Das off to fine start

Grandmaster norm holder Debashish Das came up with a fantastic effort to beat Ni Hua of China in the first round of Fujaira International Open chess tournament here on Wednesday.

Das, who won the national challengers championship a few months back, showed fine temperament and skills to tackle an out-of-sort Ni Hua in a Sicilian defense game as black.

The Chinese missed the thread of the position when the players reached a structure similar to ‘closed Spanish’ and went hay wire. It turned out be a decent outing for the Indian in the first round of this tournament that has as many as 30 Grandmasters in a field of 57 players.

International Master, V Saravanan also did well to hold Grandmaster Mikheil Mchedlishvili of Georgia though the Indian thought he had a good chance of winning after a favourable Ragozin opening.  Sarvanan missed a deep tactical stroke on move 18 and Mche-dlishvili was soon back in the game with little to worry about.

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