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Harikrishna enters World top 10

by Sagar Shah - 27/09/2016

On 26th of September Harikrishna beat Ivan Cheparinov in the first round of the Spanish Team Championships. With this victory he gained four Elo points. This took his live rating to 2765.8. This was good enough to surpass Ding Liren and enter the top ten players in the world! The live rating lists are dynamic and change with the daily result. However, this does not take away from the fact that as on 27th of September we have two Indians in the top ten chess players of the world! Kudos to Harikrishna for his consistent performances.

Harikrishna Pentala has been having a blistering month of September. He played some phenomenal chess at the 42nd chess Olympiad in Baku and gained 9.8 Elo points on the top board, beating world class players Sergey Karjakin and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. He also drew against Anish Giri, Fabiano Caruana and Magnus Carlsen!

The determination, confidence and style is there for all to see (Norway Chess 2016)

On 26th of September he was playing in the first round of the Spanish Team Championships for Solvay chess club. Incidentally in the same team we have two more Indians B.Adhiban and Surya Shekhar Ganguly. He was up against Ivan Cheparinov from Bulgaria.

Hari was under pressure the entire game but defended tenaciously. On the 45th move Ivan made a huge blunder which instantly ended the game!

[Event "TCh-ESP Div Honor 2016"]
[Site "Monzon ESP"]
[Date "2016.09.26"]
[Round "1.1"]
[White "Cheparinov, Ivan"]
[Black "Harikrishna, Pentala"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E15"]
[WhiteElo "2677"]
[BlackElo "2752"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "90"]
[EventDate "2016.09.26"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 c6 {This move has become quite popular
recently. We also had Anand facing it once with the white pieces against Anton
Guijarro.} 5. Bg2 Be7 6. O-O O-O 7. Qc2 d5 8. b3 Nbd7 9. Rd1 h6 10. Bb2 Bb7 11.
Nc3 Qc7 12. Rac1 Rac8 13. e4 dxe4 14. Nxe4 c5 $1 {Once Black gets this move in,
he should be close to equality.} 15. Nxf6+ Nxf6 16. dxc5 Bxc5 17. Ne5 {
Whatever little advantage that White has is made up of his queenside majority.
However, with careful play Black shouldn't have too many problems equalizing.}
(17. Bxf6 gxf6 {is alright for Black.}) 17... Bxg2 18. Kxg2 Qb7+ 19. f3 Rfd8
20. Qe2 Be7 21. a4 {Cheparinov slowly but steadily tries to expand on the
queenside. He is an ambitious player and would like to play for a win from
here.} a6 22. Rxd8+ Rxd8 23. Rd1 Rxd1 24. Qxd1 Qc7 25. Qd3 Bd6 26. Qc3 Bf8 27.
b4 Qd6 28. Nd3 Nd7 {Harikrishna's main aim here is to stall White's queenside
pawns.} 29. Qd4 Qc6 30. b5 axb5 31. axb5 Qc7 32. h4 Qa7 33. g4 Qc7 34. g5 hxg5
35. hxg5 {White has opened up a second front on the kingside.} Qd8 36. Kf1 Qc7
37. Ke2 Qh2+ 38. Kd1 Qc7 39. Kc2 Qh2+ 40. Kb3 Qc7 {Smart play by Hari. He
knows that Ivan will do something silly in his bid to win and hence tries to
repeat the moves. And his strategy proves to be 100% correct.} 41. f4 Qb7 42.
Bc3 f6 43. g6 Bc5 44. Nxc5 Nxc5+ 45. Kb4 $4 {A huge blunder.} (45. Ka2 {
And the game would have ended in a draw.} Qg2+ 46. Bb2 Qa8+ $11 (46... Qxg6 $6
47. Qd8+ Kh7 48. Qxb6 $14)) 45... Qa8 $1 {There is absolutely no way to
prevent Qa5 mate!} 0-1

With this win Harikrishna gained 4 precious Elo points and this propelled him not only to 2765.8 but also in the tenth position on the live rating list!

Two Indians in top 10 of the world! That's something to be really proud about!

A superb month of September for Hari where he has gained 13.8 Elo points!

Harikrishna becomes only the second player after Vishy Anand to have achieved this feat of entering the top ten players in the world! 

Hari is moving up the ranks at a great pace! We can safely count him as one of the best players in the world (picture by David Llada)

That's what every Indian chess fan is waiting for!