Smooth start for top seeds, Shrija & Aakash impress

Led by top seed Russian Grandmaster Ponkratov Pavel the seeded players had easy start in the inaugural round of the 12th Chennai Open International Grandmaster Chess Tournament 2020 for Sakthi Group Dr. N. Mahalingam Trophy at Hotel Novotel & IBIS OMR, Sholinganallur, Chennai here today.

In the top board game, Ponkrantov swept Kanishk S K in English opening game that lasted 29 moves. The lower boards saw Neyveli girl Shrija K M scoring an upset victory over International Master Navin Kanna T U. In another upset, Coimbatore boy National Under 11 Champion Aakash G showed great promise defeating higher rated International Master Praveen Kumar C.

Earlier the tournament was inaugurated by Arjuna Awardee International Master Manuel Aaron who made the symbolic first move against top seeded Russian Grandmaster Ponkratov Pavel. Present in the dais were Rohan Sable, General Manager, Hotel Novotel, G G Anantharaja, Vice President, TNSCA, B Murugavel, Chairman Organising Committee, R Srivatsan, Chief Arbiter, R Anantharam, Technical Director, Stephen Balasamy P, Gen Secretary, TNSCA and S Manikandaswamy, Vice President, TNSCA.

Among 284 players are 29 Grandmasters and 23 International Masters who are fighting for the top prize in this Rs.15,00,000/- (Rupees fifteen lakhs only) prize money event. This 10 round Swiss tournament concludes on 25th January, 2020.
Important Results (Indians unless specified) : Ponkratov Pavel (Rus) bt Kanishk S K, Swayham P Das lost to Martinez Alcantara Jose Eduardo (Per), Pantsulaia Leven (Geo) bt Sahib Singh, Midilesh M S lost to Aleksandrov Aleksej (Blr), Goganov Aleksey (Rus) bt Abhinav Chakrapani Santhalayan, Rushyendra Chowdary Kantipudi lost to Mchedlishvili Mikheil (Geo), Rozum Ivan (Rus) bt Tiwari Vivek, Hermon Dain Saldanha lost to Bogdanovich Stanislav (Ukr), David Alberto (Ita) bt Rebecca Jesumarian, Krishan A lost to Fedorov Alexei (Blr), Visakh N R bt Pathak Rudra S, Vishnu Menon lost to Yudin Sergei (Rus).