Former under 16 world champion KarthikeyanMurali of Tamil Nadu dealt a blow to the title aspirations of former under 14 world champion Vidit Santosh Gujrathi of PSPB by beating him in thetenth round of the ONGC 53rd National Premier Chess Championship, organised by Tiruvarur District Chess Association, today.Karthikeyan and Vidit jointly lead with seven points each and the tournament has become wide open.
In the fight between the top two rankers of the previous round, Vidit adopted the c5 linein theTarrasch variation of French defence against KarthikeyanMurali. His decision to exchange the queens on 21st move was not wise enough, only to lose his rook for a knight after four more moves.Karthikeyan held on the advantage and gave back the rook for a bishop to wipe Vidit’s one pawn off the board. It culminated in a passer pawn to KarthikeyanMurali, which could not be stopped. Vidit resigned on 63rd move, paving way to Karthikeyanto reachcloud nine, along with him.
Debutant K Praneeth Surya of Telangana, playing like a seasoned playeropted the Najdorf variation of Sicilian defence for the second time in the championship, to score a win against GM M ShyamSundar of AAI. Shyam made an inappropriate queen move in the middle game and paid penalty for it, as his king side completely collapsed. When Praneeth played Qxa4, Shyam envisaged the checkmate on the next move and resigned.
After two successive losses and three continuous draws in the last five games, defending champion SP Sethuraman recovered slightly to score a clinical win over GM elect Swapnil Dhopade of Railways in the Moscow variation of Sicilian defence. Generally, three pawns on a single file is considered to be a weak pawn structure. But, Sethuraman overcame the weakness to script a win, as one of them was on the seventh rank threatening to be promoted.
GM Neelotpal Das of PSPB gained Tamil Nadu IM Shyaam Nikhil’s queen losing his rook and knight in turn in the g6 variation of Ruy Lopez game. Shyaam tried to defend the position, but could not prolong the game, as Neelotpal combined his queen and bishop to steal advantage. Shyaam lost three games on a trot and remains at the bottom in the ranking.
Playing the Nc6 line in the Tarrasch variation of French defence, IM K Rathnakran castled on the queen side on 17th move. Rathnakaran’s heavy attack on the king side yielded him an extra outside passer pawn on the h- file. But, the rook and pawn ending led only to a draw in 63 moves.
IM Arghyadip of Railways held the upper hand for most of the time against PSPB grandmaster MR Venkatesh, only to falter in the end game. The rook and bishop vs rook ending extending to a marathon 130 moves did not produce any favour to Arghyadip Das.Venkatesh claimed a draw under 50 move rule and got away with it.
Former national champion Abhijit Kunte of PSPB played the hedgehog set up of Sicilian defence to obtain a draw against former Asian Junior champion IM P.Karthikeyan of Railways in 32 moves.
Results of tenth round
Venkatesh M.R. PSPB 4.5 drew with IM Das Arghyadip Rlys 5.5
Sethuraman S.P. PSPB 5.5 beat IM Swapnil S. Dhopade Rlys 4
Karthikeyan P. Rlys 6 drew with GM Kunte Abhijit PSPB 4
KarthikeyanMurali TN 7 beat GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi PSPB 7
Neelotpal Das PSPB 5.5 beat IM Shyaamnikhil P TN 3
Sengupta Deep PSPB 4 drew with IM Rathnakaran K. Rlys 4
ShyamSundar M. AAI 4.5 lost to FM K. Praneeth Surya TEL 5.5