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Lakecity GM R05: Swapnil Dhopade goes down against Denis Eraschenkov

by Satanick Mukhuty - 17/09/2019

Grandmaster Swapnil Dhopade suffered a disappointing loss against Russian International Master Denis Eraschenkov in the fifth round of the ongoing Lakecity GM Open. What started off as a super-solid symmetrical English turned out into a staggering 90-move long battle with many ups and downs. Eraschenkov gave up an exchange on move 21 and the game liquidated into a roughly equal but complex ending where the Indian player made multiple slips and conceded his opponent strong passers on both sides of the board and this ultimately proved to be fatal. The encounters in the top three boards ended in draws, thus after five rounds as many as ten players, led by India's Deepan Chakkravarthy, are tied with 4.5/5 points each. 

Swapnil falters in the endgame with an exchange up

Swapnil S. Dhopade who started the event as the third seed is not really in his best form. After a draw in the third round and a loss in the fifth he has slipped to the 27th place on the current rank-list | Photo: Sagar Shah

Swapnil, with an exchange up, was perhaps on the better side of equality for the most part of his encounter against Eraschenkov. But the latter found ways to complicate things in the endgame. Finally, the Russian was able to outwit his higher-rated Grandmaster opponent and create winning passers on both sides of the chessboard. However, before these complications arose, the game started off with a super-solid Symmetrical English and at one point the players even had the opportunity to agree upon a draw through repetition. Well, let's see what happened!


Denis Eraschenkov - Swapnil Dhopade, Round 5

The game began with a calm positional opening with Black going for a sort of hedgehog structure with double fianchetto.

By move 18 the queens were traded off and it seemed the game would soon fizzle out into a drawish ending but ...

Position after 20...Bf6: What would you play as White here?

It is perfectly okay to go 21.Rc7 here, after which Black can actually force repetition with 21...Be5 22.Re7 Bf6 etc. But Eraschenkov boldly went ahead with 21.Rxb7 - an exchange sacrifice. The game followed 21...Nxb7 22.Ba3 Rfc8 23.Nd5 Rxc1+ 24.Bxc1 Bd8 25.Ba3 Nc5 26.Bxc5 bxc5 27.Bc4 and although White did have some compensation in his extra pawn and slightly more active pieces here but probably it was the side with the exchange who had better chances.

White's minor pieces looked quite active but Black, being an exchange up, should still be better.

Fast forwarding a few moves, White played the move 41.Nd6 putting pressure on f7. What would you do here if you were in Black shoes? 

Well, the position is not the most critical one and in fact there are many moves that preserve equality here. However, it is one of those tricky situations where there is nothing much to do but you could still lose your sense of objectivity. Swapnil played the move 41...Rf8 here defending the pawn which looks perfectly normal but is mistaken. What followed next was 42.Nf5+ Kd7 43.Ng3 Ke7 44.Nxh5 and White won a clear pawn.

And already in this position White's three to one majority on the kingside started looking dangerous...

Black shouldn't have worried too much about the f7 pawn and focussed more on counterplay. 41...Bb2 would have been a decent alternative, now grabbing the f7 pawn isn't all that straightforward. For instance, 42.Nxf7 Rf8 43.e6 Bf6 (43. Ng5 Bxe5!) 44. Kg3 Rg8+ 45. Ng5 Bc3 and Black gets good activity.


Analysis Board

With 45...Bc3 Black eyes both f4 and h4 pawns and intends to go Bd2 or Be1 next.

A further inaccuracy led White to win another pawn, this time on the kingside, and things were soon out of hands.

Black played 60...Kg7 in the above position and after 61.Be8 White had clear passers on both sides of the board. Can you do better than Kg7 here?

The correct move would have been 60...Bc5, the point is clear after 61.Nf5+ Kh7 Black can easily win the a4 pawn next which is sufficient to preserve equality. In the game things went awry for Black from this point. White was able to push his passers to the seventh rank and it was in the following hopeless position that Black resigned.

The final position on board after 90.f7 - It is surprising how Black went from having a perfectly safe position with an exchange up to a completely lost one, quite unfortunate for the Indian GM!

The full game with brief annotations is presented below:

Deepan Chakravarthy was held to a draw by GM Maxim Lugovskoy of Russia in the fifth round | Photo: Niklesh Jain

IM Sayantan Das held top seed Ivan Rozum to a draw playing against the petroff with white pieces | Photo: Niklesh Jain

IM Mitrabha Guha also performed solidly with the black pieces to hold GM Rodrigo Vásquez Schroder to a draw | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Results of round five

Bo.No. NameTypRtgClub/CityPts. ResultPts. NameTypRtgClub/City No.
IMDas Sayantan 2434WB4 ½ - ½4 GMRozum Ivan 2596RUS
GMDeepan Chakkravarthy J. 2539RLYS4 ½ - ½4 GMLugovskoy Maxim 2422RUS
GMVasquez Schroeder Rodrigo 2476CHI4 ½ - ½4 FMMitrabha Guha 2414WB
IMEraschenkov Denis 2390RUS 1 - 0 GMSwapnil S. Dhopade 2501RLYS
GMRahman Ziaur 2492BAN 1 - 0 IMAbu Sufian Shakil 2255BAN
GMZiatdinov Raset S602222USA 0 - 1 GMSaptarshi Roy 2480WB
Sahoo Utkal Ranjan 2329ODI 0 - 1 GMNeelotpal Das 2433WB
Anadkat Kartavya U152088GUJ3 0 - 13 GMLaxman R.R. 2437ICF
GMHimanshu Sharma 2408HAR3 1 - 03 Sinha Sudhir Kumar 2081BIH
Kumar Gaurav 2096BIH3 0 - 13 GMHesham Abdelrahman 2396EGY

Standings after round five

Rk.SNo NameTypsexFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 
GMDeepan Chakkravarthy J.IND2539RLYS4,50,015,518,015,754
FMMitrabha GuhaIND2414WB4,50,015,017,515,254
GMRozum IvanRUS2596RUS4,50,015,016,514,254
GMVasquez Schroeder RodrigoCHI2476CHI4,50,014,517,515,254
GMSaptarshi RoyIND2480WB4,50,014,516,514,754
GMLugovskoy MaximRUS2422RUS4,50,014,016,514,254
GMRahman ZiaurBAN2492BAN4,50,013,516,514,754
IMDas SayantanIND2434WB4,50,013,514,512,254
GMNeelotpal DasIND2433WB4,50,012,515,514,004
IMEraschenkov DenisRUS2390RUS4,50,011,513,012,254

Check complete results and standings here.

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