Sunday, October 30, 2011

Study the Studies.4



SOLUTION: Black pawn duo are too much for white bishop duo! Hence white must use tricks to draw this position. When you see the position of white king, the first thing that must strike your mind is the possibility of stalemate. now if black were to play gh2 then white will get to move his g3 pawn and then stalemate possibilities wont remain. Hence the first and the most obvious move has to be 1.Bg1
Now time for some calculation. If 1...Kb1 then 2.Bd4 a2 3.Bb2 Kb2 and its a stalemate! So the Bishop on b1 cannot be taken. That leaves us with only 1 move. 1...a2


Now the threat is ab1=Q and hence we will have to move the B. Lets choose a random square say 2.Be4 now 2...b1=Q 3.Bd4 Qb2 and if now queen is taken then the 'a' pawn will queen and white will not be stalemated because he will be left with a B on e4. So its for sure that we are going to be left with a light squared Bishop. So how can we incapacitate it? Its only after such thoughts cross your mind that you come to the conclusion of 2.Bh7!! b1=Q 3.Bd4 Qb2 and now for the grand finale stroke....


4.Bh8!! black has nothing better than 4...Qh8 and yes you guessed it right! Its a stalemate!!

Conclusion: I think the toughest part of this problem was the move or rather the idea of Bh7!! Well one thing is certain if you solve such studies, you can definitely become more resourceful in your games and unusual ideas like these wont seem unusual any more!!

Study the Studies.3

Dear Chess lover! welcome back on day 3! i call you a chess lover because you resisted the temptation to enter or in your address bar and instead came to this boring site to rack your brains to solve another study! Thank you very much! So what do we have today?! Todays composition is a game like situation! So be sure to give your 100%! because such a position might just occur in your game!


As is usual , we start with the most obvious line of play 1.ab7 doesnt work due to 1...Bf8 2.Kc6 Bd6 3.Bg4 Ke7=. Once this is established we realise that the black king controlling d6 square is very important. So we try to deflect the black king with 1.d4+ As we see there are 4 squares where black king can go to. 1...Kf5 and 1...Kf6 can be dismissed as the black king doesnt control d6 square and after 2.ab7 Bf8 3.Kc6 black has no way to stop the pawn. 1...Ke6 is a better try. However after 2.Bg4+! black has only move 2..f5 3.Bf5+- and surprisingly black has no good square to go to and white wins.

Through this logical deduction we realise that after 1.d4 Ke4! is the best move. Now starts the difficult part.


When the King comes to e4, you must make a mental note that any check on the b1-h7 diagonal by the B will result in a mate! 
2.d3 seems like a try. Now black has to stay in touch with d4 pawn. So 2...Kd3 3.ab7 Bd4 4.Kd6 is met by a simple move 4...f6! and black is able to save himself!(maybe even win!) infact after seeing the above variation i thought the f6 move is very important and hence came up with 2.Bg6!!(??) i thought it was a brilliant idea deflecting the f pawn but infact it was a losing move. 2...fg6 3.d3 Kd3! 4.ab7 Bd4 5.Kd6 and now brimming with happiness i said to myself f6 is not possible! what a genius i was!! But after the simple 5...Ke4 the work done by pawn on f6 is done by the K on e4!

So after the brief distraction and realising that 2.d3 doesnt work, we set our eyes on 2.Bf3 Kd3


 3.Be2!! the most important move! and you can find this if you were saying to youself that the black king sould not leave the control of the d4 square. 3...Ke4 is again forced and now after 4.ab7 Bd4 5.Kc4 Be5, the mental note that we had made above comes in handy and 6.Bd3#

 is one of the most picturesque mates i have ever seen!! 

Conclusion: What was the best thing about this position was that it had normal material balance. I mean it could very well occur in your game too! and important was to first realise through accurate calculation of variations that Ke4 was the only move. And then of course Be2 was the brilliant part of the problem but it was not tough if you had in mind that black king was low on space and that mating him was possible!
All in all i love this study a lot!

