Another day begins at WYCO 2017 and today is the 5th round of the tournament. Uzbekistan has replaced India on Table – 1 and the current top 2 teams at this point of the tournament are Russia and Uzbekistan. As is tradition the following committee members were present for the FIRST MOVE of the round, Mr. Bhavesh Patel, Organising Secretary GSCA, Mr. Mayur Patel, Vice President GSCA, Mr. Samir Shah Treasurer GSCA, Mr. Ankit Dalal, Joint Secretary GSCA, Mr. Nirav Rajasuba, GSCA member, Mrs. Arpi Shah, GSCA member, Mr. Yashpal Patel GSCA member.

 

Mr. Nirav Rajasuba making the first move alongside (from left) Mr. Samir Shah, Mr. Ankit Dalal, Mr. Bhavesh Patel, Arbiter Anantharam Rathinam, Mr. Mayur Patel, Mrs. Arpi Shah

 

The Russian team’s victory over the top-seeded Indian team gave them confidence and was looking undefeatable. The Russian team now faced 5th ranked Uzbekistan, who had faced Belarus and had won that tie 3 – 1. The Uzbekistan team were also ready for the battle. But the ultimate score of the match was 2½ – 1½ to Russia. But the results show that Uzbekistan’s game was better than India Green’s (1) game against Russia in the previous round. India Green (1) after Round – 4 loss to Russia faced the mighty 2nd ranked Iran team. The game looked as if India were going to face another loss but the final score was 2 – 2.

 

Russian players and Uzbekistan players making their moves

 

In the Russia versus Uzbekistan tie, the match looked tense in all the four boards. In the first board, the game was between Lomosov Semen and Yakubboev Nodirbek. The board opened with a queen’s gambit declined and Semen had an upper hand and he won the game. In the 2nd board, the opening was a classical Richter-Rauzer Sicilian game and Sergie Lobonov played his defence accordingly and drew his match. In the 4th board, the Russian female player, Alexandra, opted for the King’s Indian defence against Uzbekistan’s opening. Alexandra was struggling with her passive position and she lost the game. The game in 3rd board ended in a draw.

 

Uzbekistan player planning his move

 

In the India Green versus Iran match, the 1st board was contested between Aryan Chopra of India and Amin Tabatabaei of Iran, the highest rated player in the tournament. Amin started with Ruy Lopez opening and Aryan got settled into a double pawn on the queen’s side. Aryan was struggling throughout to salvage the game and finally lost the match. In the 2nd board, R Praggnanandhaa opened up with E4 and played aggressively against the Sicilian defence of his opponent Alireza Firouzja. The game was unclear but Alireza had a strong pawn structure. Due to the superior pawn structure, R Praggnanandhaa lost the game. In the 3rd board, Nihal Sarin opened with Sicilian Scheveningen. During the game, Nihal got an edge over his opponent and won the game. P Iniyan used the classical system opening and his opponent Mahdi Gholami opted the Nimzo-Indian defence. Iniyan was in advantage throughout the game and finally got better of his opponent.

 

 

Indian and Iranian players waiting for start of play; Photo: Amruta Mokal

 

In other matches, India Red (6) played Israel (9) and had a comfortable position throughout. India Red won the match 3 – 1. India Blue (7) played Turkey (8) and had a tough set of games. Both the teams played well, the final score of the match was Turkey won 2½ – 1½. The final ranking after Round – 5 was:

  1. Russia
  2. Iran
  3. India Red
  4. Uzbekistan
  5. India Green

 

Sources: Mr. Sekhar Sahu, AICF Vice President