Gopal guides India to healthy lead in match against Israel

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In a match organized as a curtain raiser to the upcoming Anand-Gelfand World Championship match, host country India leads against Israel 9.5-6.5 after the first day.

The India-Israel match under way in the Airport Authority of India Officers’ Institute, Safdarjung Airport, New Delhi

EventIndia-Israel match | PGN via TWIC
DatesApril 3rd-4th, 2012
LocationNew Delhi, India
SystemScheveningen match (blindfold, rapid & blitz)
Players

Baskaran Adhiban, Tal Baron, Abhijeet Gupta, G N Gopal, Vitaly Golod, Gil Popliski, Krishnan Sasikiran Ilya Smirin, Yedael Stepak

Rate of play25 minutes + 10 seconds increment for blindfold and rapid, 3 minutes + 2 seconds increment for blitz

Grandmaster G N Gopal came up with his best defeating counterpart Tal Baron 4-0 to guide host country India an emphatic 9.5-6.5 triumph over Israel on the first day of the India-Israel chess match now underway at the Airport Authority Officers Club in New Delhi. Indian mainstay Krishnan Sasikiran had an off day on the top board and so did National Champion Abhijeet Gupta but Gopal made up for it easily with his all round display in blindfold, rapid and blitz games.

Gopal vs Baron in the blindfold session 

The Indian team started with a 3-1 triumph in the blindfold session with Sasikiran having it easy against Yedael Stepak and Gopal showcasing his form against Tal Baron. Abhijeet was held to a draw by Vitaly Golod while Adhiban was forced to split the point against Gil Popliski on the fourth board.

In the rapid, top Israeli here, Ilya Smirin was back on the top board and drew with Sasikiran while Gupta was in for a shock as he lost to Golod. Again, Gopal and Adhiban saved the blushes for the Indians on the last two boards and the rapid match was won by 2.5-1.5 margin.

The Israeli team showed their true mettle in the first blitz match wherein Sasikiran and Abhijeet Gupta suffered defeats and the result was an Israeli victory with a minimal margin. In the second blitz session of the first round however, the Indians bounced back to register a minimal victory thanks to the efforts of Gopal who was the lone winner besides three draws.

The blindfold isn't played on laptops, like at the Amber tournament - in New Delhi the players have to move a correct piece from square to square

Sponsored by the Airport Authority of India, the match is being organized as a curtain raiser to the next world championship match between Vishy Anand of India and Boris Gelfand of Israel. There are still as many as 32 games remaining including eight blindfold, eight rapid and sixteen blitz games.

An initiative of the All India Chess Federation under the aegis of World Chess Federation and with the support of Embassy of Israel in New Delhi, the event is held at the Airport Authority of India Officers’ Institute, Safdarjung Airport, New Delhi from 3 to 4 April 2012.

The year 2012 is special for both India and Israel as far as the game of chess goes. From May 10th this year, the top players from both countries – Viswanathan Anand and Boris Gelfand – will battle it out for the ultimate title in Moscow.

Games day 1

PGN file

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