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Commonwealth 2018 Round 2: The 2-hour report for chess improvement!

by Sagar Shah - 28/06/2018

Chess reports are filled with news and updates, but this round two report from Commonwealth 2018 is different. It is filled with high level of instructional content. IM Sagar Shah, the author of this report, says, "To go through this entire report will take two hours of your time. But if you do it carefully, it is bound to teach you a lot about chess." We have video analysis by GM Pravin Thipsay, GM Deepan Chakkravarthy teaches you the intricacies of calculation and IM P. Karthikeyan shows you how deep you can go in any position. This is a report with a difference and to add more flavour to it, you have some world class photography by Amruta Mokal.

Chess is a tough game! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The Commonwealth Championships provides an ideal platform for kids of India, who love the game so very much, to fight it out against players from all around the world! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Eager to checkmate the opponent! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Better safe than sorry (on the board!) | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Better safe than sorry (off the board!) | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Composed confidence | Photo: Amruta Mokal

For the Sri Lankan players coming to India and honing their skills is an efficient way to improve | Photo: Amruta Mokal

An overload of cuteness! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Giving the look to the photographer! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The art of winning won positions!

A lot of people complain that they are unable to win winning positions. Often they reach winning positions, and then blunder, or make inaccuracies and the game either ends in a draw or a loss. What exactly happens there? Why are we not able to finish a winning position? Well, apart from distractions, lack of concentration and getting really excited or scared, the main reason often comes down to lack of calculation. I think it is extremely important to keep your emotions aside and calculate with the same energy and resoluteness when you are winning, as you do at the start of a game. Here's a very good example that I would like to share with you to make my point clear:


Pranavananda vs Nubairshah Shaikh, under-20 championship

White is just winning here. He has excellently placed pieces, black king is weak and to add insult to injury, black is a pawn down! But it is very important to calculate accurately and finish off the game in the next few moves. Look how Pranavananda goes wrong and very nearly makes a draw from this completely winning position

When go to this link, you will see all the age group category pairings and results. You can click on any of them and check updates for a particular age category. 

Open section:

Shantanu Bhambure fought really hard, but once he had a positionally lost situation out of the opening against a player of Deep Sengupta's calibre, it was not going to be easy to survive! Yet, the game was quite complex and there is a lot to learn from it. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

I have analyzed the opening phase because I think Deep's idea is very interesting for white players who go for the London:

One of the bestsellers in the ChessBase India shop:

Vishnu Prasanna played a fine game out of a sedate opening to beat his top Kenyan opponent Ben Magana | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Debashis Das showed why a GM is a dangerous beast! First he made a great positional decision and then followed it up with tactical brilliance! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Arvinder Preet vs Debashis Das

What would you do here as Black?

Check the game for the answer and don't miss Debashis's excellent tactical shot a few moves later!

V.S. Negi continued on his good performance with a draw against Ankit Gajwa in round two after beating Tania Sachdev in round one | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Tania's don't mess with me look! After her first round loss, she is back with a win! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Arpita Mukherjee, the talent from West Bengal, drew her game against GM Kidambi | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The very popular position of the exchange variation of the Ruy Lopez. Do you have a problem playing it from the black side? Well, you should defintely spare 20 minutes and listen to GM Pravin Thipsay's fine analysis
GM Pravin Thipsay explains the intricacies of his game against Kiran Manisha Mohanty in the Exchange variation of the Ruy Lopez

Standing out from the crowd - GM Deepan Chakkravarthy! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Deepan won a fine game with a rook sacrifice towards the end. Here's a small task for you:

Deepan Chakkravarthy vs Sakshi Chitlange

Calculate the consequences of Rxg6 in this video and then check what Deepan has to say:
Always something to learn from Deepan!

G.B. Joshi vs P. Karthikeyan

White has just taken on d6. How do you defend as Black?
P. Karthikeyan shares with us his analysis and also tells us why Gukesh, who he had taught for some time, is going to be the next big thing in Indian chess!

Rucha Pujari, now a WIM, will be looking forward to start her journey towards the WGM title! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Watch out for this young talent - Koustav Chatterjee. He is just 15 years old and closing in on the IM title | Photo: Amruta Mokal

South Africa number four IM Watu Kobese is on 2.0/2 | Photo: Amruta Mokal

This is the first time I saw the South African IM in person. His name, however, was etched in my memory since I saw his game against Alexander Areshchenko from the book Practical Chess Defence by Jacob Aagaard:

Kobese Watu vs Alexander Areshchenko

White's last move was Qf6 and it seems as if the game is over. How did Areshchenko defend this position?

Black played ...Qd5+ b3 and now the brilliant defensive move ....Qc5!! What a position! There is no way White can wriggle out of the mess! Check it out for yourself.


If you like such positions where tough defensive ideas have to be found, I would highly recommend the book Practical Chess Defence by Aagaard. Defence helps you to improve your calculation, because nothing can be taken for granted when defending. One error and it is all over! If you are aiming to improve your calculation, we highly recommend this:

Dhyana Patel, the current under-13 national champion, will be looking to do well at this Commonwealth Championships. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Perhaps, the oldest active IM from India - IM Wazeer Khan from Uttar Pradesh | Photo: Amruta Mokal

A tournament is in good hands when you have Vasanth B.H as the chief arbiter | Photo: Amruta Mokal

A good team, of course, helps! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Coach GM R.B. Ramesh is everywhere, spreading chess literacy! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

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Results of round 2

Bo.No. NameTypRtgPts.ResultPts.NameTypRtg No.
GMSengupta Deep256511 - 01Bhambure Shantanu2183
Panda Sambit21871½ - ½1GMVaibhav Suri2556
GMDeepan Chakkravarthy J.253111 - 01WIMChitlange Sakshi2162
Baivab Mishra215610 - 11GMLalith Babu M R2529
GMVishnu Prasanna. V252511 - 01CMMagana Ben2153
FMSingh Arvinder Preet212910 - 11GMDebashis Das2522
GMSwapnil S. Dhopade249511 - 01Alahakoon Isuru2133
AGMJubin Jimmy21131½ - ½1GMThejkumar M. S.2495
GMKunte Abhijit24941½ - ½1Mohite Ranveer2089
Arpan Das (Jr)207910 - 11IMKarthik Venkataraman2475

Pairing of round 3:

Bo.No. NameTypRtgPts.ResultPts.NameTypRtg No.
IMAkash G239122GMSengupta Deep2565
Sammed Jaykumar Shete237522GMDeepan Chakkravarthy J.2531
GMLalith Babu M R252922IMRathnakaran K.2386
Navalgund Niranjan228222GMVishnu Prasanna. V2525
GMDebashis Das252222Koustav Chatterjee2365
Aaryan Varshney221022GMSwapnil S. Dhopade2495
IMKarthik Venkataraman247522IMKobese Watu2349
IMKarthikeyan P.245622WGMGomes Mary Ann2285
Moksh Amit Doshi220322IMMohammad Nubairshah Shaikh2441
IMNitin S.244122WIMNandhidhaa Pv2270

Watch Live games

Watch out the ChessBase India Youtube Channel for Live Commentary today. We will soon announce the time if things work out technically here.

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