National Premier 2017 Round 4: King is an active piece!
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:
|1||14||2516||GM||Swapnil S. Dhopade||1 - 0||IM||Shyaamnikhil P||2422||9|
|2||10||2510||GM||Himanshu Sharma||½ - ½||IM||Nitin S.||2415||8|
|3||11||2494||GM||Debashis Das||0 - 1||GM||Lalith Babu M R||2525||7|
|4||12||2434||IM||Das Arghyadip||0 - 1||GM||Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan||2568||6|
|5||13||2578||GM||Karthikeyan Murali||1 - 0||GM||Deepan Chakkravarthy J.||2477||5|
|6||1||2392||GM||Laxman R.R.||1 - 0||Sammed Jaykumar Shete||2310||4|
|7||2||2503||GM||Kunte Abhijit||½ - ½||GM||Aravindh Chithambaram Vr.||2573||3|
One of India's top players IM Stany G.A made an apt tweet after the fourth round of the National Premier 2017.
Times haves changed...Kings are doing more work than the rest of the pieces in the middlegame! pic.twitter.com/DVXi5pA7np— Stany G A (@Stany0122) October 31, 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:
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.
There was one particular moment in the game which I think was critical and Karthikeyan found an excellent plan:
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.
The remaining two draws of the day Himanshu vs Nitin and Kunte vs Aravindh ended in draws.