Chess Super League R4: Draw Drama
Three drawish games were declared lost in round four of the Chess Super League. Image: Samay Raina/Youtube.

Chess Super League R4: Draw Drama

| 13 | Chess Event Coverage

Round four of the Chess Super League saw three players dramatically losing their games due to offering a draw before move 40, which is prohibited at this tournament. With one round to go in the round-robin phase, the Kingslayers are in the lead.

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It hadn't happened in any of the games of the first three rounds but on Thursday, disaster struck. Three players had missed (or forgot about) the rule that offering a draw before move 40 is not allowed, and will be penalized with a loss. GMs Vidit Gujrathi, Raunak Sadhwani, and Iniyan P. lost their games this way, although the story for Sadhwani had more to it.

The penalty seems rather harsh, and Vidit tweeted about it afterward (making a reference to GM Hikaru Nakamura playing a game in the Chess Super League and simultaneously playing a game in Titled Tuesday two days earlier). 

He got a retweet from GM Anish Giri while GM Arjun Erigaisi pointed out that he got away with a warning recently at an online tournament.

Chess Super League draw Vidit tweet

Quintessential Queens vs. Pivotal Pawns: 2-4

Bo. Fed 6 Quintessential Queens Rtg 2 - 4 Fed 5 Pivotal Pawns Rtg
1.1 GM Karjakin, Sergey 2743 ½ - ½ GM Ding, Liren 2799
1.2 GM Koneru, Humpy 2586 0 - 1 GM Gupta, Abhijeet 2628
1.3 GM Hou, Yifan 2658 1 - 0 IM Kulkarni, Bhakti 2388
1.4 IM Tania, Sachdev 2392 ½ - ½ GM Abdumalik, Zhansaya 2507
1.5 GM Iniyan, P 2529 0 - 1 GM Arjun, Kalyan 2537
1.6 WIM Priyanka, K 2218 0 - 1 WIM Savitha, Shri B 2281

In this match, Iniyan's loss luckily didn't matter for the match score as the Pivotal Pawns would have won anyway. Still, it didn't seem right that this game didn't end peacefully since it was basically a theoretical draw starting from around move 54.

Krazy Knights vs. Brutal Bishops: 4-2

Bo. Fed 1 Krazy Knights Rtg 4 - 2 Fed 4 Brutal Bishops Rtg
2.1 GM Nakamura, Hikaru 2736 1 - 0 GM Wang, Hao 2744
2.2 GM Sasikiran, Krishnan 2640 1 - 0 GM Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi 2726
2.3 GM Muzychuk, Mariya 2536 ½ - ½ IM Karavade, Eesha 2345
2.4 WGM Gomes, Mary Ann 2354 0 - 1 GM Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2518
2.5 GM Aryan, Chopra 2585 1 - 0 GM Sadhwani, Raunak 2555
2.6 WIM Mrudul, Dehankar 2256 ½ - ½ WFM Tarini, Goyal 2164

As Giri tweeted, it was Brutal Bishops versus "brutal regulations" as both Vidit and Sadhwani are playing for that team. Two draws would have meant a 3-3 tie and a shared second place in the standings, instead of a shared third.

The final position for Vidit-Sasikiran was rather equal indeed, so Vidit's unhappy tweet was understandable.

For Sadhwani, it went differently altogether but the result was the same. In a highly theoretical line of the Italian, the 15-year-old Indian GM was under the impression that there was a threefold repetition on move 22 and tried to claim a draw with the arbiter. (He wasn't sure if the server would instantly decide on a draw or not.)

Because the arbiter didn't respond immediately, the game continued for a while longer. At some point, the arbiter saw the message and decided to declare the game lost for Sadhwani because a wrong draw claim counts as a draw offer according to the laws of chess.

All in all, the situation was first and foremost confusing. "This was my point: there was no such regulation mentioning that a wrong claim of threefold will also be given as a loss or that a threefold will be automatically drawn by the server," Sadhwani said.

In this match, Nakamura won a great fighting battle with GM Wang Hao, who did miss some chances halfway through the game. The engine finds a nice positional piece sacrifice for Black:

Ruthless Rooks vs. Kingslayers: 2.5-3.5

Bo. Fed 2 Ruthless Rooks Rtg 2½ - 3½ Fed 3 Kingslayers Rtg
3.1 GM Radjabov, Teimour 2763 ½ - ½ GM Giri, Anish 2774
3.2 GM Karthikeyan, Murali 2630 ½ - ½ GM Sethuraman, S.P. 2620
3.3 GM Muzychuk, Anna 2533 1 - 0 GM Dzagnidze, Nana 2524
3.4 GM Harika, Dronavalli 2511 ½ - ½ IM Soumya, Swaminathan 2351
3.5 IM Raja, Harshit 2494 0 - 1 GM Gukesh, D 2640
3.6 WFM Salonika, Saina 2206 0 - 1 WIM Arpita, Mukherjee 2229

The sole leaders after four rounds are the Kingslayers, who won three matches in a row after their opening loss. Their 3.5-2.5 win vs. the Ruthless Rooks could have been 4-2 as GM Nana Dzagnidze missed a chance. Also here, the theme was long-term compensation for a piece:

Muzychuk Dzagnidze Chess Super League
Muzychuk vs. Dzagnidze. Image: Samay Raina/Youtube.

Round 4 Standings

Rk. Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 MP BP
1 Kingslayers 4 6 12,5
2 Pivotal Pawns 3 4 5 13,0
3 Brutal Bishops 3 2 3 4 12,5
4 Ruthless Rooks 4 4 12,5
5 Krazy Knights 2 4 2 4 4 12,0
6 Quintessential Queens 2 3 2 1 9,5

All games day 4

The Chess Super League will continue with rounds four and five on Thursday and Friday, followed by playoffs and finals on Saturday and Sunday. The games are played with a time control of 15 minutes plus a 10-second increment. The total prize fund of the event is Rs.40 lakh (U.S. $54,000).

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