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Alef Super Stars 2023 R5: Gritty Nihal draws a 101-move long battle against Yangyi

by Shahid Ahmed - 03/12/2023

Nihal Sarin activated his defense mode in the fifth round of Alef Super Stars 2023. After sacrificing an exchange on 32nd move, the teenager had to showcase his defensive skills against the China no.3, Yangyi Yu for 68 moves to secure a half point. The 101-move long draw is the longest game of the event so far. The boy showed that he is capable of playing a long game after a ten move draw in the previous round. Sanan Sjugirov scored his first win of the event against the UAE no.1 - Salem Saleh. It was a clinical victory for the Hungary no.1. Yangyi maintains his lead 21/30, Nihal 18/30, Sanan 15/30 and Salem 6/30. Round 6 starts today at 4:30 p.m. local time, 6 p.m. IST. Photos: Aditya Sur Roy

Sanan scores his first win

Yangyi Yu (CHN) and Nihal Sarin had a long 101-move draw

Yangyi - Nihal

Position after 32.b5

Nihal Sarin (2692) made a well-timed exchange sacrifice 32...Rxb5 before the b5-passed pawn became a monster. 33.Bxb5 Qxb5 34.Rc7 Kh7 35.Kh2 Kg6 36.Nb7 Qb6 37.Qa5 Qxa5 38.Nxa5 and Nihal showed staunch defense to draw the game after another 63 moves.

Nihal Sarin's stamina is immense - Commentary by IM Sagar Shah | Video: ChessBase India

It was a long day at the office for both Yangyi Yu (CHN) and Nihal Sarin
Sanan Sjugirov (HUN) vs Salem Saleh (UAE) | Video: ChessBase India
Sanan Sjugirov and Salem Saleh analyze their game | Video: ChessBase India

Sanan Sjugirov (HUN) scored a clinical victory over Salem Saleh (UAE)

Round 5 in progress

The venue - Almarsam cafe at Almamsha

For more photos, please click here.

7-year-old Shayan Noushad beats GM Efstratios Grivas in Simul | Video: ChessBase India
Nihal Sarin, Yangyi Yu and Sanan Sjugirov meet their fans at the Alef Super Stars 2023 | Video: ChessBase India


All four players will play Double Round Robin in Classical and Rapid time controls. The Blitz event will be a Triple Round-Robin.

Time control

Classical: 40 moves in 90 minutes + additional 30 minutes with an increment of 30 seconds from move no.1.

Rapid: 15 minutes + 10 seconds increment.

Blitz: 3 minutes + 2 seconds increment.


Classical: Win - 6 points, Draw - 3 points and Loss - 0

Rapid: Win - 4, Draw - 2 and Loss - 0

Blitz: Win - 2, Draw - 1 and Loss - 0


Classical: 27th November to 3rd December. Every day game starts at 4:30 p.m. local time, 6 p.m. IST. Rest day is on Friday 1st December 2023.

Rapid: 4th and 5th December. Three rounds each day from 4:30 p.m. local time, 6 p.m. IST.

Blitz: 6th December. Round 1 starts at 4:30 p.m. local time, 6 p.m. IST.

Replay Round 5 games

Round 5 results

132703GMSjugirov, Sanan1 - 0GMSalem, A.R. Saleh26354
222720GMYu, Yangyi½ - ½GMNihal, Sarin26921


Standings after Round 5

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2 
12GMYu, YangyiCHN27203,502834
21GMNihal, SarinIND2692302755
33GMSjugirov, SananHUN27032,502680
44GMSalem, A.R. SalehUAE2635102462


Round 6 pairings

142635GMSalem, A.R. SalehGMYu, Yangyi27202
212692GMNihal, SarinGMSjugirov, Sanan27033


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