Khadi India National Premier 02: Two Grandmasters stumble

Report by Chief Arbiter R. Anantharam

Patna: International Master S Nitin of Railways caused a major upset by beating grandmaster Swapnil Dhopade also from the same affiliated unit in the second round of the Khadi India 55th National Premier Chess Championship, organised by All Bihar Chess Association at Hotel Lemontree Premier, Patna today.

Grandmaster SL Narayanan of Kerala also surged ahead, by outwitting the Railways grandmaster Himanshu Sharma, who lost his second consecutive game in a row. Deepan Chakkravarthy of Railways, SL Narayanan and MR Lalith Babu of PSPB have scored 1.5 points each from two outings.

In the Samisch variation of Kings Indian defence game employed by Swapnil, Nitin made amends to his yesterday’s loss. Swapnil did not handle the pieces properly from the beginning and paid penalty for not safeguarding his king by castling. To add to the woes, his rook on a1 was dormant throughout the game, whereas Nitin’s pieces were very active. It was a comedy of errors, when Swapnil’s bad 29th and 30th moves were nullified by Nitin’s weak moves, resulting in an equal position. But, Swapnil continued playing without hope to gift the game to Nitin in 37 moves.

In hindsight, it was probably not the best of the ideas to walk into a Kings Indian — Nitin’s pet opening without adequate preparation.

Narayanan went for the exchange variation of the popular Ruy Lopez game against GM Himanshu Sharma of Railways. Immediately after Narayanan castled the king on the long side, Himanshu exchanged the queens but could not get any benefit out of it. He lost a valuable pawn on the 35th move, when Narayanan’s queenside pawns were already on the march. Narayanan promoted one of his two c- pawns to a queen and Himanshu had to forego his rook to remove the queen off the board. Though he had four connected pawns, Himanshu realised that Narayanan’s other c- pawn could not be stopped and he surrendered after 53 moves.

The exchange variation of Queens Gambit Declined game between former Asian Junior champion GM Deepan Chakkravarthy of Railways and GM Debashis Das of Odisha was a tense struggle for supremacy. When Deepan sacrificed his g6- pawn, he gained some initiative but Debashis obtained neutrality thanks to good counterplay. In the queen and pawns ending, Deepan defended stoutly to force a draw.

The first round victor GM Lalith Babu MR of PSPB played a few moves of Pirc defence against the international master P. Shyaamnikhil of Railways but both deviated from the main line quickly. After exchanging the queens on the 10th move and the light coloured bishops on the 15th move, Shyaam had a slight edge over Lalith but did not venture to attack. Instead, he accepted the draw offer from his opponent after 11 more moves.

The 2016 National Premier champion GM Karthikeyan Murali of Tamil Nadu changed the move order after 3 moves in the French defence game against his friend and long-term rival GM Aravindh Chithambaram, also from Tamil Nadu. The top two seeds of the tournament traded the pieces regularly, leading to rook, knight and pawns ending. The result did not favour any player after 29 moves. In another exchange variation of Ruy Lopez game, IM Arghyadip Das of Railways and Sammed Jayakumar Shetty of Maharashtra repeated the moves thrice to split the point after 25 moves.

It was another formal draw for the former national champion Abhijit Kunte of PSPB, this time against the national blitz champion RR Laxman of Railways. After the early moves from Bogo Indian defence, both players kept exchanging pieces regularly and opted to draw the game after 27 moves.

Round 2 on 2017/10/29 at 10:00 AM
Bo. No. Rtg Name Result Name Rtg No.
1 14 2516 GM Swapnil S. Dhopade 0 – 1 IM Nitin S. 2415 8
2 9 2422 IM Shyaamnikhil P ½ – ½ GM Lalith Babu M R 2525 7
3 10 2510 GM Himanshu Sharma 0 – 1 GM Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan 2568 6
4 11 2494 GM Debashis Das ½ – ½ GM Deepan Chakkravarthy J. 2477 5
5 12 2434 IM Das Arghyadip ½ – ½ Sammed Jaykumar Shete 2310 4
6 13 2578 GM Karthikeyan Murali ½ – ½ GM Aravindh Chithambaram Vr. 2573 3
7 1 2392 GM Laxman R.R. ½ – ½ GM Kunte Abhijit 2503 2
Round 3 on 2017/10/30 at 10:00 AM
Bo. No. Rtg Name Result Name Rtg No.
1 2 2503 GM Kunte Abhijit GM Swapnil S. Dhopade 2516 14
2 3 2573 GM Aravindh Chithambaram Vr. GM Laxman R.R. 2392 1
3 4 2310 Sammed Jaykumar Shete GM Karthikeyan Murali 2578 13
4 5 2477 GM Deepan Chakkravarthy J. IM Das Arghyadip 2434 12
5 6 2568 GM Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan GM Debashis Das 2494 11
6 7 2525 GM Lalith Babu M R GM Himanshu Sharma 2510 10
7 8 2415 IM Nitin S. IM Shyaamnikhil P 2422 9