The penultimate round of the tournament has started and it looks like Russia is going to take home the title. They are one win away from the glory of WYCO – 2017 champions. Russia in this round is paired with 3rd position Armenia. The officials invited for the first move for this round are Mr. Malik R M, from Central Bank, Mr. Manish S Patel, Secretary General – Gujarat State Rifle Association, Mr. Bhavesh Patel, Organizing Secretary and Ms. Tejaswini Sagar, Women’s International Master.

Mr. Malik R M from Central Bank making the first move with Mr. Manish Patel, Mr. Bhavesh Patel and Ms. Tejaswini Sagar

Let’s talk about the match on table – 1, Team Russia (1st Position) vs Team Armenia (3rd Position). On board – 1, the game was between Russia Semen Lomasov (White) and Armenia’s Aram Hakobyan (Black). The game started with a four Knight opening. The game moved on and the Semen used his Bishop on the 19th move to take out Knight at d4 and had held a strong centre position with the Bishop. The pawn structure is in opposite colour to Bishop giving his an advantage. But there is great consolidation by Black. The black Bishop took out the white Bishop on f4 and the white Queen took out the black Bishop on f4. Now the number material on the board were same and both players mutually accepted a draw. On board – 2, Russia’s Sergei Lobanov (Black) played against Armenia’s Shant Sargsyan. The game started with an English opening and then got converted to Nimzo Indian. As the game progressed both the players had good exchanges and at the end, the game ended in a draw due to repetition due to Rook and King. On board – 3, Armenia’s David Mirzoyan (Black) played against Russia’s Artur Gaifullin (White). This game had a Nimzo Indian opening. Artur on the 18th move of pawn to d5 was risky as he lost his pawn on the opponent’s next play. But he played it as a sacrifice for kingside play. But later the bishop in the centre which  had a strong position was also put in danger and he lost the Bishop on the 20th move of David’s Knight to d3. After certain exchanges the materials of both players were equal and both agreed on a draw. On the final board, board – 4, the game was between Armenia’s Mamikon Gharibyan (White) against Russia’s Timur Fakhrutdinov (Black). This game also started with a Nimzo Indian opening. He played in such a way that he had queenside pawn majority. He also had created 2 clear pass pawns on the queenside. The 41st move by Timur of sacrificing his Rook at f5 lead to a great advantage to the black. He converted his pawn to a queen and won the game. The final score of the match was 2½ – 1½ to Russia.

Players greeting before start of play

Looking at Table – 2, India Green (2nd Position) played against Uzbekistan (6th Position). On board – 1, the game was between Uzbekistan’s Nodirbek Yakubboev (Black) and India’s Aryan Chopra (White). The game began with Ruy Lopez opening. As the game progressed Chopra’s position on the board seemed weak. Aryan’s pawn at d4 was weak and his struggle to keep up with put him in a bad position. Aryan’s Rook to e4 was a mistake and he lost a pawn due to it. At 37th move, he lost his 2nd pawn and the opponent’s Queen to f5 move was brilliant and Nodirbek won the game. On board – 2, the game was between Uzbekistan’s Shamsiddin Vokhidov (White) against India’s R Praggnanandhaa (Black). This game also began with a Ruy Lopez opening. R Praggnanandhaa had total control over the E file. Praggnanandhaa had created many good moves starting from the 34th move of Knight to e4 and Queen to b1 and using Rook to take pawn out at f1. He finished the game easily.On board – 3, India’s Nihal Sarin (White) played against Uzbekistan’s Saidakbar Saydaliev (Black). This game started with a Nimzovich Larsen attack with a classical variation. As the game followed, Nihal played a brilliant move on the 32nd move of pawn to g4. He then made a brilliant move of Queen to b5 and then followed by another brilliant move Queen to d8. On the final board, board – 4, India’s P Iniyan (Black) played against Uzbekistan’s Daler Vakhidov (White). The opening of this board was the King’s Indian opening. After several exchanges, Iniyan on the 32nd move of Bishop (black) to c4 his took out the white pawn. Then Iniyan’s move of Knight to d5 was a good move to pressure the Rook (black) and then Knight’s move to g5 was also a good move to pressure the Queen (black). The opponent, Daler, resigned the match due to his poor position on the board. The Final score of the match was 3 – 1 to India.

Indian Player Aryan Chopra and R Praggnanandhaa concentrating on the game

In other matches, India blue played Iran and Iran won the match comfortably with a final score of 3 – 1. India’s 3rd team India Red played Turkey and won the match in a close encounter with a final score of 2½ – 1½.  Belarus played Mongolia and beat them by a narrow margin of 2½ – 1½. The top 5 standing at the end of Round 8 is:

  1. Russia
  2. India Green
  3. Iran
  4. Armenia
  5. Belarus



Credit: Samir Vyas, GSCA member and Sekhar Sahu, AICF Vice President