Study the Studies.2

Congratulations! You are now on day 2! it means that you tried to solve the study on day 1! So give your best today too! your efforts wont go waste!


SOLUTION:   First we look at natural moves. Re4 and Re8 both captures lose to cd2. Hence it is forced to start of with 1.d7+! Kd7 and now we take 2.Re4 The subtle point being that now 2...cd2 gives us a simple win with 3.Rd4+ King moves and Rd3 and white wins. So is it so simple after 2.Re4. How about trying to help black a little?
A shrewd defender will note that black has a small trick up his sleeve with 2..Bg6!! 3.Kg6 cd2 white is anyway foced now to give a check with 4.Rd4 Ke8! and i hope you had seen this defense where after 5.Rd3 its Stalemate!! So now after4..Ke8 its time for white to show his brilliance! What will you do?

Time to put your thinking hat on. this is the most beuatiful part and give a pat to yourslef if you found this move! 5.Be7!! you need to really be alert for mating patterns if you have to find this move! now if the black king takes the B on e7 then Rd3 wins. so black is forced to play 5...d1=Q and now after 6.Bg5!

Believe it or not nothing in this world can stop Rd8#!! A grandiose solution!

Conclusion: What i love about this study is the very clever defensive attempt by black which you must anticipate and then the brilliant retort Be7!! forming the amazing mating pattern.
All in all these 6 moves are so powerpacked that they can make any solver feel really happy!!

Study the Studies.1

DAY. 1


It seems as though whites days are numbered. The B on f3 is controlling the a pawn excellently and the black king is ready to capture the h pawn and roll down his own pawn. In such a scenario, how do we begin our calculation?
We begin with the most natural move in the position. It would be incorrect to start with exotic ideas because we first need to knw why our normal moves dont work. So the most obvious moves is 1.Kb5 Kh2 2.Ka6 Kg1 of course this is the best place to remove the black king. 3.b5 h3 4.b6 h2 5.b7 Bb7 6.Kb7 h1=Q


Now if you know that a lone 'a' pawn on 7th rank draws against the queen, you will definitely try 7.f3 but if black isnt your friend then he will spurn this juicy pawn and continue with 7...Qh7-+ afer which you would have hoped that the treacherous f3 pawn never existed!
So we realise that f pawn is a main problem and we must force black to take it. how can it be possible? only if f3 comes with a check! and how can it come with a check? only if black king is on g4! and thus from the start we get the idea of
1. h3!! Kh2 2.Kb5 Kh3 3.Ka6 Kg4 (this is the only way. Kg2 would block the queens check.) 4.b5 h3 5.b6 h2 6.b7 Bb7 7.Kb7 h1=Q+


 So whats the huge difference from the last diagram here? well as you can see the f pawn now moves ahead with the threat to kill the black king 8. f3!! Qf3 9.Kb8 and as we all know this is a theoretical draw!

As you see a position, it is very necessary that you start your calculations from the most obvious move. Once you realise what is the problem with normal play, then you can improvise and only then find the first move h3!!. If you started your calculation with directly h3 then your approach isnt correct!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Revisiting bonn 2008!

how can we all forget the game 5 in bonn 2008 between anand and kramnik! Anand had played one of the most unusual tactical shot ever seen in a world championship level match.
Heres the position:

Black- Anand

Kramnik has two passed pawns on the queenside. if anand doesnt do something quick he is in for trouble! And here Anand shocked Kramnik and the entire chess world with 1....Ne3!!
the N has to be taken 2.fe3 fe3

And after a long think here Kramnik resigned! I still remember his face. He was hoping against hope for some miracle but Anand had seen it all!!
This example has been etched in my memory ever since it has been played!
and so on 16th june 2011 when i was just playing a blitz game online i sensed there was a chance to repeat anand's feat!

