 12...a6 (preventing b4-b5) is not possible because of the loose bishop on b6. Bharath's best hope here was 12...Ne4! defending the all important d6 square but in the game he erred with 12...Bc7 and after this Rauf took charge with 13.b5 Na5 14.Ba3+ Ke8 15.Nd6+ Bxd6 etc.

Position after 15...Bxd6: White had the edge. Black's knight on a5 was badly misplaced and his bishop on c8 too wasn't looking all that great. 

White soon had an excellent control of the open d-file. Black's woes continued. He did manage to get his knight out of a5 but ended up immuring his light-squared bishop in return.

Next, the breaking point approached. 37.c5 was clearly testing. Bharath should have tried bxc5 here but he played 37...Bd5 and allowed the devastating 38.c6

Soon everything fell apart, White's queenside passers were just too strong to be resisted!

And the above was the final position where the Indian resigned. There's was no way to stop the a7 pawn from queening.

Mamedov and Bharath in action against each other | Photo: Puneet Jaiswal

With this defeat Bharath's spree was abruptly broken and he has now slipped to the third place with 3.5/5 points. In any case, it has to be said, the youngster has played some phenomenal chess so far. Check out the following game of his from the previous round where he convincingly defeated the strong 2622-rated Chinese Grandmaster Zhou Jianchao.

Adhiban turns on beast mode against Emre Can

Drawing three games out of five, Adhiban Baskaran has played quite solidly so far in this event. But in the fourth round he did put his beastly ferocity on show against Emre Can of Turkey | Photo: Puneet Jaiswal 

Adhiban Baskaran - Emre Can, Round 4

Adhiban chose the Velimirovic attack of the Sicilian with white pieces and went on the offensive right from the word go.

Can you guess the move he had in store after 18...Qc6?

Yes, it was 19.Bxe6. Of course, fxe6 wasn't possible because of mate on g7.

And thus, White soon started pushing.

After the queens were traded off, the critical moment arose. How should White continue in the above position? Note that the bishop on b4 is en prise. Check out the full game below for the answer.

Photo Gallery

Sethuraman S.P. suffered his first defeat of the event in round five in the hands of Manuel Petrosyan | Photo: Puneet Jaiswal

Praggnanandhaa was outplayed by Mikhail Antipov out of the opening in round five | Photo: Puneet Jaiswal

Pranesh M lost to Vadim Zvjaginsev after holding Svane Rasmus to a draw in round four| Photo: Puneet Jaiswal

Visakh drew compatriot Karthikeyan Murali in the fifth round | Photo: Puneet Jaiswal

Vaibhav Suri drew Aravindh Chithambaram and Aleksandr Rakhmanov in rounds four and five respectively | Photo: Puneet Jaiswal

S.L.Narayanan was taken down by Boris Savchenko in round five | Photo: Puneet Jaiswal

Raunak Sadhwani beat Ekaterina Kovalevskaya but lost to Indjic Aleksandar | Photo: Puneet Jaiswal

Sreeshwan Maralakshikari got the better of compatriot Rahul Srivatshav P | Photo: Puneet Jaiswal

