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Aeroflot R02: Sethuraman is one of the four leaders

by Satanick Mukhuty - 21/02/2020

Rauf Mamedov, Sethuraman S.P., Zhou Jianchao, and Shant Sargsyan are the four players who have emerged as leaders with perfect scores of 2.0/2 after two rounds at the ongoing Aeroflot Open 2020. Deep Sengupta, who pulled off a stunner in round one by defeating the young Uzbek prodigy Nodirbek Abdusattorov, found himself quite out of depth yesterday in a French sideline against Sethuraman. The latter thus took charge early on in this all India clash and displayed some high-class technique with his pair of bishops to bring the full point home. Elsewhere, players like Bharath Subramaniyam and Raja Harshit kept the solid show going, while Pranesh M pulled off the big shocker of the day by crushing GM Boris Savchenko in a mere 21 moves. 

Sethuraman S.P. got into some serious trouble against Raunak Sadhwani in the first round of Aeroflot Open 2020 but somehow managed to turn the tables at the very last moment. His second round against Deep Sengupta was however a completely different story. Deep went for an offbeat sideline of the French defense with the black pieces but really couldn't pose any real challenge as Sethuraman kept improving his pieces slowly and steadily, maintaining a nagging edge throughout. On move 40, the bengal Grandmaster finally gave away and made the decisive error which allowed his opponent to fully unleash his bishop pair.

Sethuraman played a dominating game in the second round to climb atop the leaderboard. Deep had a tough day at the office, he is up against S.L.Narayanan in the next round and would be looking to make a swift recovery | Photo: Puneet Jaiswal 

Sethuraman S.P. - Deep Sengupta, Round 2

Deep's 3...dxe4 was unusual. Moves like 3...Bb4 or 3...Nf6 leading to the Winawer or the Tarrasch are certainly more mainstream.

White already stands more comfortable with better space. What would you play as Black here?

Well, when you have already pushed b7-b6 and your bishop is on c6, it makes sense to just play Bc6-b7 but in the game Deep mysteriously went 11...Bxf3 although this is not a bad move at all but it seems a tad unprincipled from the human point of view. Perhaps keeping the light-squared bishop for the moment would have been wiser.

Next, Black offered an exchange of queens on move 14 which White promptly refused and went Qe2. Note that 15.Qxd5 Nxd5 would have not yielded much.

Sethuraman started to take charge round about here. Note that Bxf6 is a threat already.

Black intended to get something going by maneuvering his knight to f4!

White's advantage here is conspicuous. The threat on g2 is superficial and can simply be thwarted with f3 but once the queens are off the board those bishops would really turn into monsters.

And the exchange of queens was going to be forced sooner or later.

With the deadly pair of bishops nicely cutting across the board, the position above is already quite difficult for Black to play. The correct move here would have been fxg3 but Deep erred with g6-g5 which weakened the kingside and led his position to collapse immediately.

The threats on Black's king were now quite serious.

And as the rook entered the foray, Black had no options but to resign.

Photo Gallery

Pranesh M pulled off what was arguably the biggest shocker of the day by beating Boris Savchenko in just 21 moves. Read our article on this brilliant victory here. | Photo: Puneet Jaiswal

Praggnanandhaa had a smooth sailing against Sreeshwan Maralakshikari with white pieces in the second round | Photo: Puneet Jaiswal

S.L.Narayanan has drawn both his games so far and is on 1.0/2 points | Photo: Puneet Jaiswal

Vignesh NR is happy with his performance. He defeated the triple-crown National Champion Aravindh Chithambaram in the first round and also held the ever creative Vadim Zvjaginsev to a draw in round two | Photo: Puneet Jaiswal

Ayan Chopra became the best performing Indian at the Gibraltar Master this year. He has started off his campaign solidly here as well with two draws in a row | Photo: Puneet Jaiswal

Leon Mendonca was taken down in the second round by compatriot Vaibhav Suri | Photo: Puneet Jaiswal

Aditya Mittal is another talented Indian junior in the open A category who is doing very well. He drew Grandmasters Manuel Petrosian and Aleksandr Shimanov in rounds one and two respectively | Photo: Puneet Jaiswal