I was BLACK.

here i came up with the nice move taking the open file with 1...Rd7! white as per his plan checked with 2.Rf6+

What should black play here?

Well the natural move saving the piece is Rf7 but then after the exchange of rooks,the endgame can be at best said to be very complicated. instead i came up with the fantastic resource
2....Ke7!! inspired by vishy anand! 3.Rf5 Rd1 4.Nf1 Ke6! 5.Rf8 e3!
and now we can definitely see the contours of the game Kramnik vs anand!!

White to play.

white has absolutely nothing here!! the black e pawn is going to queen or cost white an entire rook!! the game continued

6.fe3 fe3 7.Re8
(Rf2 was relatively the best choice here but then that ending would be clearly lost!)

7...Kf6 8.Rf8 Ke7 9.Rf5 Ke6 10.Rf8 e2!

the e pawn has done it for black! its going to queen!!
What a co-incidence! the idea used in this game is a complete replica of what Anands game showed us!!
This example reiterates my point that try to see as many tactical motifs as possible at home so that during the game you can easily reproduce them!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sunday, May 29, 2011

An instuctive pawn endgame!

I just woke up in the morning pretty dull! and i knew the perfect recipe for making my mood better! i went to playchess and decided to play a 5 min game. the following position arose in the game in which i was white.

Black to move.

White is clearly better here. maybe even close to winning. the only plausible idea i can think for black is to go Qd4 and exchange the queens! and that is what my opponent played.
1...Qd4 2.Qd4 cd4 3.b3 Rbe8 4.Rae1 Re4!?

Is a pawn ending good for white?

now black seems to have consolidated his position. all i can tell u is that with just 1 min on the clock left, there are high chances for you to go wrong in such positions. Here i saw tha chance of going into a pawn endgame! and guess what you dont have enough time to claculate the consequences but general knowledge of endgame will help you!
5.Re4! fe4 6.Rf8 Kf8

. White to play.

Well what justifies my decision? well it is absolutely clear that the two kingside pawns will keep
the black king tied up on the kingside. But at the same time the central e4 and d4 pawns tie up my king. but the most important point is that with my a and b pawn against his lone a pawn, i will also be able to make a passer on the queenside! in that way the black king cant protect both his fronts and he loses!! now lets convert these words into moves!
7.Kf2 c5 8.Ke2 a5 9.g4 Kg7 10.h4 Kg6 11.Kd2 Kh6 White to play.

now comes the most important move in this plan
12.c3!! and the game is over. 12...d3 13.a3!
and here my opponent resigned when he realised that a small little pawn is going to march ahead from the queenside making the black king look really dumb on the other side of the board!
the last few moves could have been
13...Kg6 14.b4 cb4 15.cb4(remember to take with the pawn with which he took! ab4 would leave white lost after a4!) ab4 16.ab4 and the b pawn wins the game!

An instructive endgame which made me feel fresh for the entire sunday ahead!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Position for the day. 19th feb

White to play.

Players: Sagar Shah v/s IM Saptarshi Roy.
Position from 2011 Parsvnath tournament.
During a game its very important to be aware of your tactical possibilities. Where you have a superior position it is all the more important to be fully concentrated because the chances of a tactical shot are very high.
In the above position which i reached against IM Saptarshi Roy, it should be clear even to a beginner that white is clearly better. But there is an instant tactical win.

