‘Round 9 -ONGC 53rd National Premier Chess Championship

Vidit Santosh Gujrathi of PSPB maintained his unbeaten record and a lead by full point, beating the second placed P. Karthikeyan of Railways in the ninth round of the ONGC 53rd National Premier Chess Championship, organised by Tiruvarur District Chess Association, today.KarthikeyanMurali of Tamil Nadu moved ahead of Karthikeyan to second place with six points, winning over his team mate P. Shyaam Nikhil.

In the Closed Catalan game, both Vidit and Karthikeyan played a cautious and error free middle game. A good combination of pieces led to the loss of exchange to Karthikeyan on 25th move. Though Karthikeyan won a pawn on the 32nd move, Vidit’s control of long diagonal by his queen and bishop daunted him. Karthikeyan resigned on 36th move, when he was about to lose his knight.

KarthikeyanMurali is on a roll, as he has secured five wins and two draws, after first two rounds loss. The victim in this round was his team mate P. Shyaam Nikhil, who preferred to play Modern defence. In the middle game, Shyaam lost two valuable pawns and when Karthikeyan won one more pawn, Shyaam did not hesitate to resign on the 36th move.

In a wild game, IM Arghyadip Das of Railways accepted the queen’s gambit by IM Swapnil Dhopade also of Railways and both had premature pawn movements. On the 16th move, Swapnil made a wrong knight manoeuvre, resulting in the loss of two pawns.Swapnil posed threats to Arghyadip’s king with rook and bishops. Once the king reached a safe position protected by his pawns, Arghyadip counter attacked and grabbed another pawn to win the game.

GM Neelotpal Das of PSPB started his defence against IM K Rathnakaran of Railways with the Kopec system of Sicilian defence. Rathnakaran gave up his rook for a knight, hoping to push the two connected centre pawns. Neelotpal had a completely commanding position and was about to march his pawn to eighth rank, but moved his rook, allowing Rathnakaran to make perpetual check and escape with a draw.

Employing neo-Grunfeld defence, defending champion GM SP Sethuraman of PSPB played out a formal 25 move draw with former national champion and his team mate GM Abhijit Kunte. In the Bishop’s opening encounter between the two Tamil Nadu GMs M ShyamSundar of AAI and MR Venkatesh of PSPB, the former played an attacking game. But, Venkatesh defended patiently to get away with half a point. K Praneeth Surya, playing against the third highest rated player Deep Sengupta was on par with his opponent throughout the game. He drew the game comfortably by constantly threatening Deep’s king in a queen and pawns ending.

Sri DV Sundar, Vice President of World Chess Federation inaugurated the ninth round.

Results of ninth round

ShyamSundar M.                AAI      4.5        drew with      Venkatesh M.R.             PSPB     4

Praneeth Surya TEL 4.5        drew with      Sengupta Deep              PSPB     3.5

Rathnakaran K.                   Rlys     3.5        drew with      Neelotpal Das                PSPB     4.5

Shyaamnikhil P                   TN       3           lost to             KarthikeyanMurali        TN        6

Vidit Santosh Gujrathi        PSPB    7           beat               Karthikeyan P.               Rlys      5.5

Kunte Abhijit                       PSPB    3.5        drew with      Sethuraman S.P.            PSPB     4.5

Swapnil S. Dhopade            Rlys     4           lost to             Das Arghyadip               Rlys      5

 IM Arghyadip Das dominated IM Swapnil Dhopade in ninth round GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi maintains his unbeaten record in the championship and IM P Karthikeyan slips GM Karthikeyan Murali (right) overtook Karthikeyan to second spot by beating IM P Shyaam Nikhil Defending champion GM SP Sethuraman (right) had a formal draw against GM Abhijit Kunte