FIDE Online World Corporate Championship: Nihal Sarin holds Anish Giri to a draw
FIDE Online World Corporate Championship had an exciting start as Akshayakalpa Farms and Foods was paired against Optiver in the very first round. It means Nihal Sarin was up against Anish Giri, something which is yet to happen in an over-the-board tournament yet. Nihal got a good chance but he mistimed it and Giri saved the game and it ended up in a draw. Among Indian teams, Praggnanandhaa's team Tata Consultancy Services Chennai is the only Indian team which has a very good chance of advancing to the Knockout stage as they won all three matches on the first day of Stage 1.
Akshayakalpa vs Optiver in Round 1
The first edition of FIDE Online World Corporate Championship started on Friday 19th February. As fate would have it, Optiver and Akshayakalpa Farms and Foods landed in the same group East C of the Eastern Pool. Not only that, they were also paired in the first round, thus Nihal Sarin was up against Dutch no.1 Anish Giri in Round 1 of the first stage.
Nihal played a solid game and at one point he got an interesting chance which he did not take. Since this was a team championship and Nihal's team was facing a stronger opposition, he couldn't afford to take some chances which he would usually prefer. As only the champion of each group will advance to the knockout stage.
Nihal - Giri, Round 1
The obvious attempt which white should make is 23.h5 which I am sure Nihal must have considered but did not play it immediately perhaps because the reasons stated above. After 23.Nd4 Rc5 Nihal went with 24.h5 but things have changed a bit and now the h5 move lacks a punch. The game eventually ended up in a draw in another 13 moves.
Optiver making a draw with Rosseti Volga reduced their chances. Currently Morgan Stanley (HUN) and Gazprom are at 100% score of 6.0/6. Ernst & Young is the highest placed Indian team in East C group with 8.5/12.
East C Standings after Round 3
|1||1||Morgan Stanley (HUN)||3||3||0||0||10,5||6||0|
|5||13||Ernst & Young||3||2||0||1||8,5||4||0|
|9||Tata Consultancy Services Europe||3||2||1||0||8,0||5||0|
|10||Moscow School of Management Skolkovo||3||2||1||0||8,0||5||0|
|10||12||Cognizant Tamil Nadu||3||2||0||1||8,0||4||0|
TCS Chennai makes a great start
Praggnanandhaa's team made a brilliant start as the team performed well and won all three of their matches. They are now in the shared lead with CSOB at 10.0/12
Praggnanandhaa scored a comfortable victory against IM Ioannis Georgiadis of Credit Suisse when TCS Chennai beat them in a close battle of 2.5-1.5
East E Standings after Round 3
|2||7||Tata Consultancy Services Chennai||3||3||0||0||10,0||6||0|
Vaishali scores three wins for Autodesk
Vaishali started with three wins but her team Autodesk moved the scoreboard in each of the win, draw and loss column, thus the practical chances of advancing to the next stage looks slim.
West B standings after Round 3
|2||1||PT Pelabuhan Tanjung Priok||3||3||0||0||10,0||6||0|
|6||4||Deloitte New York||3||2||0||1||8,5||4||0|
He had no idea that the world champion was taking part in the event. When FIDE asked for his photo 10-minutes before the game, only then he learnt about the fact. After the game he said to FIDE, "I am very happy though I lost". Oracle Bangalore gave a shoutout for the Senior Assistant Financial Controller who faced the world no.1