The 14th edition of the Delhi Open was won by Russian GM Ivan Popov with a tally of 8/10.
However, Popov, who was leading the field for a major part of the tournament, was unable to secure the sole first place. Ukrainian GM Valeriy Neverov threw a spanner in Popov’s works by beating the Russian GM in the 10th and final round of the event. With GM Atilla Czebe drawing against GM Sivuk Vitaly, three Grandmasters – Popov, Neverov and Czebe – ended up on 8 points each. Thanks to his superior tie-break score, Popov was declared the winner, with Czebe and Neverov finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Amongst Indians, GM Lalith Babu, IM Sayantan Das and GM Vaibhav Suri tied for the 4th-10th places. IM Sayantan Das’s impressive performance helped him achieve his second Grandmaster Norm.
Four more players (all from India) were also successful in making norms: Pradeep Kumar, Himal Gusain and Mehar Chinna Reddy made IM norms while Srija Seshadri made a WIM norm.
The 9th and penultimate round of the Delhi Open 2016 saw Hungarian GM Czebe Atilla score a resounding victory over GM Lalith Babu of India. With the top-board encounter between GMs Ivan Popov and Solodovnichenko ending in a quick draw, Czebe’s victory helped him inch closer to Popov, who is currently leading the field with 8/9. Czebe is sole second with 7.5/9.
Earlier in the day, the Czebe – Lalith clash took off with a strange kind of Reti opening that offered equal chances to both the sides. However, Lalith Babu quickly went astray after the opening, allowing Czebe to gain a significant advantage. From that point on, the Hungarian GM never looked back as he went on to convert his advantage in an extremely swift fashion.
With the top two players separated by only half a point and three players following them on the third spot, the 10th and final round promises an exciting finish to this premier open event.
Complete Round 9 Results
The top-board clash between top-seed GM Boris Grachev and second-seed GM Ivan Popov lived up to its hype, despite the game resulting in only a draw. Typically for the Botvinnik Variation of the Semi-Slav Defence, the game took an extremely sharp course with White offering a handful of material for an attack on the black king. However, Popov, playing black, was able to put up the best possible defence which forced Grachev to opt for a perpetual check. The game ended in a draw on move 29. (You can check the complete game here)
Meanwhile, GMs Yuri Solodovnichenko, Lalith Babu and Czebe Atilla inched closer to the tournament leader GM Popov with victories over IMs Vignesh NR, Sayantan Das and Ravi Teja respectively. Popov is currently leading the tournament in a dominating fashion with 7.5 points while Solodovnichenko, Lalith Babu and Czebe have scored 6.5 points each.
The 9th and penultimate round of the tournament promises to be an immensely exciting one, with as many as five GM vs GM battles to be witnessed today.
Complete Round 8 Results
GM Ivan Popov of Russia continued his dominance at the Delhi Open 2016 by registering his sixth consecutive victory in as many rounds. Popov, playing black, overcame GM Czebe Atilla of Hungary in yesterday’s round. On sole second place is GM Vitaly Sivuk of Russia with 5.5 points. Sivuk won a crucial game against GM David Alberto in round 6 of this 10-round event.
Meanwhile, untitled Pradeep Kumar R. A. of India continued with his excellent run of form by beating GM Ernst Sipke to move on to 5/6.
Round 6 Results: Here
The top-board clash in Round 4 of the Delhi Open 2016 saw GM Ivan Popov score an enterprising victory over GM Nguyen Duc Hoa. Playing the black side of a Modern Benoni, Popov wheeled out a theoretical exchange sacrifice right after the opening. Soon, the battle turned complex and a few mutual mistakes were observed. However, White’s blunder on the 41st move enabled Popov to clinch the matters almost immediately.
On the 2nd and 3rd boards, GMs Anton Demchenko and Sivuk Vitaly overcame Himal Gusain and IM Rahul Sangma respectively.
The star of the round, however, turned out to be Pradeep Kumar R. A of India. The untitled Indian registered an upset by defeating Russian GM Artur Gabrielian.
After four rounds of this 10-round open, GMs Ivan Popov, Anton Demchenko and Vitaly Sivuk are leading the pack with 4/4 each.
Round 4 Results: Here