Aravindh emerges sole leader at National Premier Chess C'ship
Patna, Nov 2 (PTI) Tamil Nadu grandmaster Aravindh Chithambaram emerged sole leader with 4.5 points in the 55th National Premier Chess Championship here today.
Half a point behind him are his team mate and defending champion Karthikeyan Murali, who had a good win over PSPB player MR Lalith Babu and Kerala's SL Narayanan.
Organised by All Bihar Chess Association, the tournament still has six more rounds after a rest day tomorrow.
Aravindh's patience paid dividends, this time against Sammed. Both traded their queens on 17th move in the Reti opening transposed to Grunfeld game to display an enterprising fight.
Aravindh played an attacking game and Sammed did not fall behind. Sammed understood the opponent's tactical play and answered them readily, but had to lose a pawn to bring his rook into activity.
Aravindh played an exceptional rook and pawns ending to record the third win in six rounds, the most in the tournament so far.
Karthikeyan dealt a heavy blow to the hitherto joint leader grandmaster Lalith Babu and crushed him in just 30 moves.
In the Caro Kann defence played by Karthikeyan, he wisely chose to castle on the queen side on 12th move.
Besides, he launched a heavy attack on the king side, never allowing Lalith to castle.
While his bishop was under attack, Karthikeyan sacrificed his knight for two pawns to reach a good position. His queen, rook and bishops were in total control over the board; whereas Lalith's rook was caged on a7 by his own two pawns.
Though Karthikeyan was adrift of one minor piece, Lalith could not find a place to hide his king from checkmate.
The two international masters from Railways - S Nitin and Arghyadip Das -- played out a 25 move draw in a game arising from Najdorf variation of Sicilain defence.
Eyeing on the requirement of six points for the GM norm, both players might have been reluctant to take risk. Another Najdorf variation game between the Railways international master P Shyaamnikhil and Odisha's grandmaster Debashis Das had a similar result. Shyaam's double bishop advantage could not help him to gain momentum.
Former Asian Junior champion Deepan Chakkravarthy of ICF was happy to wriggle out from three consecutive losses. After the exchange of queens on 14th move, they reached an almost symmetrical position in a rook, knight and five pawns each ending. The game lasted for 26 moves.
Another 26 moves draw was the Queens Gambit declined duel between national blitz champion RR Laxman of Railways and SL Narayanan of Kerala, the highest rated player in the tournament after the release of November ratings.
Narayanan's good performance in the Isle of Man tournament won by Magnus Carlsen earned him 17 valuable rating points.
The bishop and knight ending led to a draw in 69 moves in the game between the Railway grandmasters Himanshu Sharma and Swapnil Dhopade