Gukesh stuns former world championship challenger Shirov as India B clinch fifth win in row

Mamallapuram, 2 Aug: Young Indian Grandmaster D Gukesh continued his brilliant run to stun former World Championship Challenger Alexei Shirov as India ‘B’ shocked Spain 2.5-1.5 in the fifth round of the Open section in the Chess Olympiad here on Tuesday.
Exhibiting a brilliant gameplay, Gukesh, who recently crossed the 2,700 ELO barrier in live ratings, not only extended his unbeaten run at the prestigious event but also helped India B register an impressive victory against fourth-seeded Spain, the team’s fifth successive win in the open section.
It was Gukesh’s fifth victory on the trot in this event. Incidentally, after the win, he overtook Vidit Gujrathi in live ratings to become the third highest rated player in India after Viswanathan Anand and P Harikrishna.
“I got a fine position after an error from him and slowly outplayed him. It’s a pleasure to play a player of Shirov’s calibre and to beat him is special,” Gukesh said after the match.
The game incidentally was an old Sicilian where Shirov tried an unconventional ninth move.
Gukesh was quick on the uptake and started pressing for victory after blunting out Shirov’s pieces. His King personally escorted one of his pawns to the queening square with the help of his two rooks, prompting Shirov’s resignation on the 44th turn in a position which was beyond repair.
“My strategy was to provoke him and being an aggressive player, he could not resist aggressive moves, ones which I anticipated. There were a lot of checkmating patterns later on in the game,” Gukesh added.
B Adhiban was also in fine fettle, downing GM Eduardo Iturrizaga in a strategic master piece while Nihal Sarin held Anton Guijar to a draw.
India A and India C also notched up identical wins against Romania and Croatia respectively in other open section matches. (PTI)