Team India Fights Back in Round 5

Game of the round: GM Yinglun Xu 0-1 GM Srinath Narayanan

3rd India China Chess Summit – 2018

Report by I.A Suresh Chandra Sahoo
On the top Board, Former World Junior Champion GM Lu Shanglei adopted the solid two Knights system against Caro-Kann Defence of Indian GM Aravindh Chithambaram Vr. After the 15th move both the players had equal chances. However, the Indian Grandmaster weakened his ‘e6’ square and a2-g8 diagonal, by pushing his pawn f7 to f5. After trading pieces, Aravindh had Queen and Knight and six pawns vs. Queen, Bishop and six pawns of Lu Shanglei. Lu, with skilful play, forced a Queens exchange with two extra pawns. Aravindh soon resigned on move 46.
The game between GM Aryan Chopra vs. GM Xu Xiangyu was a Sicilian Najdrof, English attack variation, where the  Chinese GM enjoyed an edge thanks to his home preparation. Nevertheless, Aryan played cooly and after an exchange of Queens, centralised his King for a balanced position.  With a timely pawn break, Aryan forced a drawn Rook and pawn ending to save a valuable half point for team India.
Grand Master Murali Karthikeyan put his faith on Nimzo-Indian Defence against Bai Jinshi’s classical system. After early exchange of Queens Bai Jinshi appeared to have upper hand. However, Murali played logically and solidly to equalise. After a long fought battle of five hours both the players had one minor piece each without any pawn and soon agreed for a draw.
Game of Round was played by GM Srinath Narayanan, who brilliantly accounted for Chinese GM Xu Yinglun in a Sicilian game. The game was full of fireworks. Srinath started pawn storm on the Kingside, met with a thematic and timely pawn advance on d5. However, Srinath was in a very aggressive mood and channelised his heavy pieces against monarch of Xu Yinglun, who cracked under pressure. The brilliant pawn thrust of f5 demolished the defence of the Chinese GM. Xu resigned on 36th move.

Results of Fifth Round

           China                           2 – 2                     India

w  GM Lu Shanglei                  beat                   GM Aravindh, Chitahmbaram Vr.
     GM Xu Xiangyu              drew with           w  GM Aryan Chopra
w  GM Bai Jinshi                  drew with               GM Karthikeyan Murali
     GM Xu, Yinglun                  lost to             w  GM Narayanan Srinath