Khadi India 55th National Premier Chess Championship 2017
Press Release – Round 1
National Challengers champion GM Deepan Chakravarthy of Railways and MR Lalith Babu of PSPB registered victories in the inaugural round of the Khadi India 55th National Premier Chess Championship, organized by All Bihar Chess Association at Hotel Lemon Tree Premier, Patna today. The 14 player round robin tournament with the prize money of Rs. ten lakhs includes 10 GMs and 3 IMs.
Deepan Chakkravarthy continued his good run at National Challengers in Ahmedabad. He slightly deviated from the Paulsen variation of Sicilian defence in the early part of the game against new grandmaster Himanshu Sharma. Himanshu offered a pseudo pawn sacrifice on 22nd move to disrupt the three connected pawns of Deepan on the queen side. Himanshu’s king march towards the queen side might have been a blunder. When Deepan was assured of at least half a point, Himanshu made a thematic wrong calculation, allowing his opponent to promote his pawn to queen, one step ahead. Himanshu was forced to resign after 35 moves.
In a Neo Catalan variation of English opening, former Commonwealth champion MR Lalith Babu enjoyed a slight advantage in the opening, which was nullified by the international master S Nitin of Railways later. But, Nitin wilted under time pressure to make some weak moves and his Qe1 on the 37th turn sealed the game in Lalith Babu’s favour.
Among the five drawn games, the tussle between grandmaster SL Narayanan of Kerala and IM P. Shyaamnikhil was interesting. Narayanan had a better position from the word go and Shyaam exchanged his rook for bishop and two pawns in the latter part of the game to derive neutrality. In the end game of King and rook Vs king, bishop & two connected pawns, Narayanan posted his king on the correct place to deny a win to Shyaam. The longest game in the first round ended after 60 moves.
IM Arghyadip Das of Railways had a double bishop advantage against GM Aravindh Chithambaram of Tamil Nadu’s bishop and knight after exchanging the major pieces. But Aravindh staved off the challenge from Arghyadip to force a draw in 46 moves. RR Laxman of Railways lost a pawn in the middle game against his colleague and the runner up of the National Challengers GM Swapnil Dhopade but recovered to get an equal position. The two players agreed to sign the peace treaty after 40 moves.
The game between Sammed Jayakumar Shetty of Maharashtra, the only untitled player in the championship and Odisha’s only grandmaster Debashis Das ended without any decisive result after 29 moves. In the Sicilian defence, both could not make any breakthrough in a queen, rooks and pawn ending. The title holder Karthikeyan Murali of Tamil Nadu began his campaign with a draw against the veteran and PSPB GM Abhijit Kunte after a claim for three fold repetition. Shri Nand Kishore Yadav, Honourable Minister for Road Constructions, Bihar State Government was the chief guest at the inaugural function.