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Gibraltar 2018 R01-03: Indians have a ball!

by Sagar Shah - 26/01/2018

The Gibraltar Masters is one of the strongest open tournaments in the world. Players from 50 countries with 92 grandmasters are participating in the event. 12 GMs above the rating of 2700 with some big names Aronian, MVL, Nakamura among others are seen in action. India has fielded 28 players with number two Harikrishna leading the campaign. Our young and talented players are getting the unique opportunity of facing world class opposition and they are not disappointing. Debashis Das beat Navara and Shardul Gagare got the better of Vitiugov. Many others held top players to a draw. A pictorial report from the rock!

Debashis Das and Shardul Gagare beat Navara and Vitiugov

The Gibraltar Masters is held each year at the Caleta Hotel. What a scenic location!

Indian challenge is being led by Harikrishna, who made a slow start to this event by drawing his first two rounds to Hemant Sharma and Anita Gara. He won his third round against Nils Gustaf Renman and this might be the start of his winning streak. He is the fifth seed in the event. 
Hemant Sharma was 200% happy after drawing his game against Harikrishna

Prithu Gupta is playing some great chess at the event as he drew his first two rounds against GM Le Quang Liem and GM Bonelli Itturizaga. He followed it up with a win against a 2100+ player.
I had my unit test examinations, so I didn't prepare much - Prithu Gupta

Youngster Raunak Sadhwani drew his game against Varuzhan Akobian (2647) in the first round

Nihal Sarin (2524) will be a guy to watch out for. Until now he has two draws and one win with players rated below him. He will be looking to score a few wins and play against the "big guys"!

Nigel Short couldn't break through the defences of young Praggnanandhaa. He drew the game. Pragg will be trying hard to get his second GM norm here. He is on 2.5/3.
Praggnanandhaa speaks to Tania Sachdev

The top seed of the event is Levon Aronian. The Armenian began with a draw against Anita Gara in round one and then won both his games against Hemant Sharma and Sarah Hoolt.

GM Debashis Das scored one of the biggest upsets of the event, by beating GM David Navara

GM Shardul Gagare calmly refuted Nikita Vitiugov's (2732) piece sacrifice and took home the full point!

Two legends having a chat: Boris Gelfand and Levon Aronian!

Sethuraman has started off with 2.5/3

Lalith Babu held Michael Adams to a draw and now faces Boris Gelfand!

Can you guess who these shoes belong to? For those who watched the World Cup 2017 coverage by ChessBase would surely know!

Top 20 players after round three:

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgPts. TB1 
13GMNakamura HikaruUSA27813,03279
29GMDuda Jan-KrzysztofPOL27243,03267
316GMHowell David W LENG26823,03246
424GMGrandelius NilsSWE26473,03236
530GMGledura BenjaminHUN26123,03222
638GMAntipov Mikhail Al.RUS25883,03201
778IMBatsiashvili NinoGEO25043,03119
881GMDebashis DasIND25012,52765
982GMGagare ShardulIND24942,52753
102GMVachier-Lagrave MaximeFRA27932,52736
1111GMAdams MichaelENG27092,52732
1212GMRapport RichardHUN27002,52730
1325GMSethuraman S.P.IND26462,52715
1494GMSalomon JohanNOR24762,52711
1514GMGelfand BorisISR26972,52708
1629GMEdouard RomainFRA26132,52707
1763GMLalith Babu M RIND25422,52704
1896IMSaduakassova DinaraKAZ24702,52700
1965GMMikhalevski VictorISR25382,52693
98IMDragnev ValentinAUT24662,52693


Standings after round 3

Tania Sachdev:

One person who is lighting up the show at the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival is Tania Sachdev. She is the host of many videos that are being produced every day. Everyone's favourite was, of course, the one below:

One of the most exciting videos with some very nice questions by Tania

Performances of Indian players:

5GMHarikrishna P.2745IND½½12,076Masters
25GMSethuraman S.P.2646IND11½2,513Masters
31GMGupta Abhijeet2610IND1½½2,058Masters
37GMGopal G.N.2593IND½1½2,085Masters
42GMSandipan Chanda2579IND½½12,0101Masters
45GMNarayanan S. L.2573IND11½2,531Masters
63GMLalith Babu M R2542IND11½2,517Masters
68GMSwapnil S. Dhopade2533IND11½2,529Masters
71IMNihal Sarin2524IND1½½2,093Masters
74IMPraggnanandhaa R2515IND1½½2,064Masters
81GMDebashis Das2501IND11½2,58Masters
82GMGagare Shardul2494IND11½2,59Masters
102IMPrasanna Raghuram Rao2458IND1012,098Masters
108GMVenkatesh M.R.2445IND11½2,526Masters
114IMSwayams Mishra2432IND1½12,527Masters
119IMRaja Harshit2427IND½1½2,0116Masters
136IMMohammad Nubairshah Shaikh2380IND1½½2,078Masters
139FMPrithu Gupta2373IND½½12,045Masters
149IMHemant Sharma (Del)2348IND½011,5121Masters
159IMPadmini Rout2325IND0101,0181Masters
162FMSadhwani Raunak2321IND½011,5129Masters
176IMMohota Nisha2269IND½011,5136Masters
186WIMNandhidhaa Pv2238IND01½1,5148Masters
228WFMCholleti Sahajasri2083IND0011,0221Masters
230WIMTejaswini Sagar2081IND½½½1,5132Masters
247WIMGagare Shalmali2001IND½000,5239Masters
254CMDev Shah1977IND½000,5241Masters
268Mayank Pal1834IND½000,5250Masters

Master Classes:

Nigel Short on becoming a candidate:

Maxime Vachier Lagrave shows his best game against Ding Liren:

Official website