Gelfand Challenge Day 1: Awonder Liang makes a perfect start 5.0/5
Awonder Liang dominated the first day of the Julius Baer Challengers Chess Tour Gelfand Challenge. He won all five of his games and took sole lead 5.0/5. Abdusattorov is currently at sole second position 4.0/5. Praggnanandhaa, Nihal and Gukesh scored 3.0/5 and Leon made 2.5/5. Pragg had Liang on the ropes in the very first round but somehow he managed to escape his grasp. Both Pragg and Nihal lost against Abdusattorov. Gukesh suffered his sole loss against Yoo in the final round of the day. Round 6 continues today from 6:30 p.m. IST. Photo: Lennart Ootes
Team Kramnik - Team Polgar: 24-26
GM Awonder Liang started the Gelfand Challenge with a perfect score of 5.0/5. The American had a shaky start against Praggnanandhaa in the first round but somehow managed to steer away from all danger and eventually scored a victory. He went on to win the next five games.
Round 1: Gukesh beat Abdumalik
Only Gukesh won against Abdumalik among Indian kids. Nihal, Leon and Praggnanandhaa lost their respective games.
Nihal - Abdusattorov: 0-1
Nihal had a very exciting sharp game against GM Nodirbek Abudsattorov. Despite being better for the majority of the game, a mistake in the endgame cost him dearly.
White is completely better. What happens if black plays 27...Bxf5 28.gxf5 e3 ? It happened in the game and Nihal completely saw it through. Try to find it like him. It is a beautiful combination.
White can still win this but with less time on the clock, it is not going to be easy. One of the way to continue was 50.Qf8+ Kc7 51.Qg7+ Kb8 52.h5. Nihal blundered the h-pawn and the knight in a few moves, eventually lost the game.
Leon - Sara: 0-1
Leon got into a cramped position against IM Sarasadat Khademalsharieh.
White's position does not look comfortable at all after 34.Qa1
36...g6 gave white an opportunity to get back in the game. What is it? White blundered 37.g3 and Black finally gained exchange 37...Na2, eventually the game too.
Praggnanandhaa - Liang: 0-1
Praggnanandhaa got an early opportunity against GM Awonder Liang in the middlegame.
Black erred by playing 20...Qe7 which created a small window of opportunity for white. What is it? Unfortunately white opted for the meek 21.Ng4.
White got another opportunity in the above diagram and he seized it by taking the knight 23.Rxe4. However the follow through did not yield much and eventually white decided to exchange queens. Find out the better continuation after 23...Qxe4. Eventually white misplayed the Rook and few pawns ending which cost him the game.
Abdumalik - Gukesh: 0-1
Zhansaya Abudmalik recently became Kazakhstan's latest GM, a day after winning the Gibraltar GP. So naturally she is in top form and Gukesh scoring a victory against her is definitely a good one.
Position after 33.Ra3
White went wrong in a seemingly equal endgame with 33.Ra3. Try to find out why it is a big mistake. Black capitalized on the mistake and converted it into a victory.
Round 2: Gukesh, Praggnanandhaa and Leon win
Round 2 turned out to be a good one as Gukesh, Pragg and Leon scored a victory each. Only Nihal was held to a draw by IM Carissa Yip.
Gukesh - Shuvalova: 1-0
Gukesh persevered through a difficult position against IM Polina Shuvalova and when his opponent made a mistake in the endgame, he took it.
Black needed to avoid queen exchange. 53...Qd1 would have been a better continuation. White would be delighted to exchange queens in the above diagram with 54.Qe5+. The rest is academic which we are all sure Gukesh can convert without any difficulty.
Sara - Praggnanandhaa: 0-1
Praggnanandhaa scored a fine victory over Sara. However things were not always easy, Pragg could have been in deep trouble if his opponent spotted it at the right time.
18...Qb8 was a positional mistake. Find out why. White missed it and continued the game 19.Ng3.
In the above diagram, which one should white capture first and why? White made an incorrect capture and lost the game in another five moves.
Murzin - Leon: 0-1
IM Volodar Murzin decided to give up his queen for two minor pieces but he never got enough compensation for it and Leon needed only 26 moves to win the game.
Nihal Sarin completely outplayed IM Carissa Yip.
Round 3: Nihal beat Keymer
Nihal and Pragg scored victories, Leon lost and Gukesh was held to a draw.
Nihal - Keymer: 1-0
Keymer made a questionable decision to do castling at a wrong time.
21...0-0-0 at a first glance may seem like black king is safer than white's but a closer inspection reveals the truth to be the opposite. Find out why it is a mistake and what Black should have done instead.