1.Qh7!! threatening the very simple Rd7 and surprisingly black is falling short of moves. 1...Rge8 (of course Nb6 is a terrible move because after 2.Rd8 Rd8 3.Rd8 Kd8 4.Bf6 Kc8 5.Qg8 Kc7 6.Qd8# is a pretty mate!)
2.Qg6! keeping an eye on the e8 rook and again threatening Rd7. 2...Nb6 (the most beautiful idea occurs after 2...Rg8 (2..e5 loses to 3.Rd6) 3.Qf7! and the B and the Q combine to take away all the squares from the rook and black loses an exchange.)
3.Rd8 Rd8 4.Rd8 Kd8 and i guess there is no need to see any further. this position is completely winning due to the h pawn but it is nice to see a move ahead and come to the conclusion that white not only has a positional advantage but also material advantage. 5.Bf6 Kc7 6.Qg3 and black has nothing better than to sacrifice a pawn with 6...e5 and after 7.Qe5+- white has a crushing advantage.
Whenever you have a winning position always be on the look out for tactical possibilities because some great player had once said, "Tactics stem from Superior positions!"
It is very embarassing but i have to say that i lost the above position in my game after i continued with 1.h4 but please do not try losing this position at home. It can be highly dangerous!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Position of the Day.18th Feb.

Black to play.
Position taken from: Practical Chess Defense by Jacob Aagaard.
Opponents: Kobese-Areschenko.
Alexander Areschenko is a tremendously talented player from Ukraine. He has won a lot of International tournaments in India, the most recent being Parsvnath 2011.
Here he is a rook down and his king's clothes are shredded to pieces. It remains to see if areschenko is able to find that one beautiful idea which i have to admit is really amazing!
1...Qd5+ 2 b3 (white has to make this move if he wants to make progress) 2...Qc5!!! This move is simply mind blowing. Black is a rook down, his king is in the open and here he is just making a move which improves the position of his queen and throws the ball in white's court!
This move looks very hard to understand but when you look logically, you see that
1. the white queen is tied to its rook.So the queen cant do much.
2.The white rook on its own cant do much damage.
3. The queen on c5 covers all of rook checking squares.
4. from c5 now black queen is threatening to take c2 and give perpetual.
Its white's move now but he cant do anything.
3.Ka1 (3.Kb2 Qd4! {and not3...Qc3 as then after 4.Kb1 Qe1 5.Ka2 black is lost.} 3....Qg1 4.Kb2 Qd4 5.Ka2 Qc5
And its draw!
And miraculously its a draw! What a wonderful defensive idea by Areschenko!
Moral: No matter how bad your position is and how strong your opponent is, never lose hope!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Rook ending 1 (Lucena)


1.Rd1+ cutting off the king by one more file. Ke7 2.Rd4! the famous lucena manoeuvre or the bridge building move.The idea of it will soon be clear. [2.Kc7 Rc2+ 3.Kb6 Rb2+ 4.Ka7 Ra2+ 5.Kb8 and white will have to start all over again.] 2...Ra1 3.Kc7 Rc1+ 4.Kb6 Rb1+ 5.Kc6 Ke6 [5...Rc1+ 6.Kb5 Rb1+ 7.Rb4 is the main idea of the bridge building manoeuvre.]

6.Rd6+! (Rc4 and Re4 both win) Ke7 [6...Ke5 7.Rd5+ Ke6 8.Rb5+-] 7.Rd5+-
Stage-1: Get your passer to the 7th rank and your king to the 8th rank, thus sheltered from annoying checks by the passer itself.
Stage-2: Either earlier or now, make sure that the enemy king is cut off from your passer by 2 files, by driving it away with your rook.
Stage-3: Play your rook to the 4th rank, the key move pointed out by Lucena.
Stage-4: Bring out your king avoiding checks with zigzag movements,taking care to support your passer, till the enemy stops checking.
Stage-5: Get your rook to the 5th rank, taking care if necessary to interpolate the intermezzo check.
This was quite basic but a firm understanding of this position is very important for a player to master the rook endings because finally more than half of the rook endings boil down to this position. So have a firm Grasp of how to win the lucena position.

All the best Ketan!

My friend Ketan Patil is in midst of a very important tournament! These positions are for him so that he can enjoy solving them, learn from them, and win a prize and come back and give us a party!

