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Priyanka Nuttaki, Atharva Godbole involved in upsets at Maharashtra International Open GM Chess tournament

Indian GM Lalith Babu MR (R) beat Vedant Panesar in the second round in Pune on Wednesday. (Pic credit: AICF)
Indian GM Lalith Babu MR (R) beat Vedant Panesar in the second round in Pune on Wednesday. (Pic credit: AICF)
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Suhas Nayse

Priyanka Nuttaki created ripples in the first Maharashtra International Open Grandmaster (GM) Chess tournament in progress at the Shri Chhatrapati Shivaji Sports Complex in Balewadi, Pune on Wednesday.

Birthday girl Priyanka Nuttaki caused a major upset by shocking 11th seed GM Mihail Nikitenko in the second round. Atharva Godbole also stunned GM Kirill Stupak, who is ranked around 200 points higher than him, to produce another big upset.

Meanwhile, it was business as usual for top seed Tajikistan GM Farrukh Amonatov as he notched up another impressive victory. MR Lalith Babu, the Indian GM, too stayed on course with an expected victory over Vedant Panesar.

WIM Priyanka Nutakki of India upset GM Nikitenko Mihail of Belarus on Wednesday. (Pic credit: AICF)
WIM Priyanka Nutakki of India upset GM Nikitenko Mihail of Belarus on Wednesday. (Pic credit: AICF)

GM Venkatesh shocks reigning women’s chess champion Divya Deshmukh

In other interesting results, old warhorse GM Venkatesh surprised reigning women’s champion Divya Deshmukh while former national champion P Konguvel held fourth seed Federov Alexei to a draw.

GM Vishnu Prasanna was also held to a draw by Aniruddh Chatterjee.

The event is an 11-round Swiss League spread over nine days. The two rounds were scheduled for Wednesday and the third round was in progress at the time of writing.

The encounter between Priyanka (wielding whites) and Nikitenko saw an entertaining implementation of the Semi-Slav defense, with aggressive tactics from both players. Priyanka managed to gate-crash first, defended her king well and cornered Nikitenko’s king with her queen, bishop and knight after 30 moves.

Atharva Godbole also played on the aggressive side in a French Defence Advancement game against 17th seeded Kirill. Initially, the play focused on the queenside with a few exchanges. However, Atharva’s bishop with the support of his queen then rained fire on his opponent’s king. On the 33rd move, Atharva’s queen and rook combined to set up a checkmate.

Indian chess player Atharva Godbole (L) beat GM Kiril Stupak of Belarus in the second round. (Pic credit: AICF)
Indian chess player Atharva Godbole (L) beat GM Kiril Stupak of Belarus in the second round. (Pic credit: AICF)

Results (Round 2)

CM Kushagra Mohan (IND) (1) lost to GM Amonatov Farrukh (TJK) (2)

GM Paichadze Luka (GEO) (2) beat IM Abdyjapar Asyl (KGZ) (1)

FM Vedant Panesar (IND) (1) lost to GM Lalith Babu MR (IND) (2)

GM Fedorov Alexei (BLR) (1.5) drew with IM Konguvel Ponnuswamy (IND) (1.5)

Ritviz Parab (IND) (1) lost to GM Deep Sengupta (IND) (2)

GM Savchenko Boris (RUS) (2) beat Kaustuv Kundu (IND) (1)

IM Saravanan V (IND) (1) lost to GM Aleksandrov Aleksej (BLR) (2)

GM Venkatesh MR (IND) (2) beat WGM Divya Deshmukh (IND) (1)

IM Vikramaditya Kulkarni (IND) (1.5) drew with IM Aditya Mittal (IND) (1.5)

GM Karthik Venkataraman (IND) (2) beat FM Abdurakhmonov Mukhammadali (UZB) (1)

WIM Priyanka Nutakki (IND) (2) beat GM Nikitenko Mihail (BLR) (1)

Atharva Godbole (IND) (2) beat GM Kiril Stupak (BLR) (1)


Edited by Ritwik Kumar
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