Asian Continental 2023 R5: Mary Ann joins Divya at the top
by Shahid Ahmed - 08/06/2023
GM Abhimanyu Puranik drew against GM Bardiya Daneshvar (IRI) in the fifth round of Asian Continental 2023. GM Rinat Jumabayev (KAZ) and GM Shamsiddin Vokhidov (UZB) won their respective games to stay in the lead 4.5/5. They are followed by six players including three Indians - GM Arjun Erigaisi, GM Pranav V and GM Abhimanyu Puranik. In the Women's event, IM Divya Deshmukh held the top seed IM Batkhuyag Munguntuul (MGL) to a draw. WGM Mary Ann Gomes defeated WFM Afruza Khamdamova (UZB) to join the four-way lead with Divya at 4/5 each. The defending champion WGM Nandhidhaa P V and WIM Sakshi Chitlange are trailing by a half point at 3.5/5 each. Round 6 starts today at 3 p.m. local time, 2:30 p.m. IST. Photo: Nursultan Sabdenov
Arjun Erigaisi closes in
WGM Mary Ann Gomes joins the four-way lead 4/5 | Photo: Nursultan Sabdenov
It was evident from GM Arjun Erigaisi's (2702) play that he was playing only for a win. He made his intentions clear with 6...h5, 14...g4, 19...f5. The queens were traded in the next few moves. Black arrived at an endgame with a couple of extra pawns which was enough to score a win.
GM Arjun Erigaisi moved to 4/5 | Photo: Kazakhstan Chess Federation
Pranav - Kazakov
Position after 12.Ng5
GM Pranav V (2608) got a fantastic position early in the game. He went 8.e6 to destroy his opponent IM Konstantin Kazakov's (KAZ, 2380) pawn structure. 8...fxe6 9.Be2 Nc6 10.0-0 Qd7 11.Re1 Bg6 12.Ng5 and we reached the above position. Black's bishop at f8 is stuck which means the h8-rook is unable to do anything. Thus, White got a substantial positional advantage which he had no trouble converting into a win.
IM Batkhuyag Munguntuul (MGL) - IM Divya Deshmukh: 0.5-0.5 | Photo: Nursultan Sabdenov
Mary - Afruza
Position after 33.Rb8
WGM Mary Ann Gomes (2315) kept improving her position until it became insurmountable for her opponent WFM Afruza Khamdamova (UZB, 2260). 33.Rb8 Qc2 34.Bxd4 Rxb8 35.Rxb8 Ra5 36.c5 Qa4 37.Be5 Qxe4+ 38.dxe4 Rxc5 39.Bd6 and Black cannot avoid material loss.
WGM Mary Ann Gomes scored a convincing victory over WFM Afruza Khamdamova (UZB)
| Photo: Nursultan Sabdenov
A total of 87 players including 17 GMs and 21 IMs in the Open, 38 players including 5 IMs, 5 WGMs and 9 WIMs in the Women, are taking part from 18 countries across the world including India. The nine-round Swiss League Classical Rating tournament is taking place from 4th to 11th June 2023 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. It is being organized by Ministry of Culture and Sports of Kazakhstan, the Asian Chess Federation, and the Kazakhstan Chess Federation with the support of the Akimat of Almaty. The time control of the tournament is 90 minutes / 40 moves + 30 mins / end + 30 seconds increment per move starting from move no.1.