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World Rapid 6-10: Endgame guru Vidit outfoxes Wojtaszek and MVL

by Amey Dandekar - 28/12/2016

You know that a young talent is becoming a big boy when he starts beating the big boys! This is exactly whats happening with Vidit Gujrathi. After getting better of Jobava, Artemiev and Akopian on day one, he upped his game and beat Wojtaszek and Vachier-Lagrave! He is on 7.0/10 and so is Vishy Anand. Ivanchuk is leading in the open section with 8.0/10 and Anna Muzychuk is cruising ahead with 7.0/8. We have a detailed report with some excellent photography by Maria Emelianova.

Pictures by Maria Emelianova

World Rapid 6-10 : Ivanchuk sole leader; Vidit,Vishy still in contention

Another exciting day of the World Rapid Chess Championships 2016 came to an end, as the leadership changed hands every round before Vasily Ivanchuk of Ukraine emerged as the sole leader after beating compatriot Anton Korobov in the tenth round. Ivanchuk earlier beat defending champion Magnus Carlsen and spoiled his chances too.

Ivanchuk spoilt Magnus' party once again!
[Event "World Rapid 2016"]
[Site "Doha QAT"]
[Date "2016.12.27"]
[Round "7.1"]
[White "Ivanchuk, Vassily"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D11"]
[WhiteElo "2747"]
[BlackElo "2840"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "103"]
[EventDate "2016.12.26"]
[EventType "rapid"]
{Ivanchuk had beaten Carlsen in the World Blitz Championships 2015, so the
World Champion was surely eyeing for a revenge.} 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6
4. Qc2 e6 5. Nbd2 {Quite a sedate approach against the Meran, but has scored
well for White in the past.} dxc4 6. Nxc4 c5 {Magnus tries to clarify the
situation in the centre.} 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8. a3 O-O 9. b4 Be7 10. Bb2 {White has
more space and much freer development.} Qc7 (10... b5 11. Na5 {And the bishop
cannot go to b7.} (11. Nce5 Bb7 {is completely fine for Black.})) 11. Rc1 Nbd7
12. e4 b5 13. Na5 {Once this knight settles on a5, it is a source of constant
headache for Black as it eyes the c6 square and doesn't let the bishop on c8
develop.} Qxc2 14. Rxc2 Nxe4 15. Bxb5 Nd6 16. Bc6 Rb8 17. O-O Nb6 18. Rd1 {
White's position looks much more harmonious.} Rd8 (18... Ba6 {was better.}) 19.
Ne5 $1 {The threat now is to just remove the bishop from c6, say to f3 and
then Nc6 would be a huge threat.} f6 20. Bf3 $1 fxe5 21. Nc6 Bb7 22. Nxe7+ Kf8
23. Bxe5 (23. Nc6 $16 {was also pretty good for White.}) 23... Nbc4 (23... Kxe7
24. Rc7+ $18) (23... Bxf3 24. Rxd6 Kxe7 25. Rc7+ Nd7 26. gxf3 $16) 24. Bxd6
Nxd6 25. Nc6 Bxc6 26. Rxc6 {White is a pawn up and the rest as they say is a
matter of technique.} Nb5 27. Rxd8+ Rxd8 28. Ra6 Rc8 29. h4 Rc7 30. Bg4 e5 31.
Ra5 Nd6 32. Rxe5 Nc4 33. Rf5+ Ke7 34. Rf3 Ne5 35. Re3 Kd6 36. Be2 h6 37. f4
Rc1+ 38. Kf2 Nd7 39. Bf3 Rc2+ 40. Kg3 Ra2 41. Rd3+ Ke7 42. Rc3 Kd8 43. Kg4 Rd2
44. Rc6 Rd3 45. Ra6 Nf6+ 46. Kf5 Rd7 47. g4 Ne8 48. g5 hxg5 49. hxg5 Nd6+ 50.
Kg6 Nb5 51. Ra5 Nd4 52. Bg4 1-0

For all those interested in seeing how angry Carlsen was ater losing to Ivanchuk in World Blitz 2015, must check this video from 8 minutes 20 seconds onwards!
Well, what can I say, I am just too good! Chucky took his tally to 8.0/10 points. He is closely followed by Mamedyarov and Nepomniactchi on 7.5/10, with a bunch of players on 7.0/10

Vishy sharing a lighter moment with Jobava and Ganguly. Anand repeated his solid day one performance, scoring two wins with three draws.

