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Kolkata 2018 Round 3: And then there were eight!

by Sagar Shah - 17/05/2018

Top seed Nigel Short, along with seven others are leading with a perfect score at the end of round 3 of LIC 3rd Kolkata International Open Grandmasters Chess Tournament 2018. Short extracted water out of stone when his opponent Shyam tried too hard in a seemingly equal position in the endgame. Aravindh had an unusual day as he missed a clear win in time pressure against strong IM Rathnakaran Kantholi which was evident by his repeated nodding. We have photos, videos in-depth analysis, interviews and tactical positions from round 3 in this report. Try your hand at solving the first four positions in the report - tactics that were executed by the masters and see if you can match them! Photos: Amruta Mokal

Test your tactics with champions:

Let's begin the round three report with four positions. These are not particularly difficult but finding them will ensure that you are in good form and can aim to play at the same level as these top GMs and IMs.

 

Rahul Sangma - Adam Tukhaev

White has just moved his king to g2. Black is two pawns up and surely winning. But he ended the game within a couple of moves. How?

Farrukh Amonatov vs Rithvik Raja

It's a very complex Petroff. Black's last move was Qe8. But Rithvik has missed something very big! His opponent immediately found it.

Vantika Agarwal vs Arjun Erigaisi

This one's pretty! White's knight has been pushed back to d3. How should Black finish off the game!

Nikhil Dixit vs S. Nitin

Black's last move is ...Na6. What should White play?

Short's squeeze!

Nigel Short would have been pretty happy with a draw after the position that was reached late in the middlegame. It was round about even. But Shyam Nikhil started to go wrong and Short took full advantage of it and brought home the full point.

One thing we see Short doing here quite regularly is coming to the round earlier than all other players on top boards! Perhaps tired of politics, he just comes early to freshen his mind before the game! | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

GM elect Shyam Nikhil is quite a dangerous player, but against Short he just played it too safe. But that was not all. If he was consistent he might well have been rewarded with a half point. But all of a sudden he wanted to win the game. Short calculated accurately and won the game! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

3.0/3 - Nigel Short has made a good start at the event! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Srinath Narayanan's antidote against the King's Indian

India's 46th GM Srinath Narayanan | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Srinath Narayanan's victory over Kaustuv Kundu was a classy game with a lot to learn from it. Especially for the opening aficionados. Srinath played the same opening as his opponent a few months ago at the National Team Championship 2018 against Surya Shekhar Ganguly. The Chennai GM learnt from that game and decided that it is important to try out this new idea with white. That's how flexible these top players are. Once they learn something, they use it immediately.

 

Surya Sekhar Ganguly - Srinath Narayanan, National Teams 2018

In this position White stunned his opponent by making the move h4! White usually plays g5 but Ganguly had this new idea up his sleeve.

Srinath learned from his opponent's innovation and tried it in the third round of the Kolkata GM Open 2018 against Kaustuv Kundu. There were a lot of interesting moments that you can know about from the video as well as the game analysis.

Srinath Narayanan speaks about his win over Kaustuv Kundu

Rithvik Raja as black played the Petroff Defence and was better out of the opening against Farrukh Amonatov. However, just like yesterday in his game against Abhijeet Gupta, the youngster from Telangana didn't take his chances and slumped to a defeat. The final tactic was quite nice.

White to move

This was one of the test positions at the start. The right answer is Rxa5 Rxa5 Qb6! winning a piece!

Vantika Agarwal had played a brilliant game to beat Karthikeyan Murali yesterday. But today she was at the receiving end as she missed a beautiful tactic | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Black to play

Vantika's opponent Arjun Erigaisi was extremely alert and played the move...Qxh3+! The queen cannot be taken with the king because of a mate in one and after Bxh3 Nf3+ was a lethal fork.

The craziness between Aravindh and Ratnakaran

Ratnakaran vs Aravindh Chithambaram | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The chaos started right from the opening! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Ratnakaran is well known to unleash chaos on the board in each and every game that he plays. Aravindh on the other hand is never shy to indulge in a fist fight. What followed next is a mad game filled with sacrifices, unusual moves and pretty tactics. In the end the game concluded with a draw, but Aravindh might be more upset than Ratnakaran for not converting his advantage. I have deliberately left the game unannotated (Only actical Analysis by ChessBase 14) so that you can check the game and analyze it on your own.

Vignesh's pure Catalan:

It's not everyday that you will get to see a game where White wins in such a clean manner in the Catalan. It was a brilliant positional effort by Vignesh to Rajdeep Sarkar with the white pieces and making use of the minute advantages that he got.

Nikhil Dixit is the man in form. He scored his maiden IM norm at the Chennai Open 2018 and in the second round here beat IM Harsha Bharathakoti. But in the third round he tried a little too hard against S. Nitin | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Nikhil, as white, should have just retreated his bishop from f4 to e3 and is clearly better. Instead he chose to play something really complex - Nb5-d4. The idea is clear. He wants to give Bb5+ But Nitin somehow managed to escape after ...Nc5

Photo Gallery:

In love with the game of chess is GM Pravin Thipsay | Photo: Amruta Mokal

One of the top woman players of Rajasthan Sonakshi Rathore | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Sandipan Chanda won the best game prize for round one. The second round prize was won by IM D.V. Prasad. They received the prize from Kunal Gupta, Founder & Group Managing Director of MET Techonologies, Gold Sponsor of the event | Photo: Saravanan/DBCA

Rabi Ranjan Pradhan, father of Soundarya Pradhan is the assistant to the visually challenged team. He tells the visually challenged players about the time that is left on the clock | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Nihal Sarin was unable to breakthrough the defences of the Bangladeshi talent Mohammad Fahad | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Local lad Neelotpal Das has two draws and one win and is on 2.0/3 | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Leon Mendonca scored a major upset by beating IM P. Konguvel | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Really, you want to take my picture? | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Tournaments like these prove to be the ideal grounds for youngsters like Kushagra Mohan to interact with veterans like GM Neverov | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Koustav Chatterjee is one boy on whom we should have a close eye. He is already on 2.5/3 and has drawn GM Vladimir Burmakin in round three | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Gukesh won his third round and with 2.5/3 he faces GM Aravindh Chithambaram in the fourth round | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Chess can be painful at times! | Photo: V. Saravanan/ DBCA

Video Gallery:

Final moments of the game between Ratnakaran and Aravindh Chithambaram
Round one highlights
Town with a difference - the New Town in Kolkata where the tournament is being held

Special thanks to Shahid Ahmed for the photos, videos and more that have been contributed to this article from his end.

Articles related to the tournament:

Live Games from 3rd International Open Grandmasters Chess Tournament 2018

FIDE Presidential candidate GM Nigel Short headlines LIC 3rd Kolkata Open 2018

Round 1: Short's last holiday event before campaign

Round 2: Vantika Agrawal shows how to beat a 2600+ GM


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