I’m now through 4 rounds at the Parsvnath Open in Delhi, and I have 3.0/4.
They changed the schedule just a couple days before the event, and instead of having the first day have one game, and then two games on the second day, they made it two games on the first day, with one game a day thereafter. I won the morning round pretty easily, in the evening, I wasn’t thinking that clearly, and I lost rather badly to 13-year old Sai Krishna. He has the FM title thanks to an Under-12 championship title. In the middlegame, I failed to find a productive plan, while the standard King’s Indian attack on the kingside was all he needed.
Here was the position after 18…Bf8:
I played 19.Nf2?, which was a misguided attempt to hold back ..g5-g4. I saw the two better options for White there, 19.Rc6!? (which might lead to an exchange sacrifice on the c6 square), or 19.Qc2!, which threatens to invade with 20.Nc7 Rb8 21.Ne6. After 19.Nf2? though, I immediately ceded the initiative, and after 19…a6 20.Na3 h5 21.Nc4 a5! 22.Be1 Bd7 23.a4 Rg7, I was already on the defensive. Black’s attack later proved to be too strong to stop and Sai Krishna had a GM scalp.
That loss sent me way down the ranking list, and I played another much lower-rated player in round 3. That game was pretty easy for me, so I had 2 points after 3 games.
In the fourth round, I had the white pieces against FM Ashwani Tiwari. He used to be above 2300 FIDE in the late 1990s and 2000, but then has dropped dramatically since then. The game was a Dutch Defense, which was a complete surprise to me (I was expecting 1…Nf6). Without my knowledge, we were following a rapid game between Carlsen and Radjabov from 2007, before I deviated first. The surprise had its value, as he was not at all comfortable in the position. He spent 52 minutes or so on two moves in the middlegame, but didn’t come up with a good plan at all, and promptly shed a pawn. He tried for some compensation, but the resulting Q+P endgame was a pretty simple win.
Here was the position after 30.Qxh4:
Black played 30…Qd1+ 31.Ka2 Qxc2, and now I needed to find a way to bring my queen back to the center (preferably a square like d4 or d5), from where I cover the c4-square and protect my passed pawns. I played 32.Qh8+ Kc7 33.Qe5+ Kc8 34.Qe6+ Kc7, when I could safely play 35.f4. Black wasn’t able to stop the f-pawn from queening, and let his flag fall after 35…b5 36.f5 c5 37.Qe5+ Kb6 38.Qd6+ Kb7 39.Qd5+ Kc7 40.f6 c4 41.f7.
So I’m now sitting on 3.0/4, along with a whole host of other players. There were a number of upsets in the third round (and actually, in the second round when I lost, the 2670 FIDE-rated top seed lost as well), so there are only a few people on a perfect score. My roommate, Magesh Chandran is sitting on 3.5 points.