Delhi Int’l Open Grandmasters: Himal Gusain stuns Visakh to share second spot

Chandigarh-based Himal Gusain pulled off the improbable at the expense of N.R. Visakh and jumped to the joint second spot after seven rounds

Himal Gusain who stunned Grandmaster N. R. Visakh to share the second spot after seven rounds of 18th Delhi International Open Grandmasters chess tournament in New Delhi on Monday.   -  CHESSBASE INDIA

It is a rarity to find a Chandigarh-based player getting the better of a Grandmaster from Tamil Nadu. Himal Gusain pulled off the improbable at the expense of N.R. Visakh and jumped to the joint second spot after seven rounds of the Delhi International Open Grandmasters chess tournament in New Delhi on Monday.

With 11 of the top-15 boards ending in draws, leader Aleksej Aleksandrov easily continued his reign at the top with 6.5 points. His compatriot from Belarus Alexei Fedorov and Gusain followed at six points. A bunch of 14 players were at 5.5 points.

In the midst of the drawn games, 33-move victories for Gusain and Fedorov stood out.

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Gusain’s triumph over Visakh, following the opening sequence of Sicilian Defence, was the result of some smart pawn-play. Once most of the major pieces were exchanged, Gusian’s advancing queen-rook pawn, with knight providing the guiding light, left Visakh with no choice to give up.

Fedorov’s victory was made easy with a tactical sequence that helped him emerge with a rook for a bishop. Ortik Nigmatov resigned when he saw no way of saving the bishop.

Top seed Farrukh Amonatov drew for the third round on the trot while second seed Pavel Ponkratov ended his four-draw sequence with his third victory.

M. Pranesh continued his unbeaten sequence by holding GM Kirill Stupak. Rated a modest 2317, Pranesh has faced four GMs so far and reached 5.5 points by performing at 2570-level.
 

Important results (Indians unless stated):

Seventh round:

  • Aleksej Aleksandrov (Blr, 6.5) drew with Adam Tukhaev (Ukr, 5.5)
  • Florian Kuczur (5.5) drew with Jose Eduardo Martinez Alcantra (Per, 5.5)
  • Karthik Venkatraman (5.5) drew with Ivan Rozum (Rus, 5.5)
  • Alexei Fedorov (Blr, 6) bt Ortik Nigmatov (Uzb, 5)
  • Diptayan Ghosh (5.5) drew with Maxim Lugovksoy (Rus, 5.5)
  • Himal Gusain (6) bt N. R. Visakh (5)
  • M. Pranesh (5.5) drew with Kirill Stupak (Blr, 5.5)
  • P. Shyam Nikhil (5) drew with Farrukh Amonatov (Tjk, 5)
  • C. R. G. Krishna (4.5) lost to Abhijeet Gupta (5.5)
  • Sayantan Das (4.5) lost to Nodirbek Yakubboev (Uzb, 5.5)