Round 11 – ONGC 53rd National Premier Chess Championship

Overnight leaders GM Karthikeyan Murali of Tamil Nadu and GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi of PSPB drew their respective games to keep the lead between them at the end of the eleventh round of the ONGC 53rd National Premier Chess Championship, organised by Tiruvarur District Chess Association at Kasi’s Inn today. They have scored 7.5 points each and three players defending champion SP Sethuraman of PSPB, new comer to National Premier K Praneeth Surya of Telangana and IM P. Karthikeyan of Railways are behind by one point.

GM Sethuraman (right) has limped back to top, by beating IM Arghyadip DasVidit, playing the Classical variation against his team mate Neelotpal Das’s Nimzo Indian defence, gave up his rook for a knight and pawn. Later, Neelotpal gave back the exchange to mount pressure on Vidit’s king, but could not maintain the tempo, irrespective of the fact that he won exchange again. The truce was signed after 48 moves.

Defending champion GM Sethuraman of PSPB is back to winning ways and today, playing black, he triumphed by overcoming the challenge of IM Arghyadip Das of Railways in a Pirc defence game. The exchange sacrifice by Das on 25th move was not wise enough. Though he launched a series of attacks on Sethuraman’s king, Sethuraman forced exchange of his queen and rook for Das’s queen and bishop. With plenty of pawns on hand, win for Sethuraman was much easier.

Karthikeyan (right) drew his game against GM Abhijit Kunte to keep in the frontK Praneeth Surya, the find of the tournament attacked with Rossolimo variation to the Sicilian defence by his opponent GM MR Venkatesh of PSPB. Consuming a very long time on his clock during the middle game, Praneeth played most of the latter half of the game under time pressure. It did not deter him and he played accurately, sacrificing his bishop. Venkatesh’s dormant queen came alive in the finishing stage and that too only to be exchanged for a rook. A fine win has put Praneeth, the lowest ranked player in the tournament, in a good position and is poised to stand high in the ranking. A win in the next round will fetch him the coveted GM norm.

When Abhijit Kunte of PSPB began with king side fianchetto, Karthikeyan Murali counter balanced it with the reversed King’s Indian attack. Keeping safety in mind, Karthikeyan accepted the draw offer by Kunte to raise his tally to 7.5 points. Handling the black side of Queens Indian defence,IM P. Karthikeyan of Railways also agreed for a quick draw with his team mate IM Swapnil Dhopade, after completing the stipulated 25 number of moves to offer or accept a draw.

Top boards in action - Vidit vs Neelotpal and Karthikeyan Murali vs KunteIM K Rathnakaran of Railways answered with the two knight variation to the Caro Kann defence by GM M Shyam Sundar of AAI. After exchanging all pieces except opposite coloured bishops, they settled for a draw after 48 moves.

IM P. Shyaam Nikhil of Tamil Nadu chose the Rubinstein variation against the Nimzo Indian defence by former under 12 world champion Deep Sengupta of PSPB. In the knight and pawn ending, Shyaam sacrificed his knight to extricate half a point.

Results of eleventh Round

Praneeth Surya                    TEL 6.5        beat               Venkatesh M.R.             PSPB     4.5

Rathnakaran K.                    Rlys     4.5        drew with      Shyam Sundar M.          AAI       5

Shyaamnikhil P                    TN       3.5        drew with      Sengupta Deep              PSPB      4.5

Vidit Santosh Gujrathi        PSPB    7.5        drew with      Neelotpal Das                PSPB     6

Kunte Abhijit                        PSPB    4.5        drew with      Karthikeyan Murali        TN        7.5

Swapnil S. Dhopade             Rlys     4.5        drew with      Karthikeyan P.                Rlys      6.5

Das Arghyadip                      Rlys     5.5        lost to            Sethuraman S.P.            PSPB     6.5

 

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