By RR Vasudevan
Orissa girl Sradhanjali Jena held Russian Grandmaster Vladimir Burmakin to a draw in the first round of the 11th KIIT chess festival 2018 at International Chess Hall, KIIT Campus, Bhubaneswar here today.
GM Farrukh Amonatov of Tajikistan also shed half a point in the second board against Indian junior Sibi Visal R. Rest of the players had a smooth sailing winning their first round games.
In the main tournament ‘A’ group, 19 Grandmasters & 23 International Masters are fighting for the prize money of ₹12 lakhs. A total cash prize money of ₹ 22 lakhs is offered for 11th KIIT chess festival 2018, consisting of ‘A’, ‘B’ & ‘C’ tournaments.
The 293 player, 13 nation tournament was inaugurated in a grand ceremony by Chief Guest Prof. Hrushikesha Mohanty, Vice Chancellor, KIIT University who made the first move against KIIT’s chess star Salonika Saina. Present in the dais were Dr Gaganendu Dash, Director, Sports, KIIT University, International Master Sekhar Chandra Sahu, President, All Odisha Chess Association & Chief Arbiter Debasish Barua.