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Delhi GM round 4: Unheralded Neelash Saha leads with a perfect 4.0/4

by Sagar Shah - 12/01/2019

The biggest prize money tournament in Indian chess - the 17th Delhi GM International 2019 is in progress from the 8th to the 16th of January 2019. Four rounds have taken place and we have five players leading with a score of 4.0/4. While four of the five leaders are GMs, we have one of them who is an untitled player from West Bengal - Neelash Saha. In this article we are going to have a look at two of Neelash's excellent games in which he beat an IM and a GM by playing high quality chess. Photos from the venue by Niklesh Jain and game analysis by IM Sagar Shah. 

These are the initial rounds of the 17th Delhi International 2019 and we already have some huge upsets. Five players are leading the tournament with 4.0/4. While four of them are GMs and well known players, the fifth one is untitled and has already beaten two extremely strong players! Neelash Saha from West Bengal is playing fantastic chess and is currently on 100% score by beating IM Radoslaw Gajek and GM Karen Movsziszian. Neelash is just 16 years old and has a rating of 2300. He is already gaining 34 Elo points from the event.

The boy from Kolkata, who is in great form at the 17th Delhi International 2019 - Neelash Saha

Let's have a look at both of Neelash's games to see how he managed to beat his strong opponents.

Neelash Saha (2300) vs Radoslaw Gajek (2481)

Neelash went for the ambitious move f4 in this position. The idea is to get a stonewall structure without the bishop being locked on c1. Black has to play actively or else he would be left in a bind.

As g4-g5 would have been a dangerous attack for White, Gajek decided to park his king on the queenside.

However, even there the king was not safe as Neelash pushed his pawn to b4 followed by a huge pawn storm

White's position is a picture of domination!

In the fourth round Neelash got the better of the strong GM Karen Movsziszian. Let's go through that game as well:

Karen Movsziszian vs Neelash Saha

Movsziszian's suspect opening strategy was immediately exploited by Neelash as he pushed his h-pawn down the board

The knight on d4 was attacked by the pawn on c3, but Black simply ignored it and played his knight to h5!

After all the complications, Black emerged with two pawns and a rook for two minor pieces and a rock solid pawn structure

Black has a better position, but Neelash sacrificed his rook on g5. Now this was objectively not the best idea, but practically Black's position was easier to play. 

The final position is a triumph of the black pawns over White's minor piece!

The beautiful playing hall of the Delhi GM International 2019 | Photo: Niklesh Jain

The poster boy for Delhi chess Abhijeet Gupta is on 3.0/4. He drew two of his games against Utkal Ranjan Sahoo and Vikramaditya Kulkarni | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Debashis Das managed to beat IIFLW Mumbai GM international champion Rishi Sardana and move to 4.0/4 | Photo: Niklesh Jain

In the battle between two top players of West Bengal, Diptayan came out on top against Sayantan | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Gukesh drew his game against Alexandr Predke on top board and moves to 3.5/4. The final GM norm seems to be just around the corner! | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Legendary Iranian player Ghaem Maghami Ehsan is one of the leaders with 4.0/4 | Photo: David Llada

Another Iranian super talent? Masoud Mosadeghpour is not as young as Alireza or Parham, but is a good candidate to win the Delhi GM 2019. He is 21 years old and is one of the leaders with 4.0/4 | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Ziaur Rahman from Bangladesh would be looking forward to repeating his performance from Delhi GM open 2019, where he beat GM Sergei Tiviakov | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Angela Franco, wife of Niklesh Jain, managed to create her first upset after marriage as she beat IM Nguyen Van Huy | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Personally, I am looking forward to Arjun Erigaisi weaving some of his magic! He drew his round 4 game against Muhammad Khusenkhojaev and is on 3.5/4. If this boy gets rolling, it will be difficult to stop him | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Ranking after round 4

Rk.SNo NameTypsexFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
GMGhaem Maghami EhsanIRI2533IRI4,00,09,011,5
GMGhosh DiptayanIND2544Wes4,00,08,010,0
GMDebashis DasIND2538Ori4,00,08,09,5
GMMosadeghpour MasoudIRI2517IRI4,00,07,59,5
Neelash SahaIND2300Wes4,00,07,59,5
GMAmonatov FarrukhTJK2621TJK3,50,09,011,0
GMPredke AlexandrRUS2620RUS3,50,09,011,0
GMRozum IvanRUS2589RUS3,50,09,011,0
GMAleksandrov AleksejBLR2582BLR3,50,09,011,0
IMGukesh DU15IND2497TN3,50,08,510,5
GMManik MikulasSVK2413SVK3,50,08,510,0
IMGusain HimalIND2371Rlwys3,50,08,59,5
GMPopov IvanRUS2588RUS3,50,08,010,5
GMLugovskoy MaximRUS2445RUS3,50,08,010,0
Sahoo Utkal RanjanIND2388Ori3,50,08,09,5
IMErigaisi ArjunIND2548Tel3,50,08,09,5
GMStupak KirillBLR2542BLR3,50,08,09,5
IMVisakh N RIND2486TN3,50,08,09,0
IMMohammad Nubairshah ShaikhIND2437Mah3,50,07,59,5

Results from round 4:

Bo.No. NameRtgPts.ResultPts.NameRtg No.
IMGukesh D24973½ - ½3GMPredke Alexandr2620
GMRozum Ivan25893½ - ½3IMVisakh N R2486
GMRahman Ziaur24703½ - ½3GMAleksandrov Aleksej2582
IMKhusenkhojaev Muhammad24553½ - ½3IMErigaisi Arjun2548
GMGhosh Diptayan254431 - 03IMDas Sayantan2451
IMMohammad Nubairshah Shaikh24373½ - ½3GMDeepan Chakkravarthy J.2543
GMStupak Kirill25423½ - ½3GMManik Mikulas2413
GMDebashis Das253831 - 03IMSardana Rishi2398
GMCzebe Attila241830 - 13GMGhaem Maghami Ehsan2533
GMMosadeghpour Masoud251731 - 03IMAmeir Moheb2309

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