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Chess Olympiad 2022 Round 8: India B wins against USA as invincible Gukesh takes down Fabiano Caruana

With this win, Gukesh has moved to the 20th spot in the world with a live rating of 2729.1.




Picture courtesy: FIDE/Stev Bonhage

New Delhi: India B and Gukesh seem to be invincible as in round 8 in the open section, the team defeated the top seed USA while Gukesh won against Fabiano Caruana. With this win, Gukesh has moved to the 20th spot in the world with a live rating of 2729.1. It has not been quite a good tournament for Fabi, as he has lost about 30 odd Elo points in the Olympiad.

In the open section, India A lost to Armenia as in form Sargissian kept grinding in the endgame against the master of endgames Harikrishna Pentala, and surprisingly won the game. India B caused a big upset by defeating the USA while Raunak Sadhwani won against Leinier Dominguez Perez. For India C, Surya Gangula and Abhijeet Gupta lost their games as Peru won 3-1.

In the women’s section, for India A all games ended in a draw against Ukraine. India B scored a fantastic 3.5-0.5 victory against low-rated Croatia as Vantika Agrawal, Divya Deshmukh and Padmini Rout won their games. India C lost against the strong Polish team as in form PV Nandhidhaa and Pratyusha lost their games.

GM Fabiano Caruana (2783) vs GM D Gukesh (2684)

Picture courtesy: Chessbase India

It is rare that Fabiano loses a game in Sicilian as he is known to be well prepared with the theory. The game started with roughly equal positions, though just after the opening the position got visually complex. On move 31, Fabi went Nc5 and missed black’s Qd5 which was an active move putting pressure on the d4 rook. As white went Qe2 to add more protection to the rook, Gukesh stole a pawn.

On move 37, Fabi gave up his knight for two pawns, which might seem to be a positional sacrifice to put pressure on black’s queen. However, he missed or underestimated Bg4 which started to build a mating net. It was on move 45 when Gukesh made the former world championship challenger resign from the game.

GM Raunak Sadhwani (2611) vs GM Leinier Dominguez Perez (2754)

Raunak started well and got into a comfortable position with the pair of bishops and knights placed well in the opposite side castle game. Though black’s a and b-pawns came marching towards Raunak’s king, however, he had a great positional sacrifice planned. He went for 21. Nbd4 and gave up his knight to open up an attack on Leinier’s king. Although the engine shows that with the perfect play it is black who is better.

Picture courtesy: Ashwin Subramanian/Chessbase India

Dominguez Perez tried to counterattack, but just to allow his knight to be pinned to the queen. He put his rook to defend the knight and left the king open for attack. Eventually, he had to resign as young Raunak showed a masterclass over the board.

WGM Divya Deshmukh (2319) vs Dejanovic Tereza (2011)

Picture courtesy: Chessbase India

Like her teammates Padmini and Vantika, Divya also won her game quickly and easily. Just after the opening, Divya Deshmukh got a better position with black’s king still in the centre. Tereza pushed her pawn to b4 with a tempo on the knight, what she missed was 21. Qxd6 which comes with a tactic. Tereza failed to spot that she is going to be down an exchange. Divya made no mistake and won the game in just 31 moves.