Maharashtra Chess League 2014: Thane Combatants edge Jalgaon Battlers to storm into final through Armageddon

B. Adhiban vs Abhijeet Gupta

Pune, June 14: The ‘Armageddon’, or ‘sudden death’ as it is popularly known in chess circles, was used to resolve the 3-3 tie in the First Qualifier of the 2nd Johnson Tiles Maharashtra Chess League 2014 wherein a resurgent Thane Combatants edged out Jalgaon Battlers to storm into the final.

The ‘Armageddon’ is akin to the ‘super over’ to decide ties in IPL matches.

Super GMs Abhijeet Gupta of Thane Combatants and B Adhiban of Jalgaon Battlers contested a cliffhanger where the former playing white had six minutes on his clock while Adhiban had five minutes on his clock.

Gupta carved a nice victory to advance while a draw would have sufficed for Jalgaon Battlers to reach the finals.

Earlier, Jalgaon Battlers with the highest tally, locked horns with second placed Thane Combatants at the PYC Hindu Gymkhana. Pressure and nerves played a crucial role as SL Narayanan pulled off a big upset, shocking GM Vidit Gujrathi of Jalgaon Battlers, while Pratik Patil returned the favour by defeating IM Vikramaditya Kulkarni.

Interestingly the battle between Adhiban and Gupta had petered into a draw in the Rapid, while the tussle between Narayanan Srinath and Prasanna Rao also ended in a draw after the intervention of the arbiter in a repeated position. The scores were thus tied 3-3 and resulted in the tie-break Armageddon.

Jalgaon Battlers however get one more chance to enter the final when later in the evening they take on Ahmednagar Checkers in the second qualifier after the latter put on an impressive show to knock out Mumbai Movers 4-2 in the ‘Eliminator, which was played simultaneously.

“I thought Adhiban’s decision to play with Black pieces a bit strange after he won the toss even though on hindsight, after scoring a victory it is easier to say that I had a better game,” grinned Gupta.

The shocker was a 26-move miniature where L Narayanan crashed through the Caro Kann defence adopted by Vidit Gujrathi.

An attempt to attack early backfired as Narayanan sacrificed his knight in a neat tactical shot on the 21st move which in turn forced Vidit to abandon the game on the 26th turn when faced further with loss of material.

For Ahmednagar Checkers, reigning under-13 National Champion Aakanksha Hagawane pulled off a big upset by defeating Eesha Karavade in 49 moves, while Shardul Gagare, Tejas Bakre and Padmini Rout brought in the expected victories.

For Mumbai Movers Parimarjan Negi outwitted Abhijit Kunte and Himanshu Sharma downed Vignesh N.

The results:

Qualifier 1: Jalgaon Battlers v Thane Combatants 3-3

WGM Kiran Manisha Mohanty (2195) lost to IM Tania Sachdev (2368); GM Vidit Gujrathi (2549) lost to Narayanan Sunilduth Lyna (2398); WFM Rucha Pujari (2131) beat Parnali Dharia (1874); GM B Adhiban (2575) drew with Abhijeet Gupta (2636); Pratik Patil (2203) beat IM Vikramaditya Kulkarni (2403); IM Srinath Narayanan (2484) drew with IM Prasanna Raghuram Rao (2427).

Eliminator: Mumbai Movers lost to Ahmednagar Checkers 2-4

IM Essha Karavade (2437) lost to Aakanksha Hagawane (1675); WGM Bhakti Kulkarni (2278) lost to IM Shardul Gagare (2358); Chinmay Kulkarni (2257) lost to GM Tejas Bakre (2507); GM Parimarjan Negi (2631) beat GM Abhijit Kunte (2482); IM Anup Deshmukh (2256) lost to WGM Padmini Rout (2367); IM Himanshu Sharma (2427) beat Vignesh N (2085).

Games: The upsets of the day

Narayanan Sunilduth Lyna (2413) v Vidit Gujrathi (2549): 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nd2 e6 5.Nb3 Nd7 6.Nf3 Ne7 7.Be2 h6 8.O-O Bh7 9.a4 Ng6 10.a5 Be7 11.c4 O-O 12.a6 b6 13.cxd5 exd5 14.Be3 Rc8 15.Rc1 Re8 16.Bd3 Ndf8 17.Nfd2 c5 18.Bb5 Nd7 19.Qg4 Rc7 20.f4 Rf8 21.f5 Ngxe5 22.dxe5 Nxe5 23.Qg3 Qd6 24.Rcd1 Qf6 25.Bf4 Bd6 26.Ne4 1-0.

Eesha Karavade (2437) v Aakanksha Hagawane (1802): 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 Nc6 3.d4 e6 4.g3 Bb4 5.Bd2 Qe7 6.Bg2 O-O 7.Nc3 d6 8.d5 Nb8 9.O-O e5 10.a3 Bxc3 11.Bxc3 Nbd7 12.Nh4 a5 13.Qc2 a4 14.Nf5 Qd8 15.f4 Re8 16.e4 exf4 17.Rxf4 Ne5 18.Raf1 Bxf5 19.exf5 Neg4 20.Qd2 Ne3 21.Re1 Nxg2 22.Kxg2 Rxe1 23.Qxe1 b5 24.cxb5 Nxd5 25.Rg4 Nf6 26.Rb4 Nd5 27.Re4 Qd7 28.f6 gxf6 29.Qe2 f5 30.Qh5 f6 31.Re1 Qxb5 32.Kh3 Qd7 33.Qf3 c6 34.Bd4 Rb8 35.Kg2 Rb3 36.Qh5 Rb8 37.Rf1 c5 38.Qf3 Qe6 39.Qxf5 Qxf5 40.Rxf5 Ne7 41.Rxf6 cxd4 42.Rxd6 Rxb2 43.Kf3 Rb3 44.Ke4 Rxa3 45.Rxd4 Kf7 46.h4 Ra1 47.g4 a3 48.Ra4 h6 49.Kf3 a2 0-1.

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Edited by Staff Editor