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National Premier 2017 Round 4: King is an active piece!

by Sagar Shah - 31/10/2017

Convential wisdom dictates that king should be carefully protected in a game of chess. After all if the king is checkmated the game is over! However, if you did visit the Lemon Tree Hotel in Patna where the fourth round of National Premier 2017 was in progress, you would see a completely different scene. Two players confidently marched their kings all the way to the middle of the board right in the middlegame and emerged victorious. They were Lalith Babu and R.R. Laxman. Three more players won their games today, taking the tally to five decisive results. Lalith Babu and S.L. Narayanan lead the tournament.

Five decisive games at the National Premier 2017

Photos by Dharmendra Kumar

Results of round four:

1142516GMSwapnil S. Dhopade1 - 0IMShyaamnikhil P24229
2102510GMHimanshu Sharma½ - ½IMNitin S.24158
3112494GMDebashis Das0 - 1GMLalith Babu M R25257
4122434IMDas Arghyadip0 - 1GMSunilduth Lyna Narayanan25686
5132578GMKarthikeyan Murali1 - 0GMDeepan Chakkravarthy J.24775
612392GMLaxman R.R.1 - 0Sammed Jaykumar Shete23104
722503GMKunte Abhijit½ - ½GMAravindh Chithambaram Vr.25733

One of India's top players IM Stany G.A made an apt tweet after the fourth round of the National Premier 2017.

The game between Debashis Das and Lalith Babu was one where the player from Orissa came extremely inspired to the game. He sacrificed one piece after another, dragged his opponent's king out in the open but couldn't finish off the game. Let's have a look at what happened:

Debashis sacrificed a piece on f7. No games have been played with this move. But after the game Lalith said that he was well prepared until move 25-26!

The king was sitting pretty on h4!

Something went terribly wrong for Debashis as a game that should have been drawn was lost!

The main error came when instead of Qh3+, Das gave Qe3+ and Black could just play g5, consolidate his extra material and bring home the full point

In the game between debutant Sammed Shete and experienced R.R. Laxman, it was the GM from Tamil Nadu who emerged victorious. But the game was filled with exciting moments. First Laxman missed a win, then it was Sammed who returned the favour. Laxman's king travelled all the way from g1 to e8 and forced his opponent to resign.

Qh6 would have finished off the game with moves like Rf7 coming up

Kf3 by Laxman was a horrible move. He was completely lost if Black would have played Qg5+ por Rc3+ followed by Qc8. Sammed did not find it

And that's why we say King is an active piece!

In a topsy turvy game Laxman managed to beat his opponent Sammed Shete

Karthikeyan Murali showed his class to outwit Deepan Chakkravarthy

There was one particular moment in the game which I think was critical and Karthikeyan found an excellent plan:

What should White (Karthikeyan) play?

The bishop on g2 is hitting a wall of pawns on b7-c6-d5. Hence, it makes complete sense to exchange the bishop with its counterpart on h7. But how to do that? Of course, Bh3! followed by Bf5. Once Karthikeyan found that idea, his position was just better.

Swapnil Dhopade managed to outplay his opponent Shyam Nikhil, to post his first win of the event 

This is what superior development means!

S.L. Narayanan extracted water from stone against Arghyadip Das!

A player like Arghyadip (white) should not lose such a position

The remaining two draws of the day Himanshu vs Nitin and Kunte vs Aravindh ended in draws.

Follow the live games of the National Premier 2017. Round starts at 10 a.m.

Previous reports:

India's strongest tournament National Premier 2017 is here!

R1: Deepan carries his Challengers form to the Premier

R2: How to beat Ruy Lopez Exchange

R3: Capablanca's theorem helps Aravindh

Hindi coverage by Niklesh Jain:

नेशनल प्रीमियर-R1- दीपन के प्यादों में उलझे हिमांशु

नेशनल प्रीमियर R-2- जब राजा निकला घूमने !

अरविंद - अर्घ्यदीप की पहली जीत

नेशनल प्रीमियर R-4 - अब आया खेल का मजा !

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