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     Volume 4 Issue 23 | December 3, 2004 |

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Time Out

Indians shine Chess

The rise of the Indians is one of the most sensational developments in recent years. They were seeded fifth at the Mallorca Olympiad and finished sixth. That was no doubt an excellent performance.

Vishwanathan Anand's return to the team, after quite a few years, is perhaps the reason why the team suddenly started playing superbly. Anand is leading a team of highly talented players like K Shashikiran, P Harikrishna, Suryashekhar Ganguly and Sandipan Chanda, the third grandmaster from West Bengal. The Indians very convincingly demonstrated that their fifth seeding had its point. They defeated some strong teams and held their own against the top two or three sides with great ease. It was a wonderful display that spoke volumes for the development of chess in India. No Asian team had ever finished so high in an Olympiad.

Small wonder, even Russian players and coaches believe that India and China will be the world leaders in the very near future. They are perhaps right. The number of tournaments organised in India for players of all categories is amazingly high. The driving force behind the success story is private sponsorship which has accelerated the growth of professionalism in every part of the country. Players having a modest rating are getting financial support from business houses. And the top players are playing in strong tournaments abroad on a regular basis. The game received a big boost after Anand burst into the international chess scene and eventually won the FIDE world championship. You need starlight to find your way!

The Indian girls have also improved beyond measure, though their performance in the last Olympiad was not that good. Indications are all there that they will soon compete with the Russian and Georgian girls at the very top .

In the following game, Shashikiran , the second Indian grandmaster to have won some very strong tournaments in Europe, outplays his compatriot Pantela Harikrishna. He shows his great tactical prowess in a sacrificial attack. I remember what Indian IM V Koshy once told me about him 10 years back," You see, this boy is positionally sound and tactically lethal." What else do you need to win?

White-K Shasikiran
Black-P Harikrishna [A08]
Goodricke, Calcutta 2000

1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 c5 4.00 Nc6 5.d3 e6 6.Nbd2 Be7 7.e4 00 8.Re1 b5 9.e5 Nd7 10.Nf1 a5 11.h4 Qc7 12.Bf4 b4 13.Ne3 a4 14.a3 Bb7 15.Ng4 Rfd8 16.Ng5 Nf8 17.h5 h6 18.Nf6+ Bxf6 19.exf6 e5 20.fxg7 exf4 21.gxf8Q+ Kxf8 22.Nh3 bxa3 23.bxa3 fxg3 24.Qd2 gxf2+ 25.Nxf2 Qd6 26.Ng4 Bc8 27.Nxh6 Qf6 28.c3 Ne5 29.Rf1 Qg7 30.Rae1 Ra6 31.Rxe5 Rxh6 32.Rg5 Qh7 33.Qe2 Be6 34.Qe5 Qh8 35.Qc7 Ke8 36.Qc6+ Rd7 37.Qa8+ Rd8 38.Qxa4+ Kf8 39.Qa5 Rc8 40.Qb6 Rxh5 41.Rxh5 Qxh5 42.Qxe6 Rd8 43.Qf5 10

Position after 17..h6


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