Khadi India National Premier Round 11: Aravindh and Lalith Babu are the leaders

Report by IA Prof. R. Anantharam

Tamil Nadu grandmaster and 2016 Asian Junior champion Aravindh Chithamabaram defeated IM P. Shyaamnikhil of Railways to join the PSPB grandmaster MR Lalith Babu on cloud nine, at the end of the eleventh round of the Khadi India National Premier Chess Championship, organised by All Bihar Chess Association at Lemon Tree Hotel, Patna today.

Both have scored 7.5 points each and three players – defending champion Karthikeyan Murali of Tamil Nadu, SL Narayanan of Kerala and Arghyadip Das of Railways have scored one point behind. The overnight leader Lalith Babu had a draw against Deepan Chakkravarthy of Railways.

The Reti opening handled by P. Shyaamnikhil against the title aspirant GM Aravindh Chithamabaram was flowing like calm river until move 36. Capitalising the White’s idle and dormant queen on h- file for 13 moves, Aravindh slowly targeted the kingside. Under severe time pressure, Shyaam committed a harakiri, allowing Aravindh to nail his queen to the wall, blocking all its escape routes. Shyaam’s collapse happened in just four moves, out of the total 40 moves of the game. The story might have been different, had Shyaam used his queen’s full potential properly; he might have secured at least a draw.

Railways GM RR Laxman was determined to get away with a draw from his game against Odisha’s GM Debashis Das. It was transparent, when he repeated his knight to the same square thrice, in the middle game of a Ragozin defence Queens Gambit Declined game. But, Debashis who was not prepared for it, did not move his bishop to the same square for the third time, a basic condition for a draw claim. In the end game, Debashis had two isolated pawns, one of them supported by the advanced king and another by his rook and had no difficulty in beating Laxman.

Former national champion Abhijit Kunte of PSPB came out of the drought by registering his first win in the tournament over the winless GM Himanshu Sharma of Railways in a Scheveningen variation of Sicilian defence. Exchange of queens on the 23rd move provided a slight advantage to Abhijit. He held on to it for a facile win in 38 moves, when his e- pawn inched towards the promotion square with support from his knight and bishop. Himanshu languishes at the bottom with 2 points.

Both Lalith Babu and Deepan Chakkravarthy judiciously mixed attack and defence to gain momentum in the Catalan opening by the former. At one stage, Deepan had a slight edge. Once the players moved into the second time control, Deepan could not continue his rhythm and Lalith had an obstinate defence to extract half a point in well fought 56 moves.

Sammed Shete heaved a sigh of relief, when he scored half a point in the game with Railways player S Nitin, to stop his string of five continuous losses. In the Spanish variation of the four knights game, Sammed readily gave up his rook for a knight and pawn to break open the safety of Nitin’s king. He also relinquished his queen for two rooks and a pawn. But Nitin was able to draw the game in a queen vs rook and bishop ending, though Sammed had three more pawns than Nitin.

GM SL Narayanan tried in vain to extricate full point against GM Swapnil Dhopade in a Cao Kann defence, by sacrificing his bishop and then his rook for a knight. But his tactics failed to bear any fruit. He had to force a draw by repeated checks with his queen to the Dhopade’s king on the edge of the board, in a rook down position.

Defending champion Karthikeyan Murali of Tamil Nadu never held any advantage in his game with Railways international master Arghyadip das, who started with the Keres variation of the Ruy Lopez opening. They had to settle for a draw in a knight and bishop ending.

Round 11 on 2017/11/08 at 10:00 AM
Bo. No. Rtg Name Result Name Rtg No.
1 6 2568 GM Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan ½ – ½ GM Swapnil S. Dhopade 2516 14
2 7 2525 GM Lalith Babu M R ½ – ½ GM Deepan Chakkravarthy J. 2477 5
3 8 2415 IM Nitin S. ½ – ½ Sammed Jaykumar Shete 2310 4
4 9 2422 IM Shyaamnikhil P 0 – 1 GM Aravindh Chithambaram Vr. 2573 3
5 10 2510 GM Himanshu Sharma 0 – 1 GM Kunte Abhijit 2503 2
6 11 2494 GM Debashis Das 1 – 0 GM Laxman R.R. 2392 1
7 12 2434 IM Das Arghyadip ½ – ½ GM Karthikeyan Murali 2578 13
Round 12 on 2017/11/09 at 10:00 AM
Bo. No. Rtg Name Result Name Rtg No.
1 14 2516 GM Swapnil S. Dhopade GM Karthikeyan Murali 2578 13
2 1 2392 GM Laxman R.R. IM Das Arghyadip 2434 12
3 2 2503 GM Kunte Abhijit GM Debashis Das 2494 11
4 3 2573 GM Aravindh Chithambaram Vr. GM Himanshu Sharma 2510 10
5 4 2310 Sammed Jaykumar Shete IM Shyaamnikhil P 2422 9
6 5 2477 GM Deepan Chakkravarthy J. IM Nitin S. 2415 8
7 6 2568 GM Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan GM Lalith Babu M R 2525 7