Photos by Maria Emelianova
Nihal faced GM Adhiban Baskaran in the fourth round. Both were reasonably well placed in the tournament with 2.0/4 and Adhiban was determined to propel himself in the standings.
Nihal chose English symmetrical opening against his Indian counterpart. After 7. e4, Adhiban maneuvered his f6 Knight to e8-c7-e6 to seize control the d4 hole.
At the outset, the game was looking roughly equal but Adhiban, known for his aggressive style, kept on pressing to squeeze the advantage in the middlegame. He based his strategy around the d4 square. Slowly but steadily he placed his pieces to gain complete control in the center.
Nihal used all his resources to activate his pieces, soon major pieces were off the board. The black knight overpowered the white bishop in a classic example of a good knight against the bad bishop. Though he kept defending as if his life depended on it, Nihal was forced into resignation move 64 after six hours of battle.