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Naiditsch breaks through Karthikeyan's Berlin Wall

14 Jan 2018, 17:22 IST
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New Delhi, Jan 14 (PTI) Two-time former national champion Murali Karthikeyan today suffered a defeat against top seed GM Arkadij Naiditsch of Azerbaijan in the eighth round of the 16th Parsvnath Delhi International Open Chess here.

The two players were tied in the lead with 6.5 points ahead of the match but after the match, Naiditsch jumped ahead to 7.5 points in the 10-round tournament.

Naiditsch, rated 2701, had the white pieces against Karthikeyan and he decided to open with the king's pawn, to which the Indian replied with the notoriously famous Berlin Defence.

The resulting queenless position is a well-known middlegame that is closer to the endgame than most other structures.

Naiditsch displayed supreme strategic understanding to use his minor pieces to dominate over Karthikeyan's army.

In the end, Karthikeyan, rated 2580, surrendered on the 29th move.

Among the fifteen players pursuing Naiditsch and Karthikeyan, four games saw results.

GM Sergei Tiviakov, rated 2584, effortlessly crushed Indian IM Harsha Bharathakoti, Bangladesh's GM Ziaur Rahman made a good comeback after a sad loss to the top seed in the last round.

He defeated the fifth-seeded Russian GM Ivan Rozum rated 2595 with the black pieces.

Rozum allowed his queenside pawns to be clamped down by Rahman's monstrously strong knight in the center. This allowed the Bangladeshi to weave threats around the white king on the kingside and force a dangerous passed pawn on f4 that finished the story for the Russian.

In a surprise victory, newly crowned International Master Akash Pc Iyer managed to outwit Ukrainian GM Vitaly Sivuk, rated 2550.

On the second table, Russian GM Andrey Deviatkin rated 2471 defeated defending champion and second seed GM Farrukh Amonatov of Tajikistan

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