Black to play.
This position has been taken from Jacob Aagaard's book Practical Chess Defense and i will have to agree that it is one of the most brilliant defensive idea i have ever seen. the position isnt very difficult as such but if one can play such an idea during a game then he will surely be immortalised!
1...Bd3!! A Brilliant move which i will coin as Decoyflection(which is a synthesis of decoy and deflection). actually this is a nice position to understand the difference between decoy and deflection. If the queen takes the B then it is deflection. We defelected the queen away from the attack. but if the King takes the B then its a decoy because we brought the king to a square which it doesnt want to be on.
A move like 1...Qe7 is refuted by 2.Qh6 Qh7 3.Qf8 Qg8 4.Qh6 Qh7 5.Bf6 Kg8 6.Rg1+-
1...fe5 is also useless as after 2.Qh6 Kg8 3. Rg1 Kf7 5 Rg7 black is slaughtered.

To find a move like Bd3 you need a free mind. Once you see that such a move can be played then you will immediately get the answer but thinking of this move in the first place is a challenge. If you can somehow wriggle yourself out of forcing thinking and expand your horizons of selecting a move then you can surely improve as a player.
2.Kd3 Qe7 and now the difference is there for all of us to see Qh6 check will be met with Qh7 counter check!!
Black is up a rook and with some care he went onto win the game!
Position No.2

White to play.
This is one of my favourite studies composed by Wotava. It is from the book Studies for Practical players by Mark Dvoretsky. This problem also isnt very difficult but aesthetically very beautiful. If you havent solved it and are trying to see the answer, I would recommend you to give it another shot. Solving this problem will give you great pleasure.

I am sure that you have considered only 2 candidate moves here Nd4 and Bd4 or maybe any one of these.
The funny thing is that 1 Nd4 seems completely winning but has a small problem in it.1...ed4 2.Bd4 and it seems like a forced mate but black has a very cheeky stalemate trick up his sleeve with 2...Ba7! and after 3.Ba7 Qb6!! which actually deserves a diagram.

4.Bb6 and unfortunately its a stalemate!
The right idea is to start with 1 Bd4!! ef4 (1...ed4 loses instantly to Nd4 and Nf3# cannot be averted.) 2.Bf2 Kg5 3. Bh4!! I guess this would have been the most difficult move to find! and now after 3...Kh4 4.Nd4 !
The game is over as Either black gets mated due to Nf3 or loses his queen tp Ne6+.
A very beautiful study you must agree where as in life you have a choice and as always only one of them is correct!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

How to get out of trouble?



As i solved this position from the book practical chess defense (which i must say is an excellent book written by Jacob Aagaard) the above position caught my eye for its simplicity.

first of all i thought a lot as to how i could defend against the threat of taking on f6 and then swinging hois rook over to the kingisde and i came up with 1...Kh8 but then 2Nf6! Bf6 3Bf6 gf6 4.Qh5 and now Rh3 is a threat so 4...Rg8 5.Qf7 and i would never like to be in black's shoes here.

1...Nd5 is highly interesting as move like Bh6 is met with Nc7 and white cannot follow up his attack. but after cd5 2Bg5 de6 white is slightly better.

To find the answer i am sure that there is some very basic knowledge which i learnt when i was young which has to be applied here. that is, always calculate the checks and captures first. of course there are no checks. but captures, yes there are and the first one that comes to mind is 1....Ng4!! which allows a fork but is surprisingly the answer to this problem! 2.Be7 Qc7! yes you guessed it right! A double attack on h2 and e7. 3.Qg4 Qe7 and it is certain that black has superb chances to win this position.

Why would be this position be tough to solve?

I dont know whether you all got the answer easily or it took some while, but i didnt get the answer maybe because i wasnt thinking that the solution can be so easy especially because the position is amidst other ones which are tough! Unforcing thinking is the key!

What does unforcing thinking mean?