The Indian challenge for the title is spearheaded by Viswanathan Anand and Vidit Gujrathi, both of whom are on 7.0/10. Vishy won a nice game against Li Chao.

[Event "World Rapid 2016"]
[Site "Doha QAT"]
[Date "2016.12.27"]
[Round "7.5"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Li, Chao b"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B67"]
[WhiteElo "2779"]
[BlackElo "2720"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "55"]
[EventDate "2016.12.26"]
[EventType "rapid"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 {The Classical Sicilian
is not such a common occurence at the highest level.} 6. Bg5 {The Richter
Rauzer is surely the best way to meet it.} e6 7. Qd2 a6 8. O-O-O Bd7 9. f4 b5
10. Bxf6 gxf6 (10... Qxf6 {does't make sense because of} 11. e5 dxe5 12. Ndxb5
$16) 11. Kb1 b4 12. Nce2 Qb6 13. g3 (13. f5 $5) 13... Rc8 14. Bg2 h5 15. Bf3
Na5 16. b3 Bg7 17. g4 $5 {Quite an anti-positional decision by Anand. But when
Black's king is on e8, you no longer think in positional schemes.} h4 (17...
hxg4 18. Bxg4 Nc6 $15) 18. g5 $1 fxg5 19. Rhg1 Rc5 20. fxg5 {With g6 coming up
White is already breaking through.} O-O {This is just aasking for punishment.}
21. Nf4 Nc6 (21... Bxd4 22. Qxd4 e5 23. Nd5 $18) 22. Nxc6 Bxc6 23. g6 f5 24.
Nxe6 fxe4 25. Nxg7 $1 {This is just bread and butter for Anand.} Kxg7 26. Qxd6
Re8 27. Bxe4 Rxe4 28. Rgf1 {A fine attacking game by Anand.} 1-0

After beating Atabayev and Li Chao in rounds six and seven, Anand mellowed down and made three draws against Grischuk, Yu Yangyi and Korobov.

Ganguly had a disastrous start to the day, losing three games in a row before he posted two wins. He is now on 50 percent. Lalith Babu did much better today, scoring three wins and catching up with Adhiban and Debashis Das. They are all on 4.5/10.

Day two honours again went to the boy from Nashik Vidit Gujrathi who, despite losing to Grischuk earlier in the day, came back with a scintillating performance.

Vidit continued in his rich vein of form, beating Wojtaszek and MVL and also drawing with Karjakin in the process to take his tally to 7.0/10.


