Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Ashik vs Hayk Manvelyan, Tuesday Night Marathon Winter 2014, Round 5

Following last week's tough save, today I defended another apparently lost game against Hayk Manvelyan who routinely becomes champion when he participates in Mechanics Chess Tournaments. His this month's rating is 2344 while mine is 2022 - a huge 322 rating points difference. He didn't play the last cycle of Tuesday Night marathon and hence I got a chance to be runner up. I was trying to prepare against him last night but I saw that he doesn't play any particular opening and simply thinks out something sharp, out of normal book lines instantly over the board. This is why I like following his games. So I gave up preparing against him and thought I will simply play the position that arises on the board. Remembering my recent 26 move defeat to him, I was not hopeful though.

He replied my e4 with Sicillian and I went to Grand Prix Attack. I made an unnecessary aggressive move of knight in the opening followed by an oversight to loose a pawn very quickly. But I kept the initiative as in this line White is ready to sacrifice several pawns to continue the attack. Slowly he became 3 pawns up although I could recover a pawn any time and I had some compensation for the other 2 pawns but not enough. However, slowly I first regained one pawn and then out of the 2 pawns, Hayk gave me back one pawn to neutralize my initiative. This way he ended up being one solid pawn up. However, I found a tactics with my knight that wiped out all the pieces off the board leaving only the queen and a knight each side with Hayk still being one passed pawn up. However, as it happens in such positions, you can't queen your passed pawn because your opponent will get a perpetual check to your King. This is exactly what happened. Hayk waited until he had 14 seconds left in his clock before forcing draw by repetition.

When I submitted the scoresheet, Mechanics Chess Institute Director IM John Donaldson said that - Ashik, considering your recent outstanding performances, FIDE wants me to do a Drug Test on you to make sure you are within fair play boundary! We all laughed at it loudly.
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