After the special inauguration by the arbiters. It was now the chance of the players to stick their hand in the board. The players got ready and started their games. The chief arbiter Mr. Anantharam Rathinam gave the go-ahead for the start of play. Table – 1 match was contested between Team Russia and Team India Red. It has was good to see an Indian Team to see at the top table and get the chance to see another India versus Russia battle to end the Tournament. On the 2nd Table, 2nd position India Green played against 6th position Team Kazakhstan. Both the tables had best of encounters.
Let’s get down with Table – 1 match. On board – 1, the game was between Russia’s Semen Lomasov (Black) and India Red’s Rajdeep Sarkar (White). The opening to the game was Reti opening. The game had a normal flow of movements. Rajdeep with the white had control over the central portion of the board. Rajdeep had a slight advantage. But on the 24th move, Rajdeep’s move of Queen to f3 was a bad move as he lost his Bishop on c1. As the game went on Rajdeep lost his pieces and after his 30th move, he resigned. On board – 2, the game was played between Russia’s Sergei Lobanov (White) and India Red’s S Jayakumar (Black). The game opened with Petrov’s Defence. Jayakumar played such that he had Queen Side advantage and he also had control over D file. S Jayakumar had consolidated well with his black pieces and game ended in a draw with opposite colour bishop ending. On board – 3, India Red’s Arjun Erigaisi (White) played Russia’s Timur Fukhrutdinov (Black). The game started with a Reti opening which then converted into an English opening. Arjun played tactically and had control over the D file. The black King could not castle till this point of the game. On 18th move, Timur took the white Bishop at e4 which was a bad move as the White Queen on the next move took out the Bishop (black). The 19th move of Timur of Queen (black) to d1 was bad as he lost the Queen on the next move of Arjun of Rook (white) to d1. Then Arjun had better position and his opponent resigned on his 23rd move. On the final board, board – 4, India Red’s Guha Mitrabha (Black) played against Russia’s Alexandra Obolentseva (White). The game began with a Nimzo-Indian opening. Alexandra played with an intent to block the centre portion of the board and also had a strong Bishop on b5. White took the kingside and both players castled on the kingside. As the game went on Alexandra’s position were poor and she lost pieces on the way. But the 59th move of King to b1 caused all the problems as the Rook (on e1) was in danger and it was taken out in the next move of Guha. Guha’s Knight and Queen (both black) pressurised the white and Alexandra resigned on the after the 69th move. The final score read 2½ – 1½ to India Red. Team Russia has lost their undefeated streak today, have become the World Youth U-16 Chess Olympiad Champions.
Let’s now go through the Table – 2 match. On board – 1, the game was between India Green’s R Praggnanandhaa (Black) and Kazakhstan’s Kazybek Nogerbek (White). The game started with the Ruy Lopez opening. The game went on with the normal flow and each player had a few exchanges. But from the 19th move to the 23rd move, both players moved Bishop (white) between f3 to g4 and Knight between d7 to b6. Thus this resulted in a repetition of moves and the game ended in a draw. On the 2nd board, the game was played between India Green’s Nihal Sarin (White) and Kazakhstan’s Ramazan Zhalmakhanov (Balck). The game began with an English opening. The game as it went on, pieces of both players got traded off. Both players were remaining with two Rooks and a Knight. On the 29th move, Nihal placed his Knight to b6 and thus attacking the Rook’s position at c8. He had also this two Rooks attacking the opponents other pieces. This forced Ramazan to resign. On board – 3, Kazakhstan’s Timur Nurzhnov (White) played against India Green’s P Iniyan (Black). The game with the King’s Indian opening. Timur played tactically setting a pass pawn on the ‘a file’ thus giving white an advantage. A Knight was placed on b3 to support the pawn on a5. As the game moved on Iniyan placed a good move of his pawn from d6 to d5. Timur on the 34th move, moved his Knight (white) to d2, this was a bad move as this led to the loss of Timur’s pass pawn on ‘a file’. From then on Timur lost his pieces and Timur resigned after the 39th move. On the final board, board – 4, Kazakhstan’s Tamerlan Bekturov (Black) battled against India Green’s R Vaishali (White). This game started with Caro Kann defence with exchange variation. Vaishali used her pieces to attack on the kingside. As the game went on she lost her Rook, but still had a better position. On the 34th move, Vaishali moved her Knight from g5 to e6 taking out a pawn. This move was brilliant as future moves were leading to mate. The opponent, Tamerlan resigned soon after. The final score for this match was 3½ -½.
In other matches, Team Iran played Team Belarus. It was an easy outing for the Iranian team and they won the match 4 – 0. Team Armenian faced Team Malaysia on table – 4. Armenia also won the match easily. The final score was 3 – 1. Uzbekistan contested against India Blue and Uzbekistan won the tie narrowly, score read 2½ – 1½. The final standing of the tournament is (Top 10):
- India Green
- India Red
Credit: Samir Vyas, GSCA member and Sekhar Sahu, AICF Vice President