Dubai Open Chess | Raunak Sadhwani secures a draw against four-time Venezuela champ

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Dubai Open Chess | Raunak Sadhwani secures a draw against four-time Venezuela champ

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SportsCafe Desk

04/06/2019

13-year old Raunak Sadhwani defended well with his black pieces to force a thoroughly deserved draw against Venezuela’s Iturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo on the eighth board. Raunak, currently placed joint third, will face-off with 16th-seeded Argentine GM Alan Picho in the fifth round on Saturday.

Indian chess prodigy Raunak Sadhwani raised eyebrows in the early stages of the ongoing Dubai Open Chess tournament when he drew his third round tie against Asian Champion and 2624 Elo SP Sethuraman. Sadhwani continued his impressive display in the tournament as he secured another draw against four-time Venezuela champion Iturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo on the fourth day of the nine-round meet.

Playing on the eighth board, 34th ranked Raunak held fifth seed Iturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo to a draw. The South American native became first GM of Venezuela in 2008 and is also a four-time national champion. The Indian teenager defended well with his black pieces to force his 2633 Elo rated opponent to sign the peace treaty in just 30 moves.

“I was having black pieces and opted for the Kings Indian defence; the position, however, was very complicated. With his white pieces, he was having slight advantage from the opening itself but I defended well. He was not able to convert that advantage into a win because my defensive skills were good in this game. At the end, he came in time trouble. With a few seconds remaining on his clock as compared to some minutes for me, he offered me a draw, which I accepted,” Raunak told TOI in a recent interview.

After the draw,  Raunak, who has an ELO rating of 2475, is now in joint third position in the tournament rankings and will go up against 16th-seeded Argentine GM Alan Pichot in the fifth round on Saturday.

Meanwhile, other Indian contestants at the meet Shailesh Dravid and Mrudul Dehankar fought their way back in the respective outings by winning in the fourth-round. On the 41st board, FIDE Master (FM) Dravid utilised his opening advantage to its best as he swayed past lower-ranked Shanya Mishra in 25 moves. 

“It was a relatively comfortable win. I got a winning attack out of my Queens Pawn opening move itself as she opted for the Grunfeld defence,” Dravid said after securing a win.

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