Aditya Mittal drew Ilia Iljiushenok in the fifth round | Photo: Puneet Jaiswal

Leon lost against Emilio Cordova | Photo: Puneet Jaiswal

Round five results

Bo.No.NameFEDRtgPts. ResultPts. NameFEDRtgNo.
111GMMamedov Rauf AZE2643 1 - 0 IMBharath Subramaniyam H IND240296
238GMAleksandrov Aleksej BLR25923 ½ - ½3 GMAdhiban B. IND26546
340GMPetrosyan Manuel ARM25903 1 - 03 GMSethuraman S.P. IND264112
413GMRiazantsev Alexander RUS26393 ½ - ½3 GMSmirin Ilia ISR261526
517GMParavyan David RUS26293 ½ - ½3 GMYilmaz Mustafa TUR260729
61GMArtemiev Vladislav RUS2728 ½ - ½3 GMIdani Pouya IRI257743
734GMPuranik Abhimanyu IND2597 0 - 1 GMSjugirov Sanan RUS26744
85GMSarana Alexey RUS2656 1 - 0 GMBasso Pier Luigi ITA260032
936GMSargsyan Shant ARM2594 0 - 1 GMJumabayev Rinat KAZ26468
109GMRakhmanov Aleksandr RUS2645 ½ - ½ GMVaibhav Suri IND259139
1142GMShimanov Aleksandr RUS2587 ½ - ½ GMAbdusattorov Nodirbek UZB264410
1244GMSavchenko Boris RUS2573 1 - 0 GMNarayanan.S.L IND263714
1315GMAravindh Chithambaram Vr. IND2630 1 - 0 GMSanal Vahap TUR256945
1471IMSuleymanli Aydin AZE2474 ½ - ½ GMMartirosyan Haik M. ARM263016
1519GMDeac Bogdan-Daniel ROU2626 ½ - ½ GMAryan Chopra IND256249
1621GMZvjaginsev Vadim RUS2623 1 - 0 FMPranesh M IND242590
1723GMZhou Jianchao CHN2622 ½ - ½ GMSychev Klementy RUS256347
1846GMErigaisi Arjun IND2563 ½ - ½ GMKobalia Mikhail RUS260927
1928GMSvane Rasmus GER2608 ½ - ½ IMZanan Evgeny ISR250068
2030GMKarthikeyan Murali IND2602 ½ - ½ GMVisakh N R IND251864

Round four results

Bo.No.NameFEDRtgPts. ResultPts. NameFEDRtgNo.
112GMSethuraman S.P. IND2641 ½ - ½3 GMMamedov Rauf AZE264311
243GMIdani Pouya IRI2577 ½ - ½ GMParavyan David RUS262917
396IMBharath Subramaniyam H IND2402 1 - 0 GMZhou Jianchao CHN262223
431GMPraggnanandhaa R IND26022 ½ - ½2 GMArtemiev Vladislav RUS27281
54GMSjugirov Sanan RUS26742 ½ - ½2 GMBasso Pier Luigi ITA260032
645GMSanal Vahap TUR25692 ½ - ½2 GMSarana Alexey RUS26565
76GMAdhiban B. IND26542 1 - 02 GMCan Emre TUR260033
837GMCordova Emilio PER25932 0 - 12 GMRiazantsev Alexander RUS263913
914GMNarayanan.S.L IND26372 ½ - ½2 GMPuranik Abhimanyu IND259734
1039GMVaibhav Suri IND25912 ½ - ½2 GMAravindh Chithambaram Vr. IND263015
1116GMMartirosyan Haik M. ARM26302 ½ - ½2 GMSargsyan Shant ARM259436
1264GMVisakh N R IND25182 ½ - ½2 GMDeac Bogdan-Daniel ROU262619
1320GMDurarbayli Vasif AZE26252 0 - 12 GMPetrosyan Manuel ARM259040
1447GMSychev Klementy RUS25632 ½ - ½2 GMZvjaginsev Vadim RUS262321
1524GMJobava Baadur GEO26202 0 - 12 GMAleksandrov Aleksej BLR259238
1626GMSmirin Ilia ISR26152 1 - 02 Nesterov Arseniy RUS250167
1727GMKobalia Mikhail RUS26092 ½ - ½2 IMSuleymanli Aydin AZE247471
1890FMPranesh M IND24252 ½ - ½2 GMSvane Rasmus GER260828
1929GMYilmaz Mustafa TUR26072 1 - 02 GMSindarov Javokhir UZB253757
2068IMZanan Evgeny ISR25002 ½ - ½2 GMKarthikeyan Murali IND260230

Standings after round five

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2 
111GMMamedov RaufAZE26434,522562
240GMPetrosyan ManuelARM25904,022559
396IMBharath Subramaniyam HIND24023,532622
44GMSjugirov SananRUS26743,532585
56GMAdhiban B.IND26543,532576
643GMIdani PouyaIRI25773,532566
78GMJumabayev RinatKAZ26463,532518
829GMYilmaz MustafaTUR26073,532504
95GMSarana AlexeyRUS26563,522584
1017GMParavyan DavidRUS26293,522562
38GMAleksandrov AleksejBLR25923,522562
1213GMRiazantsev AlexanderRUS26393,522556
1315GMAravindh Chithambaram Vr.IND26303,522543
1426GMSmirin IliaISR26153,522506
1521GMZvjaginsev VadimRUS26233,522497
1648GMAntipov Mikhail Al.RUS25623,522443
1744GMSavchenko BorisRUS25733,522432
1864GMVisakh N RIND25183,032619
1968IMZanan EvgenyISR25003,032616
2012GMSethuraman S.P.IND26413,032582

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