Black's king is absolutely vulnerable in the above diagram. Find out how should white take advantage of it. It is well established that Nihal is extremely good at sharp positions and he had no trouble converting it into a victory.
Leon - Abdusattorov: 0-1
Leon had an absolutel roller-coaster of a game with Abdusattorov.
In the above diagram, it is White who is better. The question is what should White do now? After both sides making plenty of mistakes, Abdusattorov capitalized on Leon's blunder and checkmated him. However the final position was completely winning for Leon had he not blundered the checkmate.
Praggnanandhaa - Murzin: 1-0
Praggnanandhaa scored a fine victory over Murzin.
Mammadzada - Gukesh: 0.5-0.5
Mammadzada held Gukesh to a well fought draw.
Round 4: Leon and Nihal score wins
Only Leon and Nihal scored victories, Gukesh was held to a draw and Pragg lost.
Gukesh - Saduakassova: 0.5-0.5
Gukesh had another grueling draw and made a good save as he was lost for the better part of the endgame.
Abdusattorov - Praggnanandhaa: 1-0
Praggnanandhaa went wrong in the endgame against Abdusattorov.
It was certainly not an easy endgame and 44...Be6 did not help Black's chances. 44...Rg4 would have kept the fight going.
Yip - Leon: 0-1
Leon scored a nice victory over IM Carissa Yip.
Nihal - Jiner: 1-0
Nihal made a short work of WGM Zhu Jiner in 26 moves after the latter made a tactical mistake.
Round 5: Leon drew with Nihal
Round-Robin tournament means everyone plays against all other opponents. In Round 5, Leon drew with Nihal, Praggnanandhaa won and Gukesh lost.
Leon - Nihal: 0.5-0.5
Leon and Nihal had an uneventful draw.
Praggnanandhaa - Yip: 1-0
Pragg scored an exemplary victory over Yip.
It is evident that white has a huge positional advantage in the above diagram but how should white capitalize on it? Try to think like Pragg and find out the correct plan for white.
Yoo - Gukesh: 1-0
Yoo made a sacrifice which is not correct. Unfortunately for Gukesh, he could not capitalize on it.
22.Bxe4 does not work. Why? Gukesh got a few chances to equalize later but he missed them.
Replay Round 1-5 games
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Round 1-5 results
|Round 1 on 2021/06/10 at 15:00|
|1||1||K||2430||IM||Yip Carissa||0 - 1||GM||Keymer Vincent||P||2591||20|
|2||2||P||2620||GM||Nihal Sarin||0 - 1||GM||Abdusattorov Nodirbek||K||2627||19|
|3||3||P||2459||WGM||Zhu Jiner||0 - 1||IM||Murzin Volodar||P||2478||18|
|4||4||K||2549||IM||Mendonca Leon Luke||0 - 1||IM||Khademalsharieh Sarasadat||P||2494||17|
|5||5||K||2608||GM||Praggnanandhaa R||0 - 1||GM||Liang Awonder||P||2592||16|
|6||6||K||2550||GM||Bjerre Jonas Buhl||½ - ½||IM||Salimova Nurgyul||K||2397||15|
|7||7||K||2505||GM||Lei Tingjie||1 - 0||IM||Badelka Olga||K||2433||14|
|8||8||P||2472||IM||Abdumalik Zhansaya||0 - 1||GM||Gukesh D||P||2578||13|
|9||9||P||2476||IM||Shuvalova Polina||0 - 1||IM||Yoo Christopher Woojin||K||2455||12|
|10||10||P||2443||IM||Mammadzada Gunay||0 - 1||IM||Saduakassova Dinara||K||2500||11|
|Round 2 on 2021/06/10 at 15:45|
|1||20||P||2591||GM||Keymer Vincent||1 - 0||IM||Saduakassova Dinara||K||2500||11|
|2||12||K||2455||IM||Yoo Christopher Woojin||0 - 1||IM||Mammadzada Gunay||P||2443||10|