Quite simply put unforcing thinking means to think unconventionally. In this position unforcing thinking was to allow the fork by the Bishop. Often we see the fork and reject the variation but unforcing thinking implies to look further into variations which at first sight seem absurd!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Day 1 of Parsvnath Chess Open 2011.

The day 1 of the very prestigious Parsvnath Open was filled with great surprises. And the reason for that was the accelerated pairing! And also partly because no player can offer a draw till move 30!!
What does accelerated Pairing actually mean?
the total entries for this tournament are 400.
So, quite simply the players are cut into 2 sections for the first 2 rounds.
top 80 players play against each other and the rest 320 play against each other.
My seeding being 58th, i had to play the 18th seed and he was our Indian GM S. Arun Prasad(2513).

He is the 18th GM of India and also a pretty strong GM with an elo high of nearly 2580.
First of all i feel that the organisers were wrong in keeping 2 rounds on day 1. that too for the top half of players it was a very tiring day having to play 2 strong players.
As for my room mates, Sohan Phadke and Vinod Bhagwat it was a big challenge as their train was delayed by nearly 18 hrs and they reached at 7 am in the morning.
Lots of Kudos to Sohan for playing two IMs in a day (Rathnakaran and some Chinese IM) and scoring 1.5/2!
I would also like to speak something about the accelerated pairing system but more about that later.
Now,Lets check my game against Arun Prasad.
I came to know about the pairing around 5 am in the morning. He played 2-3 systems with black so i spent around 1 hr preparing for slav. I knew he could play King's Indian and that indeed was his choice but i was quite confident with my pet system.
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.Nf3 0–0 5.Bg5

The Smyslov system, invented by the World Champion Vasily smyslov has a very simple idea. White refrains from play e4. True he gets less space advantage but black also doesnt have the e4 pawn as a target. The play is highly original and i like to play with white pieces. I have a secret hope that some day people after seeing my games will start playing this system more often!!
5... d6 6.e3 c6 7.Be2 Nbd7 8.0–0 a6 9.a4!? usually white doesnt make this move as the b4 square is weakened but here the N is already developed on d7 and has less chances of coming to b4. but of course this is a double edged idea.
[My earlier intention was to play b4. this leads to usually equal positions and would have been a good choice as this was just the 1st game. 9.b4 b5 10.a4 bxc4 11.Bxc4 a5 12.b5²]
9...a5 immediately clamping onto the b4 square. 10.Qc2 Qc7 11.Rfd1 usually this is the right rook as the queenside rook looks after moves like b4 and queenside expansion. but here with the moves a4-a5 already played i am sure that Rad1 was a better move.
11... Re8 12.h3 this move has to be explained a little. earlier when the rook was on f8, h6 Bh4 g5 Bg3 Nh5 was met with Ng5! and white wins a pawn but now the f8 square is vacated for the king and hence i dont want to lose my dark squared B and i play this move. e5 13.Bh4 (by now i already had a lead of 25 mins on the clock and was quite satisfied with my position).
exd4 the most critical moment of the game. how would you recapture on d4?
14.Nxd4 this was my choice. however it isnt the most accurate.

