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Mumbai IIFLW 05: Deepan Chakkravarthi takes sole lead

by Aditya Pai - 04/01/2018

Leaders have emerged in both Juniors and Open section of the IIFLW Mumbai International Chess tournament after the conclusion of the fifth round. While Deepan Chakkravarthi took the lead in the open section, Aaryan Varshney is leading the pack in Juniors. Both Deepan and Aaryan won their fifth round game with the black pieces to take the lead. While Deepan defeated IM S Nitin in a French Defence, Aaryan managed to trick Om Kadam in a middle game with opposite coloured bishops. On board 13 in the open group, GM Timur Gareyev won sensationally against WIM Srija Seshadri to register his third consecutive win deploying the King's Gambit. Round 5 report.  

Deepan takes sole lead

The organisers of the IIFLW Mumbai International Chess Tournament did an amazing job tackling the protests which disrupted the fifth round of the Open section. The round could not have been cancelled since this was a norm tournament and due to the 'bandh' (a general strike declared by a political party or community) declared by the Dalit Community, conducting the round seemed quite difficult. However, the organisers, led by FI Praful Zaveri, were able to conduct the round successfully in the evening at 6:30 PM, after a 2.5-hour

At the conclusion of the fifth round, the tournament saw a new leader. GM Deepan Chakkravarthi had taken the sole lead by beating...

...IM S Nitin.

The game between IM S Nitin and, GM Deepan Chakkravarthi, was an entertaining French Defence wherein the winner of this year's National Challengers tried to keep things safe by not going taking a gambit pawn offered by his opponent. Nitin, however, seemed to be in the mood for a complicated position and forced Deepan to sacrifice an exchange and create an imbalance. Making their way through the dense woods of variations in the middlegame, the players reached an endgame where Deepan had an extra pawn. Converting it into a full point though seemed to be a tough task.


On the 50th turn, Nitin fumbled and allowed  Deepan's rook enter his position and this just spelt the end for the IM. Nitin tried promoting his queenside passer and create play after this. But this was easily shut down by Deepan and by move 61, Nitin had to throw in the towel.

Swag and Simplicity!

WIM Srija Seshadri has been playing outstandingly well at the event. In her first four games, she was able to amass 3.5 points and was among the toppers on the leaderboard.

But in round 5, she suffered her first loss against... | Photo: Amruta Mokal

...the blindfold king, GM Timur Gareyev

After his second round upset against the Egyptian IM Adham Kandil, tournament's second seed, GM Timur Gareyev is making a strong comeback. In round 5, he won his third consecutive game against WIM Srija Seshadri. With the white pieces, Gareyev seemed to be in the mood for fun and uncorked a deadly attacking weapon from the romantic age of chess, the King's Gambit!


Seshadri also did not back down and went for the most critical line with 3...g5. This is where the Uzbek-American Grandmaster had a sneaky surprise waiting for her. Instead of going for the Kiesertizky variation with 4.h4 (which is normally seen at the top level), Gareyev chose to play 4.Nc3, a very rare line. Gareyev continued playing in romantic style as play proceeded and sacrificed a knight on move 9. By the 24th move, white was a full rook down but black was in no position to avert the threatened checkmate.

While Gareyev entertained everyone with his outlandish opening and stylish play, Iranian GM Parham Maghsoodloo showed the power of simplicity in chess.

Iranian GM Parham Maghsoodloo was playing on board 6 against FM Marko Fadi in round 5. Out of an unorthodox flank opening, Parham wasn't able to get much of an advantage. But as the game progressed, he was able to press with his extra space and gain a pleasant advantage. The players were in a heavy piece endgame when IM Sagar Shah says he felt white should keep pressing with the move c5 after black's 41st move.

Position after 41...Kh7

Curiously enough, the computer's first reaction to this position is also the same as IM Shah's. It thinks white should play c5. But Maghsoodloo kept things simple and went for 42.cxd5 and won a very nice game in the end.

Rank after 5 rounds

Rk.SNo NameTypsexGrFEDRtgIPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 wwew-weKrtg+/-
GMDeepan Chakkravarthy J.IND24735,00,013,515,53,05,053,831,171011,7
GMDavid AlbertoITA25714,50,015,017,52,04,04,54,110,39103,9
GMTukhaev AdamUKR25754,50,014,017,01,04,04,54,250,25102,5
FMRathanvel V SU16IND23234,50,014,016,52,04,04,53,151,352027,0
GMRozum IvanRUS25954,50,014,016,03,04,04,54,260,24102,4
GMHorvath AdamHUN24734,50,014,016,02,04,04,53,830,67106,7
IMKarthikeyan P.IND24974,50,014,016,01,04,04,54,210,29102,9
GMMaghsoodloo ParhamU18IRI25704,50,013,516,01,04,04,54,350,15101,5
IMYeoh Li TianU18MAS24804,50,011,513,51,04,04,54,330,17101,7
IMNitin S.IND24414,00,016,018,02,04,043,970,03100,3


Just like in the Open section, the Juniors group also saw a sole leader in the form of Aaryan Varshney. In the fifth round, Aaryan got the better of the reigning National U-9 Champion, Om Kadam to take sole lead. The two played the Najdorf variation of the Sicilian Defence in which Varshney, with the black pieces, was able to equalise comfortably. Soon, Varshney had a slightly better position thanks to his opponent's weakened queenside pawn structure.

Aaryan Varshney, the sole leader after round 5

The presence of opposite coloured bishops further favoured Varshney who was able to attack with his queen and bishop along the long diagonal. On the 37th move, Aaryan found a neat trick that caught white's queen in a pin. Om tried to bail out by taking a bishop and a rook as compensation but Om's illusion was soon shattered as Aaryan caught white's rook in a double attack at the end of the sequence and forced resignation.

Rank after 5 rounds


Rk.SNo NamesexFEDRtgIPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 nwwew-weKrtg+/-
CMNikhil MagizhnanIND20175,00,09,515,52,05,0554,350,654026,0
Aaryan VarshneyIND20265,00,09,015,03,05,0554,520,484019,2
Anuj ShrivatriIND21494,50,011,518,52,04,054,54,470,03401,2
Pranav VIND22634,50,010,517,01,04,054,54,60-0,1020-2,0
CMGukesh DIND23624,50,010,516,51,04,054,54,60-0,1020-2,0
AGMSrihari L RIND19244,50,010,015,51,04,054,54,410,09403,6
Banerjee AshutoshIND19144,50,09,015,02,04,054,53,860,644025,6
Zia Tahsin TajwarBAN18254,50,09,015,02,04,054,54,320,18407,2
Pranesh MIND19774,50,09,015,01,04,054,54,500,00400,0
Kadam Om ManishIND16524,00,011,017,52,04,0542,241,764070,4

About the Author

Aditya Pai is an ardent chess fan, avid reader, and a film lover. He has been an advertising copywriter and is currently pursuing a Master's in English Literature at the University of Mumbai. He loves all things German and is learning the language. He has also written scripts for experimental films.

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