India beats China for the first time in India-China Summit

3rd India China Chess Summit – 2018

Report by International Arbiter Suresh Chandra Sahoo

Team India has won the prestigious 3rd India – China Chess Summit 2018, for the first time in the summit’s history, comfortably by beating China in the final round. The Indian team collected six lakh rupees for their stupendous efforts and Chinese team received four lakh rupees for their runner up spot. The title sponsor of this International match was DSYS, Govt. of Odisha also, supported by OSJA and All India Chess  Federation. It was jointly organised by All Odisha Chess Association & KIIT, at International Chess Hall, KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha.

Penultimate Round
In 7th round, India maintained a comfortable two match points 8 to 6. All the games ended in a draw.
On the first board, young Indian Grandmaster Aryan Chopra launched his pet English Attack against former World Junior Champion Lu Shanglei’s Sicilian Najdrof Defence. By 11th move, Aryan got the bishop pair and won a pawn on 17th move. Lu Shanglei cleverly exchanged Queens and other minor pieces to reach a Rook + Bishop and five pawns, against Rook + Bishop and six pawns. However, the presence of opposite colour Bishops ensured a draw on the 49th move.
On the second board, playing the Black pieces in the exchange variation of the Kings Indian Defence, GM Murali Karthikeyan had no difficulty in equalizing after trading of Queens on the 11th move against Xu Xiangyu. With having no possibility for advantage, both the players repeated after 17th move. As such, three fold repetition of moves resulted by 20th move and the game was drawn as per rules.
On the third board, Chinese Grandmaster Bai Jinshi played his favorite Petroff Defence against Indian GM Srinath Narayanan. After few exchange of minor pieces, the Queens were exchanged on 24th move. Both the players settled for a draw on the 32nd move.
On the fourth Board former Indian National Junior Champion GM Aravindh played Black against GMa Xu Yinglun and confronted Ragozin system (Queen’s Gambit  Declined:  exchange variation). Playing actively and ambitiously, Aravindh did not mind having an isolated Queen pawn, in return for a better center control. After forced trading of Queens on the 18th move, it was clear, that the game was heading for a draw, through both tried to test each other till 40th move, and a peace treaty was signed.

Final Round

GM Lu Shanglei  and played the Ruy Lopez and faced a Smyslov System 3…..g6 against Aryan Chopra. After 17th move of black, the Indian Grand Master seemed to be in a better position. But resourceful play by Lu Shanglei, with good maneuvering of his minor pieces, created counter play against the Black King and won on 42nd move.

In the second board game between GM Murali Karthikeyan and Xu Xiangyu, there was a theoretical battle in a Petroff Defence. The Indian GM was having the upper hand after the 33rd move, with his centralized King. However, as soon as GM Aravindh Chithambaram won his game, Murali decided not to press further since a draw was enough to win the match against China. The game was drawn on 39th move.

On the 3rd Board, young Chinese Grand Master Bai Jinshi opted for the Catalan System. However, Srinath offered stiff resistance and defended accurately, and saved a costly half point. The players agreed to draw on the 42nd move.

The game of the tournament was played by young Indian GM and former Indian Junior National Champion, Aravindh Chithambaram, who launched the Keres Attack against Sicilian Scheveningen System of GM Xu Yinglun of China. Aravindh played very aggressively by storming his king side pawns and had good space advantage. Aravindh’s heavy pieces penetrated into his adversary’s camp, resulting in a thumping win on 29th move.

Indian team’s de facto captain 24-year-old GM Srinath Narayanan. besides scoring an impressive 4.5/8, also did a fine job of keeping the younger members motivated to perform at their peak.
Final Ranking
Rank Team Games + = MP Pts. Vict-‘B’
1 India 8 2 5 1 9   15.5 2
2 China 8 1 5 2 7   16.5 1
Player’s Performance
1. India (9 MP/ 15.5 Pts.)
No. Name IRtg 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pts Games Rp
1 GM Karthikeyan Murali 2604 0 1 0 0 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 3 8 2491
2 GM Narayanan Srinath 2565 1 0.5 0.5 0 1 0.5 0.5 0.5 4.5 8 2621
3 GM Aravindh Chithambaram Vr. 2579 0.5 0.5 1 0.5 0 0.5 0.5 1 4.5 8 2621
4 GM Aryan Chopra 2541 0.5 0.5 0.5 0 0.5 1 0.5 0 3.5 8 2535
2. China ( 7 MP/16.5 Pts.)
No. Name IRtg 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pts Games Rp
1 GM Lu Shanglei 2635 1 0 0.5 1 1 0.5 0.5 1 5.5 8 2713
2 GM Xu Xiangyu 2577 0 0.5 0 0.5 0.5 0 0.5 0.5 2.5 8 2431
3 GM Bai Jinshi 2566 0.5 0.5 0.5 1 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 4.5 8 2615
4 GM Xu Yinglun 2533 0.5 0.5 1 1 0 0.5 0.5 0 4 8 2572

Valedictory Ceremony

Shri Bharat Singh Chauhan, Secretary All India Chess Federation was the Chief Guest for the Valedictory Ceremony. Other dignitaries who were also present Prof. Sasmita Samanta, Registrar KIIT, IM Sekhar Chandra Sahu, Vice President, AICF and President AOCA; Shri Krushna Kumar Sarma, Secretary, AOCA; Shri Ranjan Mohanty, Vice President, AOCA and Chairman Organising Committe.