with this move i take more space in the center and dont give up the c5 square. my worry was 2 fold. 1 i wanted to attack the weakness on d6 but after ed4 the d file is getting closed. but what i must understand is that black is cramped now and lacks a good play where as white can keep on increasing his space with moves like g4,Bf1-g2.
my 2nd worry was more concrete and that was the move Nh5 but well its a case of when you have decided psychologically on a move, you try to find some illusionary fault with other moves! Here Nh5 prevent Bg3 and thretens to infilitrate on f4 but simple Qd2 should do the trick and then g4 is of course a part of our plan, when i guess white should if not have a huge then atleast a small edge! ]
14...Nc5 The N immediately occupies the super strong square on c5. sometimes we feel that by giving up one square we dont have to worry much because other things are going in our favour. for eg in this position, the d6 pawn weakness. but it is important to understand that once the d6 pawn is defended then the c5 N will become very irritating and that is exactly what happened. this a typical case of dynamic advantage vs static one. i have to be quick!
15.Bg3 Bf8 of course this move is a concession but this B is like a House wife. the house wife takes care of the home making it easier for other members of the family to fulfil their aims. similarly here the f8 B says that i will look after d6 so that rest all of you can do your job!
16.Re1!? at this point i was stuck for a plan. yes the N on d4 is nice but i have to remove it if i want to attack d6 but if i remove it then Bf5 will follow. so i really didnt know what to do until i found an idea of trying to get in e4. the other rook will come to d1 then the B will drop back to f1 and then i can get in e4 and with no tension of Bf5 i can easily move my d4 N and attack the weakness on d6. but this happens in our world of dreams. on a chess board you have an opponent right in front of you waiting to pounce on any opportunity to stifle your plans!
16...Qb6 17.Rad1 Bd7 18.Bf1 so far so good. just give me one move e4 and i will prove that white is better here!! Nce4! nothing doing! the N firmly entrenches itself on the e4 square.
19.Nxe4 Nxe4 20.Bf4 f5! At this point i realised that now i could move my N as the f5 square no longer available for the B but the problem is that black has made good progress with his pieces and gained good space. white isnt worse here. the position is equal but i would say its more pleasant to be black. 21.Nb3 Qb4 22.Nc1?! ultra passivity is a sure shot way to disaster! why not simply play f3 here? well i was afraid of c5. this is a terrible move and after a simple a move like Nc1 Ba4 will be met with b3 and then, the point is in the bag! and so white would have had good chances after f3.
Be6! suddenly the only weakness on d6 which was helping me to play this position with some hope is going to be dissolved with d5. 23.Na2 Qc5 i speant a lot of time thinking only about Qb6 as i thought that c5 square must be left vacant for the N. but of course Qb6 was losing the d6 pawn . 24.Nc3? carelessness. loses a pawn. i guess f3 should still have been preferred.Bxc4! 25.Nxe4 Rxe4 i just didnt see this rook coming into the game! 26.Rd4 Bxf1 27.Qxc5 dxc5 28.Rxe4 fxe4 29.Kxf1 c4! black has a huge majority on the queenside which he converted with ease!

We will see round two game against P Karthikeyan. but first lets enjoy a few pics from delhi!

A beautfiul view from the New Delhi Station. (photographer: Atul Dahale)

The double room in Hotel Ginger where four of us, me Atul, Vinod and Sohan stay!

The beautiful venue of Parsvnath 2011. This hall was used for the wrestling competitions of 2010 commonwealth games!

Lets now see the game 2 of the day. It was against a very talented young Indian IM
P Karthikeyan

His current rating is 2380 and he has 1 GM norm. He was also the Asian Junior champion in the year 2008.

IM P.Karthikeyan (2380) v/s Sagar Shah (2318)
The game started with a quiet opening but soon took a vicious character. Lets dive into the very interesting game.
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.Nc3 Bb7 5.Bg5 Be7 6.e3 Ne4 7.Bxe7 Qxe7 8.Qc2 f5 9.Bd3 Nxc3 10.Qxc3 c5
All seems to be happening quietly and we both were taking considerable time in the opening which suggested that none of us was very well versed with this opening.

11.0–0–0!? Suddenly the game is filled with life. A very interesting move and one that can be expected from a player like Karthikeyan who is very innovative and aggressive.
0–0 12.Kb1 d6 (Nc6 would allow d5 and hence i decided to develop my N on d7.) 13.Rhe1 Nc6 14.dxc5 (e4 was also interesting. cd4 Nd4 Nd4 Qd4 e5 is met with ef5! and white is better. but after the game karthikeyan said that he didnt want to exchange the Ns. bxc5 15.e4 at this point white has already snatched the initiative fxe4 16.Bxe4 (I realised that fighting against the powerful B on e4 is futile and hence sought to exchange it.) Nd8 17.Qd3 Bxe4 18.Rxe4 Nb7 (my idea is very simple, i will sooner or later play e5 and then i will have only one weakness on d6 which will be defended by the N on b7. true my position will be passive but then its not so easy for white to make progress. 19.h4 h6 20.Qe3

