Chess Olympiad: Indian youth beats Spain (2.5-1.5) and leads with Armenia | Chess News

What happened in the first five rounds of the Chess Olympiad in Chennai indicates that world champion Magnus Carlsen was right: the Indian B team, with four juniors among its five members, is a contender clear to a medal even though it was eleventh on the starting list. Today he overthrew Spain (2.5-1.5) with more clarity than the scoreboard would indicate, and is the leader, due to a better tiebreaker than Armenia, with six rounds to go. Spain will face Cuba in the 6th round (winner of Azerbaijan by 2.5-1.5), which is performing well above its theoretical level.

Dommaraju Gukesh, 16, explained his strategy after unmistakably beating Spanish top boarder Alexei Shírov: “I know he’s an aggressive player. I therefore provoked it in complications which I had previously calculated to be favorable to me. That’s how he made a mistake, and I managed to take advantage of it.

These sentences would make sense in a very veteran player, but by no means in such a young one. Shortly after, Eduardo Iturrizaga committed a fault under the pressure of the clock on the fourth board (which he occupied because the captain, Jordi Magem, had not aligned Paco Vallejo on the second) against the veteran of the rival team, Baskaran Adiban, about to turn 30, who took advantage without hesitation. In the third, David Antón drew with another marvel, Nihal Sarin, who had just turned 18.

The most contested match of the four remained. The fitter Spaniard, Jaime Santos, took advantage of an unusual strategic mistake by Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, who turns 17 on the 10th. Santos then repeated the same misconception – playing too fast in a position that required slow rumination of ideas – which prevented him from beating Karthikeyan (India C) the day before and which cost him so much pain throughout his career. career. .

Consequence: the Spaniard, now with a small advantage, must patiently maneuver to restore a decisive advantage, which he knows this time to take advantage of. With this victory, Jaime Santos climbs to 61st place in the world and is close to 2,680 Elo points, the highest level of his career to date.

There were no more surprises apart from India B and Cuba in the lead. Leinier Domínguez took the decisive victory for the United States over Rodshtein while Caruana, So and Aronian drew with Boruchovsky, Nabaty and Smirin, respectively. Carlsen won without disheveling the Zambian Bwalya. Among women, India, Georgia and Romania dominate; the Spaniards punctured again: 2-2 against Colombia (33rd in the standings) after four hard-fought draws.

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