The sixth edition of the Sunway Sitges chess festival is underway in Sitges, Spain. After just three rounds into the tournament, top seeds Vassily Ivanchuk and Parham Maghsoodloo are no longer on a perfect score.
The festival takes place Dec. 13-22 at Hotel Sunway Playa Golf and Spa, which is about 35 kilometers southwest of Barcelona in Catalonia, Spain. As an official partner, Chess.com is covering the tournament daily with a live broadcast.
The Sunway Sitges games start each day at 16:30 local time which is 10:30 a.m. Eastern and 7:30 a.m. Pacific. You can follow them here as part of our live portal. Commentary is provided by GM Daniel King and IM Anna Rudolf on Chess.com/tv.
This year’s tournament might not have a 2700-rated grandmaster but is strong nonetheless, albeit in a different way. With slightly more than 300 players from 56 federations, the top group has no fewer than 55 grandmasters: 20 are over 2600, and 53 players in total are over 2500.
Even more so than last year, the tournament has attracted a lot of players from India. It’s the federation with the biggest representation: 85 players made the long trip, compared to 48 players from Spain!
The trio of already famous Indian prodigies has returned: Nihal Sarin, Praggnanadhaa Rameshbabu and Gukesh Dommaraju. They are joined by IM Raunak Sadhwani, who is a GM-elect since the tournament in Isle of Man, while the strongest among the big Indian contingent are Krishnan Sasikiran (fifth seed in the tournament) and Sethuraman S.P.
After Ivanchuk and Maghsoodloo, the main contenders are Anton Korobov and Hrant Melkumyan. Of the top five seeds, just one is still on a 100 percent score: Korobov.
In round three, the Ukrainian GM played another prodigy: Javokhir Sidarov of Uzbekistan. The third youngest grandmaster in history had his chances in the opening and then was very close to drawing the game for hours, but eventually stumbled:
Ivanchuk has already dropped two half-points, both with the black pieces and in both cases in sharp positions where his opponents found a way to give a perpetual check. This is how it happened in round one:
Sasikiran started with 2/2 but was defeated in round three by a local hero, Levan Aroshidze who lives in nearby Girona. His positional setup with the knight on d3 and the pawn on b4 controlling Black’s pawns and bishop is instructive:
The round three broadcast.
The tournament is a 10-round Swiss. At the time of this writing, three rounds have been played. The total prize fund is 27,155 euros with a 5,000 first prize.
2019 Sunway Sitges | Top pairings round 4
|1||3||GM||Korobov Anton||2668||3||–||3||GM||Shevchenko Kirill||2547||32|
|2||35||GM||Li Di||2543||3||–||3||GM||Lagarde Maxime||2655||6|
|3||9||GM||Donchenko Alexander||2644||3||–||3||GM||Narayanan Srinath||2529||40|
|4||39||GM||Stefansson Hannes||2538||3||–||3||GM||Sethuraman S.P.||2638||10|
|5||11||GM||Tabatabaei M.Amin||2635||3||–||3||GM||Aroshidze Levan||2514||46|
|6||47||GM||Kelires Andreas||2510||3||–||3||GM||Vocaturo Daniele||2627||12|
|8||76||GM||Batsiashvili Nino||2447||3||–||3||GM||Praggnanandhaa R||2586||24|
|9||67||TPE||IM||Song Raymond||2468||3||–||2½||GM||Melkumyan Hrant||2668||4|
|10||41||GM||Krysa Leandro||2527||2½||–||2½||GM||Nihal Sarin||2612||16|
|11||17||GM||Karthikeyan Murali||2611||2½||–||2½||GM||Gordon Stephen||2495||56|
|12||53||IM||Lobanov Sergei||2504||2½||–||2½||GM||Durarbayli Vasif||2609||18|
|13||19||GM||Adly Ahmed||2607||2½||–||2½||IM||Erenberg Ariel||2479||60|
|14||21||GM||Gareyev Timur||2598||2½||–||2½||GM||Firat Burak||2475||62|
|15||66||IM||Diaz Camallonga||2468||2½||–||2½||GM||Svane Rasmus||2597||22|