After the game my opponent told me that here he was thinking if only his pawn were on f4 in this position then he would have been clearly better but here he has nothing more than a symbolic advantage. But look how my co-operative play helps my opponent to fulfil his dream!
Rf6? (e5 was simple and would have kept whites advantage to a minimum) 21.Nh2! the N is heading to g4 when my e6 pawn would be under terrible stress.the sad part now is that e5 will be met with f4 when black will have to incur further weaknesses. Re8 22.f4 Rff8 23.Nf3

this is what is meant by,"when you really want something, the whole world conspires to let you get it! here even though i was his opponent and as a good chess player i must stop my opponents idea, i couldnt stop white from achieving his dream position even though i had all the time in the world to do so!
white now has a clear advantage.
At this point i decided that things have already gone really bad for me and hence it would be wise if i would save some time and start playing fast! at this point we both had 20 mins left and the next few moves i just played as if i were playing a blitz game!
Qf7 24.Re1 Qf5 25.Ka1 Rb8! played without thinking. my strategy was really getting on the nerves of my opponent who just could find a clear cut path to victory. 26.Rxe6 Qxf4 27.Qc3 Qg3 28.h5 Rf7 29.Rg6 Qf2 Karthikeyan told me that he didnt even consider that the Q could go here but of course from here it is right in the heart of enemy position and attacks the very vulnerable spot on b2.30.b3 a5! blacks moves are natural and hence were made without much thought. 31.a4 at this point i still had 20 mins and he had just 5 min left! and here i noticed a brilliant idea!
Try if you can find the best practical way for black to set maximum problems for the opponent.

d5! 32.cxd5 c4! with this double pawn sacrifice black snatches the initiative. Under time trouble you can imagine how uncomfortable it must be for white to face such an attack and hence he logically exchanged the queens... 33.Qd4 Qxd4+ 34.Nxd4 Nc5! but that did very little to stop black's attack! all the pieces still co-ordinate perfectly! 35.Rc6 here he offered a draw!but i declined it! Nd3 (exchanging Ns with Nb3 would have led to a draw) 36.Rd1 cxb3 37.Nb5 Rf4 and here i stupidly offered a draw which he happily accepted. well the position is defintely advantageous to black but then why did i offer a draw? well the answer lies in this variation 38.-- [38.Rxd3(Nc3 is a much more staunch defense and its unclear whether black can win there). Rxa4+ 39.Kb2 Rxb5 40.Rc8+(better is 40 Rd1. but to 40.d6 i had calculated Ra2 Kc3 b2 d7 Ra3! Kd2 Rd3 Kd3 b1=Q+ and the game is over!) Kh7 Rb3 Rd5 Rb8 and here i thought my king was caught in a mating net but as it clear for all of you, black has 2 ways to escape the mate and both win pretty easily! A terrible hallucination! Hence its very clear that chess is no science! its all about holding your nerves at the crucial moment!] ½–½
Me after the game. Sad at not having won the game but equally relieved at not having lost it!
After the 1st day of accelerated pairing i was reeling at 0.5/2! not the best start either!
A word about accelerated pairing.
The accelerated pairing was introduced in this tournament with the aim that players above 2250 could make a norm and hence there was no need to play lower rated players. this could have been justified if the players who were rated 2250 and were 2/2 got a higher rated player in the 3rd round also. As the case was they all got lower rated opponents and hence the very purpose of accelerated pairing was defeated!
I think accelerated pairing can be very useful in tournaments where the number of participants are around 150 but not in tournaments like Parsvanath where there are nearly 400 entries! Something the organisers must think about.