Day two. Tsaghkadzor Open 2023


The second day of Tsaghkadzor Open marked a common trend: the first 12 boards featured 12 representatives from India with compatriots facing off on the 1st and 3rd boards... Predicting the future winner when most players are just getting into the competition is premature, but the host country's representatives will have to work hard to keep the main prize in Armenia! So far after two rounds 12 participants have a 100% score.

If on the previous day most games ended before the first time control often with victories for the favorites (only two players: Artur Davtyan and Deepan Chakkravarthy lost and there were a few draws), today there was a real battle on all boards without exception. The rating difference, which sometimes reached 717 points, as on board 23 where Krishnan Sasikiran faced 12-year-old Tyhran Ambartsumian didn't matter. Everyone was fighting!

The fast draw was only on 1st board, where Kushagra Mohan with the white pieces forced a draw against Elo favorite Puranik Abhimanyu. He simply couldn't resist the avalanche of exchanges: by move 27, the board was completely empty and a draw had to be agreed upon. However, young Parab Ritviz playing with white on 3rd board, did not change anything and boldly went after Sethuraman, engaging in a sharp tactical battle that almost led to a victory for the younger colleague. Unfortunately when the smoke of battle cleared it turned out that black had a healthy extra pawn... the grandmaster was unable to convert it. Despite trying for over five hours.

Adhiban B. also had a tough time. The Indian player aggressively started against IM from Georgia Noe Tutisani – tying up all of his opponent's pieces. However, on the way to victory he chose an overly ambitious plan that led to an endgame down a pawn. If only his opponent had made a push at that moment – played aggressively, adaptively in the style of young Indian prodigies, but he chose a more modest path which quickly led to exchanges and a draw.

At the front of the pack, a surprising match between Armenia and India unfolded on five boards. Such matches are likely to be plentiful during Tsaghkadzor Open and the first one ended with a score of 3.5-1.5 in favor of the home team. Two Petrosian’s made the decisive contribution to the Armenian «team» victory. Manuel secured victory through precise endgame play while Tigran L. emerged victorious in a fierce tactical firefight. And how could it be otherwise when he started the game with the moves 1.c4 e5 2.g3 h5!!? Eventually, the black pieces came dangerously close to the white king and the game was decided by a bold queen raid that elegantly roamed through the enemy ranks. A real knockout!

On the opening day the longest game was played by Aleksej Aleksandrov against 14-year-old Isaak Parpiev. Only late at night when the playing hall was completely empty did the former captain of the Belarusian national team manage to defeat his opponent. In the 2nd round he faced another young talent 16-year-old Reza Mahdavi from Iran and the favorite quickly wiped the sweat from his brow – now with 2 out of 2! Despite being a recent «six-hundred» Aleksandrov has only the 20th rating in the tournament (2450) and this is a good reason to remind the young grandmasters of his presence.

The games at Tsaghkadzor continue. Each day becomes more and more interesting!


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