By Arvind Aaron
Grand Master R.R. Laxman of ICF, Chennai representing Railways won the National Blitz Chess Championship that took place in Kolkata on August 4, 2017.
When the start rank and finish rank is No.1 it might seem that he was expected to win and he won. It was not so. This big made 1983-born Grand Master ceded a draw in the opening round to Mrityunjay Kumar (seed 90) and raced ahead winning the last five rounds.
Laxman drew one more game against Nitin in round six and did not get to face any of the top ten seeded players! Laxman’s blitz rating is 2575 and it is bound to climb another 9.8 points. He practices in online events, wins prizes, and is always good in quick play games.
Another Chennai player, IM P Karthikeyan finished second suffering one defeat to D.K. Sharma in the middle. He scored 2.5/3 against players seeded in the top 10.
Mitrabha, 16, did not do well against the top ten (2/4) but importantly won the last four rounds for a place in the podium. He lost to Shyaamnikhil and Karthikeyan.
Besides Laxman, two other Grand Masters took part. Seven time National champion P.M. Thipsay was on 7/9 but defeats to D.K. Sharma and Baivab Mishra in the last two rounds cut his string of five wins.
Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury had a tough day, meeting all eleven opponents from his Bengal state! He is losing blitz rating heavily. Three of his defeats and two draws were against teenagers.
Final placings: 1 GM R.R. Laxman (Rly) 10/11; 2 IM P Karthikeyan (Rly) 9.5; 3 FM Mitrabha Guha (WB) 9; 4-5. IM V.A.V. Rajesh (TN), IM Rahul Shetty (IA) 8.5 each; 6-13. IM D.K. Sharma (LIC), FM G.V. Sai Krishna (AP), IM S Nitin (Rly), P Saravanakrishnan (TN), IM Somak Palit (Rly), IM K Ratnakaran (Rly), Ram S Krishnan (TN), Baivab Mishra (Odi) 8 each….174 players.