Qatar 04: Carlsen back at the top

The top-board battle between GMs Li Chao and Anish Giri in the fourth round of the Qatar Masters Open 2015 turned out to be a well-fought draw. However, this result helped GMs Carlsen, Wesley So and Matlakov as they won their respective games to join Li Chao and Giri at the top of the table. The aforementioned five players have notched up 3.5 points each.

Meanwhile, Indian juniors continued to impress at this very strong open. The biggest result of the day was produced by Indian IM Vignesh N. R. who shocked Chinese sensation Wei Yi in a game that witnessed lots of up and downs. Vignesh is currently on an impressive 3/4. Also, other Indian juniors like IM Gagare and untitled Harshit Raja have amassed 2.5/4 and are holding their own despite the high level of opposition.

The 5th round of the tournament promises to be very exciting with the top boards witnessing elite-level clashes. On the first board, World Champion Magnus Carlsen is pitted against GM Li Chao whilst on the second, GM Anish Giri will be playing GM Wesley So.

Round 4 Results: Here

Qatar 03: It’s time for Li Chao vs Giri!

With wins over GMs Wojtaszek and Sethuraman respectively, GMs Giri and Li Chao moved to 3/3, becoming the only two players to retain perfect scores at the end of Round 3 of the Qatar Masters Open 2015. The duo will take on each other in what will be the central battle of Round 4.

Meanwhile, World Champion Magnus Carlsen overcame IM Yuffa in a convincing manner whilst GM Mamedyarov won a nice attacking game against GM Lenderman. On the other hand, GM Kramnik was pushed against the wall by Italian GM Vocaturo. However, the former World Champion eventually managed to snatch a draw from the jaws of defeat.

Amongst Indians, IM Gagare continued his fantastic run as he held top-ranked female player GM Hou Yifan to a draw. So far, Gagare has notched up 2 points and is undefeated. However, it is GM Ganguly who is currently leading the Indian challenge with 2.5/3.

Round 3 Results: Here

Qatar 02: Only 9 players with perfect score

The second round of the Qatar Masters Open 2015 saw only nine players emerge with perfect scores. This group of players includes top GMs like Anish Giri, Wesley So and Li Chao along with Indian hope GM Sethuraman and five others.

The top-board clash between GM Vladimir Kramnik and GM Piorun Kacper witnessed an excellent defensive effort by the latter, who accurately neutralized Kramnik’s chances in a tricky Rook endgame to secure a draw. GMs Sergey Karjakin and Shakriyar Mamedyarov were also held to draws. However, other top GMs like Anish Giri and So Wesley won their games in a relatively comfortable fashion.

As usual, World Champion Magnus Carlsen’s game evoked a lot of interest. Playing India’s GM Aravindh with the black pieces, Carlsen emerged better right out of the opening, only to squander the advantage later in his opponent’s time-trouble. However, the Indian prodigy was unable to find the best moves with his clock ticking, ending up in a tough position before finally losing on time.

The third round of the tournament promises to be even more exciting, with an all-2700 clash between Anish Giri and Radoslaw Wojtaszek scheduled on board one.

Round 2 Results: Here

Qatar 01: Carlsen held to a draw, Wei Yi shocked

The first round of the Qatar Masters Open 2015 took off with a bang as a few big names suffered upsets while many others were held to draws. The top board itself provided the most surprising result of the opening round – World Champion Magnus Carlsen could only draw against IM Nino Batsiashvili.

The Carlsen-Batsiashvili game took off with a Reti opening that resembled a reversed Benko Gambit. Typically, Carlsen outplayed his opponent and emerged with a nice positional advantage in the endgame. However, Carlsen surprisingly mishandled his position and the game soon petered out to a draw.

On the other hand, Chinese sensation GM Wei Yi suffered a shocking defeat at the hands of Indian IM Shardul Gagare. Wei Yi’s opening experiment with the Blumenfeld Gambit backfired as Gagare emerged with an advantageous position out of the opening. Despite missing a few winning chances, Gagare dominated for the entire course of the game, which finally ended on move 53 when Wei Yi decided to resign. However, analysis by engines and experts suggests that Wei Yi’s resignation was a bit premature.

The table immediately next to the the Gagare-Wei Yi game witnessed another surprise – untitled Chinese player Xu Yinglun inflicted an upset on GM Nikita Vitiugov. It must be borne in mind that Xu Yinglun had scored a GM norm at the Qatar Masters 2014, remaining unbeaten throughout the event.

Several top-notch GMs like Ivanchuk, Harikrishna and Jakovenko were also held to draws by opponents rated almost 250 rating points below them.

