The All-India Chess Championship (below 1800 FIDE rating), conducted by the Mysore Professional Chess Academy and other organisations, got under way at the Chamundi Vihar Indoor Stadium here on Tuesday.

Organised in association with the United Karnataka Chess Association, Mysore District Chess Association, All-India Chess Federation and FIDE World Chess Foundation, the tournament has attracted nearly 300 entries from across the State and the country, including a few top-ranking players.

Among those who hogged the limelight on the opening day was Samrath J. Rao, who has more than 80 per cent disability, which has not dissuaded him from showcasing his prowess as a chess player.

Son of B.S. Jagadish Rao, working in SyndicateBank at Honnavar, and Vinutha Bhat, JTO at the Government ITI, Honnavar, Samrath has been coached by V.R. Shastri and V.K. Kamath of Honnavar,and Prasad Hegde of Sirsi. Samrath has already participated in many chess tournaments, including the Under-25 State-level chess tournament held at Davangere, and secured a consolation prize for securing four points from nine rounds.

In the State-level FIDE-rated chess tournament held at Bangalore in October 2013, he again secured four points out of 10 and at the State-level rapid chess tournament conducted at Bhadravati in November 2013, he scored five points in nine rounds to win the consolation prize.

The tournament is slated to conclude on April 25 and there are exiting cash prizes to be won.

Seeded players have it easy

Seeded players, V.P.S. Darshan (Karnataka), Sonkalan Bharati (WB), Rahul Bharadwaj and T.G. Rohit Ramanan (both from Tamil Nadu) had easy wins over their respective rivals and, at the end of the second round, they had secured two points each in the first MPCA All-India FIDE rating below-1800 tournament.

A release said 58 players shared the lead with two points at the end of the second round. V.P.S Darshan (Mysore), Sonkalan Bharati (WB), Sharan Rao (Mangalore), T.G. Rohit Ramanan (TN), R. Parthasarathy (Karnataka) and Kadav Omkar (Maharashtra) are placed from one to five. Siddarth Murali from Bangalore held third seeded S. Subba Raju, while Aakash Jain of Maharashtra drew with B.V. Nagaraj of Karnataka and Raaj Bajaj of Gujarat drew with K.K. Mohanan of Kerala.

Important results (second round): V.P.S Darshan (2) beat Naveen Ranganath (1); B.S. Manjunath Gowda (1) lost Sonkalan Bharati (2); S. Subba Raju (1.5) drew Siddarth Murali (1.5); B. Rahul Bharadwaj (1) lost Sharan Rao (2); T.G. Rohit Ramanan (2) beat D. Dara (1); Aakash Jain (1.5) drew B.V. Nagaraj (1.5); R. Parthasarathy (2) beat J. Dhivashree (1); Raaj Bajaj (1.5) drew K.K. Mohanan (1.5); Kadav Omkar (2) beat S. Dilip Kumar (1); R. Dheekshith Kumar (1) lost P. Venkataramana (2), the press release added.

More In: Mangaluru