Results of top ten boards in round 2

Bo.No.NameFEDRtgPts. ResultPts. NameFEDRtgNo.
133GMCan Emre TUR26001 ½ - ½1 GMArtemiev Vladislav RUS27281
236GMSargsyan Shant ARM25941 1 - 01 GMMaghsoodloo Parham IRI26743
337GMCordova Emilio PER25931 ½ - ½1 GMSarana Alexey RUS26565
46GMAdhiban B. IND26541 ½ - ½1 GMSindarov Javokhir UZB253757
541GMWagner Dennis GER25901 ½ - ½1 GMKovalev Vladislav BLR26507
645GMSanal Vahap TUR25691 0 - 11 GMMamedov Rauf AZE264311
712GMSethuraman S.P. IND26411 1 - 01 GMSengupta Deep IND253459
820GMDurarbayli Vasif AZE26251 ½ - ½1 Nesterov Arseniy RUS250167
964GMVisakh N R IND25181 ½ - ½1 GMZvjaginsev Vadim RUS262321
1094IMBadelka Olga BLR24041 0 - 11 GMZhou Jianchao CHN262223

Results of all Indians in round 2

Rd.Bo.No.NameFEDRtgPts. ResultPts. NameFEDRtgNo.
246GMAdhiban B. IND26541 ½ - ½1 GMSindarov Javokhir UZB253757
2712GMSethuraman S.P. IND26411 1 - 01 GMSengupta Deep IND253459
2964GMVisakh N R IND25181 ½ - ½1 GMZvjaginsev Vadim RUS262321
21296IMBharath Subramaniyam H IND24021 ½ - ½1 GMKarthikeyan Murali IND260230
2132GMSargissian Gabriel ARM2689½ ½ - ½½ GMChanda Sandipan IND255253
21549GMAryan Chopra IND2562½ ½ - ½½ GMRakhmanov Aleksandr RUS26459
21714GMNarayanan.S.L IND2637½ ½ - ½½ GMKulaots Kaido EST251065
22326GMSmirin Ilia ISR2615½ ½ - ½½ IMRaja Harshit IND247273
22631GMPraggnanandhaa R IND2602½ 1 - 0½ IMSreeshwan Maralakshikari IND244083
22880IMKrishna C R G IND2443½ 0 - 1½ GMPuranik Abhimanyu IND259734
23188IMAditya Mittal IND2427½ ½ - ½½ GMShimanov Aleksandr RUS258742
23339GMVaibhav Suri IND2591½ 1 - 0½ IMMendonca Leon Luke IND241891
23590FMPranesh M IND2425½ 1 - 0½ GMSavchenko Boris RUS257344
23647GMSychev Klementy RUS2563½ 1 - 0½ WGMSoumya Swaminathan IND236997
23810GMAbdusattorov Nodirbek UZB26440 1 - 00 IMSadhwani Raunak IND252261
23960IMKozak Adam HUN25230 0 - 10 GMAravindh Chithambaram Vr. IND263015
24018GMShtembuliak Evgeny UKR26280 1 - 00 GMKarthik Venkataraman IND248369
24270IMRahul Srivatshav P IND24740 0 - 10 GMErigaisi Arjun IND256346
24552GMFrolyanov Dmitry RUS25560 ½ - ½0 IMVignesh N R IND243685

Standings of players after round 2

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2 
111GMMamedov RaufAZE26432,010
12GMSethuraman S.P.IND26412,010
23GMZhou JianchaoCHN26222,010
436GMSargsyan ShantARM25942,000
51GMArtemiev VladislavRUS27281,510
4GMSjugirov SananRUS26741,510
5GMSarana AlexeyRUS26561,510
6GMAdhiban B.IND26541,510
7GMKovalev VladislavBLR26501,510
17GMParavyan DavidRUS26291,510
19GMDeac Bogdan-DanielROU26261,510
20GMDurarbayli VasifAZE26251,510
21GMZvjaginsev VadimRUS26231,510
24GMJobava BaadurGEO26201,510
27GMKobalia MikhailRUS26091,510
28GMSvane RasmusGER26081,510
29GMYilmaz MustafaTUR26071,510
30GMKarthikeyan MuraliIND26021,510
31GMPraggnanandhaa RIND26021,510
33GMCan EmreTUR26001,510
34GMPuranik AbhimanyuIND25971,510
37GMCordova EmilioPER25931,510
38GMAleksandrov AleksejBLR25921,510
39GMVaibhav SuriIND25911,510
40GMPetrosyan ManuelARM25901,510
41GMWagner DennisGER25901,510
43GMIdani PouyaIRI25771,510
47GMSychev KlementyRUS25631,510
57GMSindarov JavokhirUZB25371,510
64GMVisakh N RIND25181,510
67Nesterov ArseniyRUS25011,510
68IMZanan EvgenyISR25001,510
71IMSuleymanli AydinAZE24741,510
90FMPranesh MIND24251,510
96IMBharath Subramaniyam HIND24021,510

We are thankful to Puneet Jaiswal, a well-known trainer and coach of the Indian team at the Aeroflot, for sending us photos from the venue.

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