Day three. No one could avoid losses anymore! Ahead - five leaders.2023-09-23
Day three. No one could avoid losses anymore! Ahead - five leaders.
Today at Tsaghkadzor Open was the most challenging day. A double round is always a test and when it is held in a non-stop mode it's doubly tough (only about half an hour passed between the end of the last games of the third round and the start of the fourth). It's not surprising that some of the leaders tried to perform well in the morning session, playing more relaxed games after lunch.
As a result none of the 123 participants in the tournament «A» managed to score a perfect 4 out of 4. However five players - Aleksej Aleksandrov, Tigran L. Petrosian, Guha Mitrabha, Sina Movahed, and Seyed Abolfazl Moosavifar - all have 3,5 points. It's a real mix of youth and experience. The first has recently crossed the 2500 Elo mark, namesake of the 9th world champion is approaching the age of 40, the Indian is only 22 years old, while the two Iranian chess players haven't even turned 14 yet!
If on the previous day, the «front line» (the first 12 boards broadcast online on the chess24.com) was dominated by Indian chess players the morning session of the third round slightly reduced their concentration. There were a total of 11 Indians compared to five Armenians and three Iranians.
All the Iranians played with the black pieces, but all three of them played excellently. Orimi Gholami confidently solved problems against Manuel Petrosyan and secured a draw from a position of strength. Arash Daghli soon made Valentin Dragnev cautious, but at some point he preferred a bird in hand to two in the bush. As for 14-year-old Sina Movahed, he won outright, conducting a real «Dragonэ attack with a spectacular queen sacrifice and delivering checkmate to the white king under the attack of all minor pieces.
Movahed didn't spend more than half an hour on his spectacular victory becoming the sole leader. Shortly after Petrosian joined him who held another tactical masterclass. It seemed that Tigran L. achieved nothing in the opening against Krishna H Goutham and his young opponent was about to reap the rewards of strategic work – and suddenly the white knight boldly went under the pawn: 27.Ng4!? You wouldn't impress a computer with such a move, but against an inexperienced Indian it worked like a charm! After that he faltered and lost in just a few moves. Guha Mitrabha fought for India's honor outplaying Viachaslau Zarubitski in a laborious and roughly equal endgame.
The majority of opponents settled for draws in the fourth round barely two hours into the games. They fought mostly for a moral advantage on the first board. Guha Mitrabha pressed slightly, while Petrosian defended cautiously and the game never left the realm of complete equality. Others were more tense and successful: Aleksandrov, Moosavifar, Sasikiran, and Adhiban who clearly feared that... the caravan would leave without them.
Well, the most interesting awaits us in the coming days – a fierce battle among the favorites for leadership. The next few rounds will determine the future hero.