Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Confusing Names

With double rounds for the first three days, there is not much time for preparation against a specific opponent. But for the morning rounds (3 and 5) there is in principle possible to do a quite thorough check of your opponents games and try to guess what will be the battle ground. However, for this game I was very partially prepared for a quite peculiar reason: There are two Indian IMs of roughly the same strength, one named Roy Saptarshi and one named Roy Chowdhury Saptarshi. Both play BCC Thailand Open and I assumed they were brothers. The first player (without Chowdhury) has no games in Megabase 2009, the second has 219. I assumed that the two players had gotten merged into one by Chessbase staff and looked for a way to guess what games might have been played by my opponent. I found that there were quite a number of Veresov games and in lack of anything more useful assumed that my opponent (possibly the younger brother) was the one playing this rather rare opening. So my only preparation was for the continuation 1.d4 d5 2.Nc3 Bf5(!) 3.f3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Nbd7 5.Nxd5!?. Of course this proved quite useless.

Roy Saptarshi - Sv.Johnsen
BCC Thailand Open (5)

There went my preparation - wrong player?
This I have not played in a tournament game for 20 years, but I have an interesting line against the Advance variation.
2.d4 d5 3.f3!?
The Fantasy variation. It doesn’t look particularly threatening but can lead to quite complicated play.
Had I had any idea that this position might appear on the board I probably would have had a look at 3...e5?! which I enjoy playing in blitz (but probably is unsound) and 3...Qb6!? (which I think may be underestimated).
4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Bf4 Nf6 6.Qd3 Qa5!?
This more or less obliges me to give up my dark-squared bishop for a knight. Two more popular continuations are:
a) 6...b6 7.Nge2 Ba6 8.Qe3 0–0 9.0–0–0 Nbd7 10.g4 Rc8 11.Ng3 Bxf1 12.Rhxf1 b5 13.Kb1 Qb6 14.Nce2 Qb7 15.Bg5 Kh8 16.e5 Ng8 17.f4 += Prusikin-Brunner, Switzerland 2008.
b) 6...0–0 7.Nge2 (7.0–0–0 Bxc3 8.Qxc3 dxe4 9.fxe4 Nxe4 10.Qe1 f5 11.Nf3 Nd7 12.h3 a5 13.Bd3 Ndf6 14.Be5 a4 unclear Winants-Fridman, Netherlands 2005) 7...c5 8.0–0–0 c4 9.Qe3 b5 10.Bg5 Be7 11.e5 Ng4 12.fxg4 Bxg5 13.Nf4 f6 =+ Kurmann-Pavlovic, Biel 2006.
7.Bd2 b6 8.Qe3 dxe4 9.fxe4 e5 10.Nf3 exd4 11.Qxd4 Qc5 12.Qxc5 Bxc5 13.e5 was a little better for White in Gofshtein-Bruk, Israel 2002.
In an earlier my opponent (or his namesake) faced 7...c5 8.0–0–0 dxe4 9.fxe4 cxd4 10.Nxd4 0–0 and after 11.Nb3 Qb6 12.Nb5 Na6 13.Be3 Nc5 14.Qe2 Bd7 15.N5d4 Rac8 16.Qf3 Ncxe4 17.Bd3 Nc5 Black was clearly better in Roy Chowdhury-Al Sayed, Port Erin 2006.
Or 8.a3 Ba6 9.Qe3 0–0 (after 9...c5 10.0–0–0 Bxe2? 11.Nxe2 White was practically winning in S.Gabrielsen-T.Eriksen, Asker 2000) 10.g4 Be7 11.g5 Nfd7 12.exd5 cxd5 13.Kf2 Nc6 with unclear play in Boulard-Dumitrache, Sautron 2001.
8...Ba6 9.Qe3 dxe4 10.fxe4 0–0
It seems 10...e5 is too early: 11.0–0–0 Bc4 12.Kb1 exd4 13.Nxd4 Bxc3 14.Bxc3 Qxa2+ 15.Kc1 += Permuy Lorenzo-Miguel Lago, Mondariz 1995.
11.a3 c5
This seems better than 11...e5, e.g. 12.dxe5 Ng4 13.Qg3 Nxe5 14.Ra2! Bd6 15.b4 +- Carmeille-Bastian, Germany 2006.
12.0–0–0 (D)

I considered 12...Bxa3 but stopped my calculations after 13.bxa3 (13.e5 is critical too) 13...Qxa3+ 14.Kb1 Qb4+ 15.Ka1 Qa3+ (Rybka prefers 15...Nc6 with roughly equal chances) 16.Na2 which not only stops the checks but also threatens a queen exchange. However, Rybka quite likes Black's position after 16...Qa4 with 17.e5 Ng4 18.Qf4 Qxc2 as a kind of main line. 13.Nxd4 Bxc3 14.Bxc3 Qa4 15.Bd3 Bxd3 16.cxd3 Nbd7 17.Kb1 Rac8 18.Rc1 Rfd8 19.Rhf1 Ne5 20.h3
My opponent told me he had spent quite a lot of time calculating 20.Nxe6 Rxd3 21.Bxe5 (21.Qg5 fxe6 22.Qxe5 Qxe4 is nothing for White) 21...Rxe3 22.Rxc8+ Ne8 23.Nxg7 but stopped when he saw 23...Qxe4+ followed by 24...Qxe5.
20...Qa6 21.Rfd1 (D)
Now 21.Nxe6 fails to the simple 21...Rxc3 22.Rxc3 fxe6.
After 21...Qa4 a quite reasonable continuation is 22.Rf1 Qa6 23.Rfd1. My opponent almost certainly would not have played this and indicated in a brief post mortem that he had planned 22.g4, but then 22...Rxc3! 23.bxc3 Rxd4! 24.Qxd4 Qb3 is a perpetual.
22.Qxd3! Qxd3+ 23.Rxd3 e5
23...Nxe4 is a little better but completely hopeless.
24.Nf5! 1–0
I had missed the simple fork on e7. 24.Nc6! wins just as easily.

After the game a friendly Indian IM explained me a bit more about Indian names and about this particular name confusion. It turned out that the first names (Roy and Roy Chowdhury respectively) are the family names, and the last (Saptarshi) is the given name. The two players are not related but quite happy to be mixed up by Chessbase.

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