February 23, 2013

Moscow Open - As I see it!

This isn't a tournament report stating who won the tournament. Neither is this about the tournament by an IM or a GM. It’s all about what it meant to me - Moscow Open and all that is related to it. Bharathi R tells us about her experience of playing in Moscow Open and presents us some interesting positions towards the end of this article.

Moscow Open - As I see it! 
By Bharathi Ramaraj

Let me start from the related stuff!  First and foremost, the weather at Moscow. I can safely state that it was one of the coldest climate any Indian especially a Chennaitan can find herself in. It had been snowing for a couple of days, and so, the ground had a thick layer of snow and ice on it. The snow was a treat (we don’t get to see so much snow here) as well as an inconvenience (believe it or not but quite a number of Indians slipped and fell). The white background was pleasing like  in wonderland and  depressingly monotonous at the same time. I think the few photos posted would give the reader a very good idea of the climate there. 

(Snowing. You can see the snow on the rooftops, over cars and on the ground)

(Walking through the snow can be quite difficult – with CA author WFM Rucha Pujari)

The second thing about Moscow is the company I was in.I had a wonderful  time with my roommate WFM Rucha Pujari  , IM Srinath Narayanan and GM Vidit Santhosh Gujarathi. Rucha has quite an interesting collection of interesting things! Beware of them as they are capable of keeping you occupied for several hours without any  progress towards the actual result! (I had the misfortune of experiencing it. )

(At the Moscow Airport with other CA authors  -IM Srinath Narayanan , GM Vidit Santhosh Gujarati and WFM Rucha Pujari )

And last but definitely not the least is the tournament itself. Where do I start?!!

The Moscow Open 2013 “Category A“tournament is one of the strongest tournaments I have ever played, probably the strongest! Not because it had Ian Nepomniatchi (FIDE Rating: 2703) as the top seed and certainly not  because all the opponents that I played against were higher rated. It was because everyone in that tournament fought harder, harder than   I have seen in my whole career. It is said that for Fischer every game was a matter of life or death. At Moscow, every player was a Fischer that way.  The tournament was tougher and  more tiring yet delightful. Because you can’t just not not-enjoy a week-and-a half of competitive chess. 

Here, every game was a tough battle; every win an achievement. Every draw accepted with grace and every loss regretted with a sigh!

While the top rated players battled out on the grounds of opening novelties and technique, the lower boards came up with their own share of interesting positions. 

People look for higher rated games to study and learn. And I am sure all of us have seen various articles discussing the games played by grandmasters in the Moscow Open 2013. But dear readers, watch out for the lower boards too! They can surprise you !

One such game is by CA author WFM Rucha Pujari. 

The game as a whole was interesting from the beginning. But the particular position which actually stymied a couple of players is:

Solovjev,Nikolay – Rucha,Pujari
                                Black to play and Draw

Rucha who was playing black played 41...Rxe4 and lost the game. This position, later, was analyzed using the engine which showed the correct variation. See if you can find it.
It is interesting to note that the position can actually be equated to a study. 

The next one is my own game. It’s a very elementary! But I missed it against a 2655 GM! Too bad uh? Here it is!

 Bharathi,R – Khismatullin,Dennis
White to play

Simple! So that’s even more terrible! Anyways the simple winning move was: 38.Ng4 Bd2 39.f4 h5 40.Qg6 and its absolutely winning!

The next game is also Rucha’s :  Rucha,Pujari – Tlepstok,Ruslan - White to play

Black has messed up the opening plans combining a number of plans which finally resulted in this position. And finally in this position Ms.Pujari played 21.Rc1! The threat here being 22.Nc7. So black replied with 21...Re7. Seems like black has defended right? But not so! Because white plays 22.Nc7 anyways 22...Rc7 23.Bb6 and black loses the exchange by force!  That was something wasn’t it?

 Ageichenko,Genaid – Monnisha,Gk
                White to play 
  Monnisha’s opponent missed this mate. Its a simple one though! So just try and find the correct variation though.

This was Moscow open for me.By the way , for the record GM Savchenko won the Category A tournament with a last round victory. Talking about GMs, here is one game which I liked :
Stupak,K – Khairullin,I
 Black won this ending. I liked it .But am not going to say how he did. Check it out yourselves guys! And Have fun with chess!

Note: The answers for Solovjev,Nikolay - Rucha Pujari and Ageichenko,Genaid - Monissha,GK would be posted soon, if you are able to find the answers please post it as a comment under this article.