Report by I.A Ananthanram R / Photo by Amruta Mokal [ChessBase India]
PSPB grandmaster MR Lalith Babu turned the tables beating the hitherto leader GM Aravindh Chithambaram if Tamil Nadu in the ninth round of the Khadi India 55th National Premier Chess Championship 2017, organized by All Bihar Chess Association at Lemon Tree Hotel, Patna today.
In spite of the defeat, Aravindh shared the lead with his conqueror with 6 points each. The field has been thrown open by Lalith, as three more players SL Narayanan of Kerala, Karthikeyan Murali of Tamil Nadu and Arghyadip Das of closed in with 5.5 points each. The game is crucial for Lalith, as, in case of a tie with Aravindh in the final ranking, he will enjoy the direct encounter benefit. Five decisive wins equaled the 4th round record for the most number of wins in any round.
In the exchange variation of Grunfeld defense, Aravindh was forced to lose a pawn on the 16th move. Lalith’s bishop outpost at the center of the board had a telling effect and he slowly strengthened his grip on the game. Aravindh resigned on 46th move when his opponent’s pawn was promoted to become a queen. Aravindh did not play true to his potential but Lalith Babu’s energetic play has to be taken into cognizance at the same time.
When Swapnil castled on the queenside, Deeapn sacrificed a pawn on a- file to expose the Black king. Not satisfied with this, he stunningly gave up his queen for a bishop and knight. He skillfully maneuvered his knight, rook, and bishop to chase the king, searching for a place of safety. Swapnil’s queen, rook, and bishop were silently watching his king running helter-skelter, from another half of the board. A solid win for Deepan in 41 moves.
The queens were sent off the board by ninth move itself. Karthikeyan positioned his rook and bishop well to deny the castling advantage to Himanshu. Karthikeyan gained the vital base of the three connected pawns of Himanshu on 27th turn of moves. Another exchange of rooks created a double pawn structure, resulting in a knight vs bishop ending. Karthikeyan’ passer pawn tilted the game in his favor after 64 moves.
In fact, Sammed had a better position up to 30th move, irrespective of Narayanan exchanging his knight and bishop for a rook. He made a weak 32nd move and Narayanan did not hesitate to seize the opportunity. As both had a couple of errors, the game was swinging in balance on either side and the game was poised for a draw by move 41. But, Narayanan had the last laugh, when Sammed was forced to lose his bishop while exchanging the queen, his fourth loss in a row.
The latter offered a typical Bxh7 sacrifice, which was not accepted by Abhijit. Nitin’s f- pawn made a quick run to the seventh rank, immobilizing Abhijit’s king. Abhijit would have been checkmated in a couple of moves, had he not resigned on the 33rd move. The grandmaster’s downfall was catalyzed by Nitin’s active knight and bishops.
Rank after Round 9
|1||7||GM||Lalith Babu M R||IND||2525||PSPB||6,0||1,0||27,50||4,0|
|2||3||GM||Aravindh Chithambaram Vr.||IND||2573||TN||6,0||0,0||26,00||4,0|
|5||6||GM||Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan||IND||2568||KER||5,5||0,0||21,00||3,0|
|9||5||GM||Deepan Chakkravarthy J.||IND||2477||RSPB||4,5||0,0||15,50||3,0|
|10||14||GM||Swapnil S. Dhopade||IND||2516||RSPB||4,0||1,0||13,75||2,0|
|13||4||Sammed Jaykumar Shete||IND||2310||MAH||2,5||0,0||11,25||1,0|
Tie Break1: Direct Encounter (The results of the players in the same point group)
Tie Break2: Sonneborn-Berger-Tie-Break variable
Tie Break3: The greater number of victories (variable)
|Round 9 on 2017/11/06 at 10:00 AM|
|1||5||2477||GM||Deepan Chakkravarthy J.||1 – 0||GM||Swapnil S. Dhopade||2516||14|
|2||6||2568||GM||Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan||1 – 0||Sammed Jaykumar Shete||2310||4|
|3||7||2525||GM||Lalith Babu M R||1 – 0||GM||Aravindh Chithambaram Vr.||2573||3|
|4||8||2415||IM||Nitin S.||1 – 0||GM||Kunte Abhijit||2503||2|
|5||9||2422||IM||Shyaamnikhil P||½ – ½||GM||Laxman R.R.||2392||1|
|6||10||2510||GM||Himanshu Sharma||0 – 1||GM||Karthikeyan Murali||2578||13|
|7||11||2494||GM||Debashis Das||½ – ½||IM||Das Arghyadip||2434||12|
|Round 10 on 2017/11/07 at 10:00 AM|
|1||14||2516||GM||Swapnil S. Dhopade||IM||Das Arghyadip||2434||12|
|2||13||2578||GM||Karthikeyan Murali||GM||Debashis Das||2494||11|
|3||1||2392||GM||Laxman R.R.||GM||Himanshu Sharma||2510||10|
|4||2||2503||GM||Kunte Abhijit||IM||Shyaamnikhil P||2422||9|
|5||3||2573||GM||Aravindh Chithambaram Vr.||IM||Nitin S.||2415||8|
|6||4||2310||Sammed Jaykumar Shete||GM||Lalith Babu M R||2525||7|
|7||5||2477||GM||Deepan Chakkravarthy J.||GM||Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan||2568||6|