India loses narrowly to Belarus

World Under-16 Chess Olympiad 2018

World Under-16 Chess Olympiad 2018, hosted by Turkish Chess Federation and sponsored by Municipality of Selcuklu, has commenced on 24th of November in Konya, Turkey. Team India which secured Silver in the last year’s edition is once agaain eyeing for a podium finish.

Team Composition
TITLE NAME SURNAME RATING FIDE ID
IM ARJUN KUMAR ERIGAISI 2531 35009192
IM INIYAN PANNEERSELVAM 2476 25002767
SANKALP GUPTA 2352 5097010
KOUSTAV CHATTERJEE 2344 25073060
WIM DIVYA JITENDRA DESHMUKH 2180 35006916

Team Captain: Grandmaster Srinath Narayanan

India (3rd top seed) successfully scored points in the first three rounds against Slovenia – A,  Turkey-White, and  Ukraine. However, the winning streak came to an end when India lost to Belarus by a slender margin of 2.5-1.5. Although Belarus is seeded a lowly 13th and appear quite underrated on paper, they played skillfully on all 4 boards and were deservedly the winners.

Sankalp Gupta tried to create chances with Black by playing the Benoni defense for the first time in his career. Against the fianchetto Benoni, he sacrificed an exchange to get an interesting position out of the opening. His opponent took the sting out of the position with by returning the exchange, after which the position became too liquid.

IM Iniyan P. appeared to have a promising initiative out of a Queen’s Gambit Accepted. However, his opponent always ensured that she had sufficient counter-chances, and Iniyan was never really able to impose himself.

GM Arjun Erigaisi

GM Arjun’s opponent seemed quite motivated from the outset and sacrificed an exchange for some very promising compensation in a French endgame. Although objectively the position was 0.00, and quite double-edged, the position was much easier to play as White. However, Arjun defended quite skilfully and even had a difficult chance to turn the tables around at one point. Looking at the favorable team situation on the other boards, his opponent decided to just liquidate the game into a draw.

The decisive encounter was between two 12-year-olds – Tsaruk Maksim against WIM Divya Deshmukh. Divya appeared to have the upper hand after the opening after her opponent played a dubious Dutch defense. However, the advantage lasted for barely 1-2 moves when she failed to take the pawn on c5 and allowed Black to play cxd4. The resulting position was objectively equal, but much harder to play for Divya, who wasn’t able to find the accurate moves required to hold her position. She continued to fight valiantly, but could not stave off the defeat. This was the last game to finish in the round after 3 hours and 49 minutes.

Team India will play against Armenia in the fourth round.

Board Pairings

Round 1 on 2018/11/25
Bo. 3

INDIA

Rtg 26

SLOVENIA – A

Rtg 2½:1½
3.1 GM
Erigaisi, Arjun
2531 FM
Subelj, Jan
2281 ½ – ½
3.2 IM
Iniyan, Panneerselvam
2468 FM
Stevanic, David
2237 1 – 0
3.3
Koustav, Chatterjee
2346 FM
Amon, Nejc
2257 1 – 0
3.4 WIM
Divya, Deshmukh
2180 WFM
Urh, Zala
2066 0 – 1
Round 2 on 2018/11/26
Bo. 3

INDIA

Rtg 21

TURKEY – WHITE

Rtg 3½: ½
6.1 GM
Erigaisi, Arjun
2531 FM
Kamer, Kayra
2290 1 – 0
6.2 IM
Iniyan, Panneerselvam
2468
Kerem, Halil Ozgun
2248 1 – 0
6.3
Sankalp, Gupta
2352 FM
Isik, Alparslan
2220 1 – 0
6.4
Koustav, Chatterjee
2346
Kara, Yanki
2212 ½ – ½
Round 3 on 2018/11/26
Bo. 9

UKRAINE

Rtg 3

INDIA

Rtg 1 : 3
2.1 IM
Matviishen, Viktor
2476 GM
Erigaisi, Arjun
2531 0 – 1
2.2 FM
Baidetskyi, Valentin
2398 IM
Iniyan, Panneerselvam
2468 0 – 1
2.3
Galperin, Platon
2334
Sankalp, Gupta
2352 ½ – ½
2.4
Berdnyk, Mariia
2254
Koustav, Chatterjee
2346 ½ – ½
Round 4 on 2018/11/27
Bo. 13

BELARUS

Rtg 3

INDIA

Rtg 2½:1½
2.1 IM
Zarubitski, Viachaslau
2417 GM
Erigaisi, Arjun
2531 ½ – ½
2.2 WIM
Badelka, Olga
2390 IM
Iniyan, Panneerselvam
2468 ½ – ½
2.3
Lazavik, Denis
2235
Sankalp, Gupta
2352 ½ – ½
2.4
Tsaruk, Maksim
2215 WIM
Divya, Deshmukh
2180 1 – 0
Round 5 on 2018/11/28
Bo. 3

INDIA

Rtg 6

ARMENIA

Rtg 0 : 0
3.1 GM
Erigaisi, Arjun
2531 IM
Sargsyan, Shant
2463
3.2 IM
Iniyan, Panneerselvam
2468
Barseghyan, Armen Ar.
2386
3.3
Sankalp, Gupta
2352 FM
Davtyan, Artur
2374
3.4
Koustav, Chatterjee
2346 FM
Gharibyan, Mamikon
2314

Photos Courtesy: Official Website