Top Two Seeds Held To Draws In Premier Opener
By Arvind Aaron
The top two seeds, Vidit Gujrathi and Sethuraman were held to draws in the opening round of The South Indian Bank-CMS College sponsored 52nd National Premier Chess Championship that got underway at Kottayam on December 5, 2014.
The venue is the picturesque CMC College campus, organised by the Kottayam Chess Academy. Kottayam has played host to the National Sub-Junior and National Women in 1976, then the National ‘B’ and National Junior in 1977. Again, they hosted the National Women in 1983. This is the sixth time they are hosting any Nationals. Significantly, it is their first Nationals in the last 31 years.
Top rated Vidit Gujrathi tried to gained an advantage on the queen side but Lalith Babu blocked his threats and drew in 38 moves.
Sahaj Grover outplayed Laxman in the Berlin variation of the Ruy Lopez when he threatened to promote his queen rook pawn into a brand new queen.
V.A.V. Rajesh of Tamil Nadu was about to win a rook that forced oldest competitor P.D.S. Girinath to resign on move 52.
Karthikeyan used his king rook pawn to use in his 32-move win with white against Swayams Mishra from a French defence.
Deepan Chakkravarthy’s attempts to win in the ending were thwarted by Deep Sengupts who held him to a 78-move draw. Three decisive games and three draws was what the spectators got from the opening day.
The only former champion to compete in this edition, Abhijit Kunte of Pune, started with a bye in this 13-player 13-round event.
The results (round one): Vidit Gujrathi (PSPB) drew with M.R. Lalith Babu (PSPB); V.A.V. Rajesh (TN) bt P.D.S. Girinath (Rly); J Deepan Chakkravarthy (Rly) drew with Deep Sengupta (PSPB); P Shyam Nikil (TN) drew with S.P. Sethuraman (PSPB); P Karthikeyan (Rly) bt Swayams Mishra (Odi); Sahaj Grover (Del) bt R.R. Laxman (Rly); Abhijit Kunte (PSPB) – bye.