Round 1 Results: Here

Sunway Sitges 06: Narciso Dublan joins the leaders

With the leaders drawing their games, GM Narciso Dublan grabbed his opportunity to join the leaders with a crucial victory over GM Lopez Martinez. As a result, four players – GM Granda Zuniga, GM Can Emre, GM Narciso Dublan and IM Matsenko Sergei – are currently leading the table with 5 points each.

Meanwhile, Indian GM Shyam Sundar made his move to 4 points by overcoming FM Gedajlovic. However, IM V. Saravanan, the other Indian in the fray, had to contend himself with a draw against lower-rated Santos Jeovani.

Complete Round 6 Results: Here

Sunway Sitges 05: Tough day for Indians

The 5th round of the Sunway Sitges Open 2015 proved to be a tough one for the two Indians in the fray – GM Shyam Sundar and IM Saravanan. The former lost to GM Sebastien Maze while the latter was overcome by IM Filemon Cruz. Interestingly, both the Indian hopes were playing the white side.

The same pattern of black victories was also observed on the top boards. The top three boards saw GM Granda Zuniga, IM Matsenko and GM Can Emre winning their respective games with the black pieces. These victories helped the trio to stay in joint lead at the end of Round 5.

Round 5 Results: Here

Sunway Sitges 03: Seven players in joint lead

The first-board clash in the 3rd round of the Sunway Sitges Open 2015 saw top-seed GM Granda Zuniga from Peru overcame India’s GM Shyam Sundar with the black pieces. In other top encounters, GM Peralta overcame the experienced GM Romanishin whilst GM Abergel and GM Maze played out a quick draw.

Meanwhile, IM Saravanan, the only other Indian in the fray apart from Shyam Sundar, won his game to take his points tally to 2/3.

After 3 rounds, as many as 7 players are jointly leading the table with perfect scores.

Round 3 Results: Here

ACP Masters Final: Ivanchuk triumphs convincingly!


The Semi-Final stage of the ACP Masters Cup Rapid 2015 proved to be an extremely exciting one. On one hand, Nepomniachtchi, known for his fast-chess skills, was easily overcome by Ivanchuk; while on the other, the Gelfand-Bacrot match-up went all the way down to the wire. In the end, it was Bacrot who came out on top to set up a finale against Ivanchuk.

Finals – Ivanchuk vs Bacrot:

Vassily Ivanchuk, just like in the Semi-Finals, put on a dominant performance in the Finals as well. Ivanchuk swiftly overcame Bacrot with a 2.5-0.5 scoreline, thus emerging victorious at the 2015 edition of the ACP Masters Cup Rapid. The creative Ukrainian went home richer by $ 10000.

ACP Masters Day 2: Gelfand vs Bacrot, Ivanchuk vs Nepomniachtchi

The second day of the ACP Masters Cup Rapid 2015 saw Gelfand and Nepomniachtchi qualify for Semi-Finals from Group A while from Group B, Ivanchuk and Bacrot came out on top.

Group A:

Banking upon his dominant performance on Day 1, Nepomniachtchi easily qualified for the Semis, scoring a total of 3.5 points out of a possible 5. However, it was Gelfand who topped Group A, notching up 3.5 points and edging out Nepomniachtchi on Tie-Breaks. 

Results and Standings: Here

Group B:

Group B was largely dominated by Ivanchuk, who finished sole first in the group with 3.5 points. Meanwhile, the second spot was secured by Bacrot, thanks to his crucial last round victory over Smirin.

Results and Standings: Here

The Semi-Finals of this unique event will witness Gelfand taking on Bacrot and Ivanchuk clashing against Nepomniachtchi. With two high-profile encounters in store, Day 3 of this tournament promises to be an exciting one.

ACP Masters Day 1: Nepomniachtchi and Ivanchuk in lead

The ACP Masters Cup Rapid 2015 commenced yesterday in Ashdod, Israel. A total of 12 Grandmasters have been divided in groups of 6 each. The top two players from each group will qualify for the Semi-Finals, with the winners advancing to the Finals.

Group A 

The proceedings on the first day of Group A were dominated by the Russian GM Ian Nepomniachtchi. Ian managed to notch up 2.5/3, followed by GMs Boris Gelfand and Samuel Sevian on 2/3. GM Kirill Georgiev, coming in as a last-minute replacement for GM B. Adhiban, had a tough day as he suffered three straight losses.

Results and Standings: Here

Group B

Group B, just like Group A, saw a sole leader emerge at the end of Day One. Amongst some strong competition, GM Vassily Ivanchuk managed to emerge as the front-runner, scoring 2/3. He is being followed closely on 1.5/3 by as many as four GMs – Eljanov, Bacrot, Rapport and Smirin.

Results and Standings: Here