Wojtaszek - Vidit, round eight

Vidit made a very interesting decision with black here. What would you play?
[Event "World Rapid 2016"]
[Site "Doha QAT"]
[Date "2016.12.27"]
[Round "8.12"]
[White "Wojtaszek, Radoslaw"]
[Black "Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A33"]
[WhiteElo "2749"]
[BlackElo "2689"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "116"]
[EventDate "2016.12.26"]
[EventType "rapid"]
1. Nf3 c5 2. c4 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. a3 Bc5 7. Nb3 Bb6 {
This has become popular recently.} (7... Be7 {is more common.}) 8. c5 Bc7 9. g3
O-O 10. Bg2 b6 11. O-O Be5 12. a4 Rb8 13. Nb5 bxc5 14. Nxc5 a6 15. Nc3 $6 (15.
Bxc6 dxc6 16. Qxd8 Rxd8 17. Na7 $14) 15... d5 $1 $15 {Black already has a very
comfortable position.} 16. e4 dxe4 (16... d4 $1 $15) 17. N3xe4 Nd4 18. Nd3 Bb7
19. Nxe5 Bxe4 20. Bxe4 Nxe4 21. Be3 $11 Rb4 22. Ra3 (22. f3 Nf6 23. Rc1 $14)
22... Qd6 23. Rd3 Qxe5 24. Rxd4 Rxd4 25. Qxd4 Qxd4 26. Bxd4 Rb8 {This position
is around even. If someone is better it has to be White. It is surprising that
Vidit could win this against a strong player like Wojtaszek.} 27. Rc1 h5 28.
Rc6 $6 (28. Be3 Rxb2 29. Rc6 $11) 28... Rb4 $1 29. Be3 Rxa4 {Black won a pawn
without White getting any compensation.} 30. Kg2 Nf6 31. h3 Nd5 32. Bd2 Ra2 33.
Rc8+ Kh7 34. Rb8 a5 35. Kf3 a4 36. Be3 a3 $5 {A very interesting decision.
Vidit realizes that his knight will gain in power once all the pawns are on
one side of the board.} 37. bxa3 Rxa3 38. g4 hxg4+ 39. hxg4 Kg6 40. Rb5 f6 41.
Rc5 Rb3 42. Ra5 Nxe3 $5 43. fxe3 e5 44. Ra7 Kh6 45. Rc7 $6 {Now everything is
in control.} (45. g5+ $1 fxg5 46. Re7 Rb5 47. Kg4 {would have ended in a draw.}
) 45... g6 46. Rc4 Kg5 47. Ra4 Rb1 48. Kg3 Rg1+ 49. Kf3 Rh1 50. Re4 Rg1 51. Rc4
Kh4 52. Rc6 Kg5 53. Rc4 Rf1+ 54. Kg3 Re1 55. Re4 $4 (55. Kf3 {It remains to be
seen how Vidit would have broken this some sort of fortress.}) 55... Rg1+ (
55... f5 $1 {was winning the game as after} 56. gxf5 (56. Rxe5 Rxe3+ $1 57.
Rxe3 f4+ $19) 56... Kxf5 $19) 56. Kf3 Kh4 57. Rc4 Rg3+ 58. Kf2 Rxg4 0-1


Vidit beat MVL in the last round using the Caro Kann Defence! Vidit has recorded a DVD on the Caro Kann for ChessBase. That one will be released soon. We will keep you updated. Until then enjoy his games where he plays what he has recommended.

