Unheralded Akash emerges sole leader

Chess: National championship

Unheralded G Akash made the most of the one-point gifted to him to emerge sole leader after the penultimate round of the National Premier Chess Championship at the Kshudiran Anushilan Kendra here on Saturday.

Akash, who was awarded one point after overnight leader Venkatesh arrived three minutes late on Friday because of a traffic snarl, was paired with the same player on Saturday and the youngster won to emerge as the sole leader with 8.5 points. 

The Tamil Nadu player is followed by Vidit Gujrathi, Deep Sengupta, S Arun Prasad on eight points apiece as Venkatesh, who led the tournament for four rounds on the trot, slipped to third position after Friday’s setback.

The higher-ranked Venkatesh (Elo 2511) was clearly under a lot of pressure against Akash (Elo 2343) as the latter won in a Ruy Lopez opening.

Time pressure

Both the players made errors under time pressure but Akash clinched the issue in 42 moves. On the top board, Deep Sengupta drew against Vidit Gujrathi in a Reti opening.

S Arun Prasad won a piece on the 36th move against Deepan Chakravarthy after which the latter resigned. GN Gopal drew a long game against MR Lalith Babu in 79 moves in a rook versus knight ending.

Gomes held

Dibyendu Barua drew against Mary Ann Gomes in 33 moves in the Pelikan variation of the Sicilian defence.

In another match, Grandmaster Sahaj Grover drew with Murali Kartthikeyan while another Grandmaster Praveen Thipsay got the better  of Diptayan Ghosh.

Results (Round XII): IM Vidit Gujarathi (8) drew GM Deep Sengupta (8); G Akash (8.5) bt GM MR Venkatesh (7.5); GM GN Gopal (7.5) drew GM MR Lalith Babu (7); GM Deepan Chakraborthy (6.5) lt to GM S Arun Prasad (8); GM Abhijit Kunte (7) drew GM Neelotpal Das (7); IM Swayams Mishra (7) drew IM Swapnil Dhopade (7); GM B Adhiban (7.5) bt GM SP Sethuraman (6); GM Sahaj Grover (6.5) drew Murali Kartikeyan (6.5); IM S Satyapragyan (6.5) drew IM Debashis Das (6.5); Sagar Shah (6) lt to FM Anurag Mhamal (7); Dibyendu Barua (6) drew WGM Mary Ann Gomes (6); GM Praveen Thipsay (6.5) bt Diptayan Ghosh (5.5); IM C Praveen Kumar (5.5) lt to IM P Kartiyeyan (6); GM S Kidambi (5) lt to K Praneeth Surya (6.5); Suvrajit Saha (5) lt to IM B T Murali Krishnan (6); Shashikant Kutwal (5.5) drew Bitan Banerjee (5.5); SL Narayanan (6) bt Pratik Patil (4.5); FM VAV Rajesh (5) drew CRG Krishna (4.5); S Ravi Teja (5.5) bt Sohan Phadke(3); Ram S Krishnan (4) drew Arindam Mukherjee(4); ML Abhilash Reddy (5.5) got a bye.

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