2nd China-India Summit: China takes lead

2nd China-India Summit: China takes lead

The 2nd China - India Summit is currently underway in China. It is a four-round Scheveningen event where four players from India play against four from China. Team India team consists of Ganguly, Sethuraman, Abhijeet Gupta and Karthikeyan Murali, while Team China has Wei Yi, Bu Xiangzhi, Lu Shanglei and Zhou Jianchao. After three rounds, China leads 7.5-3.5. Here is the illustrated report

2nd CHN-IND Summit 2017 (Liaocheng CHN) Sun 5th Mar 2017 - Wed 8th Mar 2017 - Official Site

2nd CHN-IND Summit 2017 (8 players 4 Rds League Indiv TC: 90m:30m+30spm(1)) - Games in PGN:

Round one

The Chinese have a strong line-up starting with the prodigy Wei Yi (2725) and Bu Xiangzhi (2711) followed by Lu Shanglei (2624) and Zhao Jianchao (2619). Team India is represented by S.S. Ganguly (2644), S.P. Sethuraman (2629), Abhijeet Gupta (2627), Karthikeyan Murali (2578).

The games begin

The Indian champion Karthikeyan Murali won the only decisive game in round one. He had no problems to equalize with black after his opponent... 

...Zhao Jianchao decided to open with a sideline with white against the Kings Indian.

Zhao Jianchao vs Karthikeyan Murali

Lu Shanglei tried to put pressure on...

 ...Abhijeet Gupta but had to settle for a draw.

Although he had the black pieces, many people would bet on Wei Yi pressing for a win, which is precisely what he did as he won a pawn against...

... Sethuraman, but the Indian held fast and saved the half point.

Designer cookies at the venue

Round two

India-China Match 02: India lose twice with white Since this is a four-round Scheveningen match, each Indian player was playing each Chinese player. Before the round began, India's best bet to win the round depended on Abhijeet Gupta and Karthikeyan Murali. Both the grandmasters had the white pieces against Zhou Jiangchao and Lu Shanglei.  

Surya Shekhar Ganguly was defending with the black pieces, which in itself is an onerous task. S.P. Sethuraman was black against Bu Xiangzhi. On paper, India could not have expected more than two draws on these two boards, against 2700 opposition.

Zhou Jiangchao had suffered a quick defeat against Karthikeyan Murali in the first round, but in the second round, he came out of the corner with fists swinging, and connected with Abhijeet Gupta as he sent him out for the count.

Jiangchao shares a light moment with Wei Yi, who could only draw his game against Ganguly

The other winner of the day was Lu Shanglei, who defeated Karthikeyan with the black pieces. Shanglei was in control early in the game, but an inaccurate move 31 nearly cost him his win. Luckily for the Chinese player, his Indian opponent missed it, and he brought home the bacon.

Round three

The third round was depressing for Indian fans on all accounts. China was leading the match 4.5-3.5, and they desperately needed their white players to score in order to try to recover their balance. To emphaszie the need, they had to contend with the phenomenal Wei Yi, Chinese champion, who had white against the Indian champion Karthikeyan Murali. Karthikeyan is unquestionably a talented player the Chinese prodigy is still in an altogether different orbit.

Wei Yi delivered for his team

Karthikeyan defended with a Sicilian Taimanov, probably not the best choice to defend against the frighteningly tactical Chinese wonderboy. With the aggressive 14.e5, Wei Yi took over the initiative but the big mistake came later on when Karthikeyan played 25...Bc6. Wei Yi won.  

Wei Yi vs Karthikeyan Murali

Sethuraman played an Italian opening and Zhou Jianchao opted for a controversial plan with black involving ...h6, ...g5, after castling on the kingside. Sethuraman attacked on both wings, won Black's queen, and bagged the point.

Sethuraman vs Zhou Jianchao

It was still possible for India to win the round had Ganguly beaten Lu Shanglei

Ganguly was well on his way to a nice victory with white in a Symmetrical English. With 32. f4-Ng5- f5, Ganguly hit on the right plan. But on move 38, the Indian went wrong allowing Black to equalize. Then, further mistakes around move 40 allowed Shanglei to promote his passed e-pawn and even win the game!

There was no respite and Bu Xiangzhi defetaed Abhijeet Gupta

With this China takes a nearly insurmountable 7.5 - 4.5 lead with one round to go. India needs at least a 3.5 - 0.5 result in round four to draw the match.

Priyadarshan Banjan
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