Top seeded Petroleum Sports Promotion Board and the B team of Railway share the lead with six match points each at the end of the third round of the MPL 42nd National Team Chess Championship, organized by Coimbatore District Chess Association and Dr. Mahalingam College of Engineering & Technology at Pollachi. Four teams Airports Authority of India, Railway A, Kerala B and Telangana are on the second spot with five points each in the nine rounds team event.
The PSPB team narrowly escaped to win against the strong Tamil Nadu Team “B” all GMs team by a margin of 2.5 to 1.5. Former national champions B Adhiban, Karthikeyan Murali and SS Ganguly drew their games against GMs Iniyan, Arjun Kalyan and Shyam Sundar respectively and the only win came from GN Gopal against the latest Grandmaster M Pranesh.
All the games between Railway A and Airports Authority of India were drawn. While Commonwealth champion IM Shyaamnikhil, former Asian Junior champion J Deepan Chakravarthy and IM Sayantan Das scored victories for the Railway B team against Odisha A, IM Krishna CRG drew his game with Nilsu Pattnayak. Telangana team collected maximum number of match points from Madhya Pradesh and the young Kerala B team got better of their elder compatriots.
In the women category which will have seven rounds, PSPB, AAI and Maharashtra A have scored four points each out of two matches. The PSPB women registered a 3.5 – 0.5 win over Telangana, former national champion Soumya Swaminathan conceding a draw to Kheerthi Ganta. AAI team whitewashed the Odisha team 4 – 0 and Maharashtra A also punished the Tamil Nadu A by an identical margin.
The remarkable upsets in the three rounds were the loss of Adhiban to L Srihari of Pudhucherry in the first round and the unexpected defeat of GM Deepan Chakravarthy to Kishan Kumar of Bihar in the second round.