|3||13||P||2578||GM||Gukesh D||1 - 0||IM||Shuvalova Polina||P||2476||9|
|4||14||K||2433||IM||Badelka Olga||1 - 0||IM||Abdumalik Zhansaya||P||2472||8|
|5||15||K||2397||IM||Salimova Nurgyul||½ - ½||GM||Lei Tingjie||K||2505||7|
|6||16||P||2592||GM||Liang Awonder||1 - 0||GM||Bjerre Jonas Buhl||K||2550||6|
|7||17||P||2494||IM||Khademalsharieh Sarasadat||0 - 1||GM||Praggnanandhaa R||K||2608||5|
|8||18||P||2478||IM||Murzin Volodar||0 - 1||IM||Mendonca Leon Luke||K||2549||4|
|9||19||K||2627||GM||Abdusattorov Nodirbek||½ - ½||WGM||Zhu Jiner||P||2459||3|
|10||1||K||2430||IM||Yip Carissa||½ - ½||GM||Nihal Sarin||P||2620||2|
|Round 3 on 2021/06/10 at 16:30|
|1||2||P||2620||GM||Nihal Sarin||1 - 0||GM||Keymer Vincent||P||2591||20|
|2||3||P||2459||WGM||Zhu Jiner||1 - 0||IM||Yip Carissa||K||2430||1|
|3||4||K||2549||IM||Mendonca Leon Luke||0 - 1||GM||Abdusattorov Nodirbek||K||2627||19|
|4||5||K||2608||GM||Praggnanandhaa R||1 - 0||IM||Murzin Volodar||P||2478||18|
|5||6||K||2550||GM||Bjerre Jonas Buhl||1 - 0||IM||Khademalsharieh Sarasadat||P||2494||17|
|6||7||K||2505||GM||Lei Tingjie||0 - 1||GM||Liang Awonder||P||2592||16|
|7||8||P||2472||IM||Abdumalik Zhansaya||1 - 0||IM||Salimova Nurgyul||K||2397||15|
|8||9||P||2476||IM||Shuvalova Polina||1 - 0||IM||Badelka Olga||K||2433||14|
|9||10||P||2443||IM||Mammadzada Gunay||½ - ½||GM||Gukesh D||P||2578||13|
|10||11||K||2500||IM||Saduakassova Dinara||½ - ½||IM||Yoo Christopher Woojin||K||2455||12|
|Round 4 on 2021/06/10 at 17:15|
|1||20||P||2591||GM||Keymer Vincent||½ - ½||IM||Yoo Christopher Woojin||K||2455||12|
|2||13||P||2578||GM||Gukesh D||½ - ½||IM||Saduakassova Dinara||K||2500||11|
|3||14||K||2433||IM||Badelka Olga||0 - 1||IM||Mammadzada Gunay||P||2443||10|
|4||15||K||2397||IM||Salimova Nurgyul||1 - 0||IM||Shuvalova Polina||P||2476||9|
|5||16||P||2592||GM||Liang Awonder||1 - 0||IM||Abdumalik Zhansaya||P||2472||8|
|6||17||P||2494||IM||Khademalsharieh Sarasadat||½ - ½||GM||Lei Tingjie||K||2505||7|
|7||18||P||2478||IM||Murzin Volodar||1 - 0||GM||Bjerre Jonas Buhl||K||2550||6|
|8||19||K||2627||GM||Abdusattorov Nodirbek||1 - 0||GM||Praggnanandhaa R||K||2608||5|
|9||1||K||2430||IM||Yip Carissa||0 - 1||IM||Mendonca Leon Luke||K||2549||4|
|10||2||P||2620||GM||Nihal Sarin||1 - 0||WGM||Zhu Jiner||P||2459||3|
|Round 5 on 2021/06/10 at 18:00|
|1||3||P||2459||WGM||Zhu Jiner||0 - 1||GM||Keymer Vincent||P||2591||20|
|2||4||K||2549||IM||Mendonca Leon Luke||½ - ½||GM||Nihal Sarin||P||2620||2|
|3||5||K||2608||GM||Praggnanandhaa R||1 - 0||IM||Yip Carissa||K||2430||1|
|4||6||K||2550||GM||Bjerre Jonas Buhl||½ - ½||GM||Abdusattorov Nodirbek||K||2627||19|
|5||7||K||2505||GM||Lei Tingjie||1 - 0||IM||Murzin Volodar||P||2478||18|
|6||8||P||2472||IM||Abdumalik Zhansaya||½ - ½||IM||Khademalsharieh Sarasadat||P||2494||17|
|7||9||P||2476||IM||Shuvalova Polina||0 - 1||GM||Liang Awonder||P||2592||16|
|8||10||P||2443||IM||Mammadzada Gunay||1 - 0||IM||Salimova Nurgyul||K||2397||15|
|9||11||K||2500||IM||Saduakassova Dinara||1 - 0||IM||Badelka Olga||K||2433||14|
|10||12||K||2455||IM||Yoo Christopher Woojin||1 - 0||GM||Gukesh D||P||2578||13|
Standings after Round 5
Everyday game starts at 6:30 p.m. IST