Biel: World’s second youngest ever Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi was shocked by Maxim Rodshtein of Israel in the first round of the Young Grandmasters tournament, a part of the 43rd Biel Chess Festival here.
Parimarjan showed an excellent opening novelty but could not carry on the form as a tactical oversight cost him dearly.
Philippines’ Wesley So, one of the three Asians in the fray, accounted for David Howell of England to emerge as one of the two leaders with eight rounds still remaining in the category 17 super tournament.
The other three games of the first day ended in draws, leaving Rodshtein and Wesley tied at the top of the table. Six of the ten participants stand joint third while Parimarjan and Howell jointly occupy the last spot.
Against Rodshtein, Parimarjan came up with a brilliant ‘Novelty’ on the eighth move in the Catalan opening which was certainly a fruit of his home preparation.
Rodshtein fell way behind on the clock as the game progressed and Parimarjan would have been at least slightly better but for his 14th move.
Parimarjan fancied his chances in the ensuing middle game complications once again and much to his dismay, found a major flaw in his analysis.
Rodshtein had to make a few ‘only moves’ that he found and when it was clear that heavy material loss was inevitable, Parimarjan called it a day. For the records, the game lasted 30 moves.
With eight rounds still to come, Parimarjan faces oldest competitor Evgeny Tomashevsky of Russia, 23, in the next round.
In the other decisive game of the day, Wesley So neatly outplayed Howell.
Playing the black side of a Caro Kann defense, the Philippino was tested in an old variation wherein some original maneuvers by Howell early in the game gave Wesley initial jitters.
However as the game progressed, Wesley was in control and a fine exchange sacrifice gave him excellent play on the queenside that resulted in a full point in 32 moves.
In other games of the opening round, top seeded Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France played out an exciting draw with Fabiano Caruana of Italy. It was fire on the board in the exchange variation of Ruy Lopez as Caruana sacrificed a rook to force perpetual checks.
Anish Giri of Holland tried to create complications in the queen pawn game against Tomashevsky but did not succeed as the latter was simply too solid. Regulation exchanges led to a level middle game wherein the peace was signed on the 28th move.
In another encounter, Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son of Vietnam held Russian Dmitry Andreikin quite easily in a French defense game where the former played black.