Khadi India National Premier 08: Lalith beats Aravindh to join the lead, Deepan demolishes Swapnil with a Queen Sac

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.

In the game of the day, GM Deepan Chakkravarthy displayed his tremendous attacking prowess against GM Swapnil Dhopade, his teammate from Railways in a Caro Kann defense of two knights variation.

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.

Another queenside castling of the day led to a win for defending champion Karthikeyan, wherein his opponent GM Himanshu Sharma of Railways played the exchange variation of Ruy Lopez.

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.

SL Narayanan brought himself back into contention with a win over Sammed Jaykumar Shete of Maharashtra in the English Anglo Slav system, later transposed to Reti.

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.

GM Abhijit Kunte of PSPB was at the receiving ends in his Taimanov variation of the Sicilian defense against Railways IM S. Nitin in a good game.

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.

IM P. Shyaamnikhil of Railways fianchettoed his bishops on both flanks in the Reti opening against his ICF teammate GM RR Laxman. They waited to complete the required number of 25 moves before agreeing for a draw.

The Queens Gambit Declined game between the two players having the same surname Das in the tournament – IM Arghyadip of Railways and GM Debashis of Odisha also ended in a similar fashion after 26 moves.

Rank after Round 9

Rk. SNo Name FED Rtg Club/City Pts.  TB1  TB2  TB3
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
3 13 GM Karthikeyan Murali IND 2578 TN 5,5 0,0 23,75 3,0
4 12 IM Das Arghyadip IND 2434 RSPB 5,5 0,0 22,50 3,0
5 6 GM Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan IND 2568 KER 5,5 0,0 21,00 3,0
6 8 IM Nitin S. IND 2415 RSPB 5,0 0,0 20,50 2,0
7 1 GM Laxman R.R. IND 2392 RSPB 4,5 0,0 18,00 2,0
8 11 GM Debashis Das IND 2494 ODI 4,5 0,0 17,50 1,0
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
11 9 IM Shyaamnikhil P IND 2422 RSPB 4,0 0,0 19,25 1,0
12 2 GM Kunte Abhijit IND 2503 PSPB 3,5 0,0 18,00 0,0
13 4 Sammed Jaykumar Shete IND 2310 MAH 2,5 0,0 11,25 1,0
14 10 GM Himanshu Sharma IND 2510 RSPB 2,0 0,0 9,50 0,0

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
Bo. No. Rtg Name Result Name Rtg No.
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
Bo. No. Rtg Name Result Name Rtg No.
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