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Saptarshi shocks Harikrishna

By P. K. Ajith Kumar

P. Harikrishna (left) and Saptarshi Roy Choudhury contemplate their next moves during their second round game of the National `A' championship at Kozhikode on Thursday. — Photo: S. Ramesh Kurup

KOZHIKODE DEC. 4 . It was a day to forget for Harikrishna. The top-seeded Harikrishna suffered a shocking defeat at the hands of Saptarshi Roy Choudhury in the second round of the National men's `A' chess championship at the Chess India Complex here on Thursday.

And Harikrishna had to blame only himself; as he missed first a win, and then decided against a draw.

And that wasn't the only upset of the day. Debutante Vikramjit Singh, who travelled for five days to reach here from Manipur, surprised ninth seed International Master Sriram Jha, who was gracious in defeat. "I may have played a series of dubious moves,"' said the Delhite, " but he did well after that to force a win. When you consider his inexperience and the lack of facilities in his place, I should say it was a good show by him."

It was a good show by Humpy too. The Vijayawada prodigy, who is the only female in the field, held third seed Surya Shekhar Ganguly to a draw in the second round after beating Sunderrajan Kidambi, who had qualified to the Indian team from the last National `A', in the first round. The second round produced as many as nine draws.

In a Queen's Gambit Declined game, Hari, with white pieces, was better placed from the opening. "I played passively in the opening,"" said Saptarshi, for whom it was his first win against a Grandmaster. His job today was made rather easy by Hari, who messed up his chances of victory and went on to lose in 50 moves. He could've got a draw with perpetual checks, but he overstretched and paid the penalty.

The results (second round):

Pendyala Harikrishna (AP) 0.5 lost to Saptarshi Roy Choudhury (Ben) 1.5; Neelotpal Das (PSCB) 1 drew with S. Satyapragyan (IA) 1; Tejas Bakre (IA) 1.5 drew with T.S. Ravi (PSCB) 1; Praveen Thipsay (BSB) 1.5 bt M. Srinivas Rao (AP) 0; Argyadeep Das (Ben) 0.5 drew with M.R. Venkatesh (TN) 1; Suvrajit Saha (Ben) 0.5 drew with Vishal Sareen (LIC) 1.5; V. Hariharan (IB) 0.5 drew with R. B. Ramesh (PSCB) 1.5; Koneru Humpy (AP) 1.5 drew with Surya Shekhar Ganguly (PSCB) 1.5; Sriram Jha (LIC) 0.5 drew with Sunderrajan Kidambi (PSCB) 0.5; Prathamesh Mokal 1 bt (PSCB) Vikramjit Singh (Man) 1; Roktim Bandhopadhyay (Ben) 0.5 drew with Sandipan Chanda (PSCB) 1.5; Abhijit Kunte (PSCB) 1 drew with Dibyendu Barua (TISCO) 1.5.

First round: Kunte drew with Harikrishna; Barua bt Roktim; Sandipan bt Prathamesh; Vikramjit bt Jha; Kidambi lost to Humpy; Ganguly bt Hariharan; Ramesh bt Saha; Sareen drew with Thipsay; Rao lost to Bakre; Ravi drew with Neelotpal; Satyapragyan drew with Saptarshi.

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