[Event "World Rapid 2016"]
[Site "Doha QAT"]
[Date "2016.12.27"]
[Round "10.6"]
[White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B12"]
[WhiteElo "2804"]
[BlackElo "2689"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "180"]
[EventDate "2016.12.26"]
[EventType "rapid"]
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. Be2 c5 {This has been Vidit's main
defense against the advance Caro Kann. According to him Black equalizes.} 6.
Be3 cxd4 7. Nxd4 Ne7 8. O-O (8. Nd2 {is more common with the knight going to
f3.}) 8... Nbc6 9. Bb5 a6 10. Bxc6+ bxc6 11. c4 {Maxime has already played
this way against Navara and Vidit has already played this with Black against
Shirov. Although the Indian lost in that game, the opening was not to be
blamed.} Qd7 12. cxd5 Nxd5 $5 {Black is ready to spoil his structure.} (12...
cxd5 {looks positionally good but after} 13. Nc3 $16 {White is just better. He
has a huge lead in development and it is not so easy for Black to finish his
own.}) 13. Nxf5 exf5 14. Bd4 Rb8 15. Nd2 Be7 16. e6 Qxe6 17. Re1 (17. Bxg7 Rg8
18. Bc3 Nf4 {gives Black a lot of counterplay.}) 17... Qg6 18. Bc5 Rb7 {
MVL thought he would trap the king in the centre, but it was not to be. Black
is castling next move and there is no good way to prevent it from happening.}
19. Bxe7 Nxe7 20. Qa4 O-O 21. Qxa6 Rfb8 22. Nf3 (22. Nc4 $14) 22... h6 23. b3
Qf6 24. Rac1 Rb5 25. Qa7 R8b7 26. Qe3 Kh7 27. h3 Nd5 28. Qd4 Ra5 29. Ne5 Nb4
30. Rc4 Rd5 31. Qf4 c5 32. a3 Nc6 33. Nxc6 Qxc6 {The position is around equal,
but Vidit once again tricks his opponent.} 34. b4 Qb5 35. a4 Qxa4 36. Qf3 $2 (
36. bxc5 $14 {Why not?}) 36... Rbd7 37. Rxc5 Qxb4 {What an oversight by MVL.
He is just a pawn down now. But the position is not so easy to convert due to
the doubled pawns.} 38. Rcc1 Qb5 39. Rb1 Qc5 40. Rbc1 Qb6 41. Rc8 Rd8 42. h4 $2
{Another mistake by MVL.} Qb4 $1 43. Rec1 Qxh4 {Black is now two pawns up.} 44.
g3 Qe4 45. Kg2 Rxc8 46. Rxc8 Rd3 47. Qxe4 fxe4 $19 {Vidit converts this
endgame with ease.} 48. Re8 f5 49. g4 fxg4 50. Rxe4 h5 51. Re6 Rf3 52. Ra6 Rf6
53. Ra5 Kg6 54. Kg3 Rf3+ 55. Kg2 Rf5 56. Ra7 Kh6 57. Kg3 Rf3+ 58. Kg2 g6 59.
Ra5 Rf5 60. Ra4 Kg5 61. Ra2 Rf3 62. Ra5+ Kh6 63. Ra4 Kg5 64. Ra5+ Rf5 65. Ra2
h4 66. Rb2 h3+ 67. Kg1 Kh4 68. Rb6 Kg5 69. Rb8 Rf3 70. Rb5+ Kh4 71. Rb6 g3 72.
Rb4+ Kh5 73. fxg3 Rxg3+ 74. Kh2 Rf3 75. Ra4 g5 76. Rb4 g4 77. Rb8 Rf2+ 78. Kg1
Rd2 79. Rb1 Kh4 80. Kh1 Rf2 81. Kg1 Kg3 82. Kh1 Re2 83. Rb3+ Kf4 84. Rb1 g3 85.
Rb4+ Kf3 86. Rb1 Ke3 87. Kg1 Rg2+ 88. Kh1 Rd2 89. Rb3+ Rd3 90. Rb1 Ke2 0-1


Such a spacious playing hall!

Standings after round 10. Complete standings

Women's Section

Meanwhile in the women’s section, the poor run of both Koneru Humpy and Dronavalli Harika continued into Day 2. Harika, who managed a win against Stefanova in round 7, still ended up in the middle of the crosstable after losing to Nana Dzagnidze. She ended the day on 4/8.

Harika is on 4.0/8 and needs to work up some magic in the last four rounds
Humpy was also beaten by Dzagnidze, while the rest of her games ended in draws. She too is on 4/8.

Anna Muzychuk quite convincingly leads the women’s section with 7.0/8, a whole 1.5 points ahead of her nearest rivals with four rounds to go.

Standings after round 8 

Complete list of results 

Some brilliant photography by Maria Emelianova

Maria Emelianova is the photographer at the event and she is taking pictures of some amazing moments. Let's have a look at few of them:

"Come on, buddy! Bxf7! was just winning!"

Oh my God! How did I miss that!

The famous Nepo stare!

Losing is difficult for everyone, but more so if you are Magnus Carlsen!

Always together! The Chinese squad!

Chess is so tough. My head is spinning!

When the World Rapid Champion beat the World Blitz Champion

"I have one son. His name is also Maxim!"

The past and future of Norwegian chess!

A smile that only sprouts after a hard-fought battle!

About the Author

Amey Dandekar is a chess player at heart who studies Biomedical Engineering to be involved in a noble profession. He has varied interests - theoretical physics, detective stories, movies etc. and likes anything that stimulates the mind or drives you to think.