Former world junior champion Abhijeet Gupta misplayed a better position and was held to a draw by Pavel Janev of Bulgaria in the first round of Grand Europe Albena Chess tournament here.
It turned out to be a rather sedate start for Abhijeet whose plans of entering wild complexities against the much lower ranked Janev backfired. With half a point from the first game, the Indian will have some catching up to do in the remaining eight rounds of this 30000 Euros prize money tournament.
The other Indians in the fray got off to a flier and topping the list was N. Raghvi, who played a spirited game to hold higher ranked International Master Ivajlo Enchev of Bulgaria.
International Master Ashwin Jayaram and Grandmaster-in-waiting Vishnu Prasanna had a free day as their opponents Antonina Dragasevic of Serbia and Oleksandr Fedotov of Ukraine failed to turn up for the first round.
Waiting for confirmation of his Grandmaster title, Swapnil Dhopade dispatched the challenge of Lubomir Mishkovski of Bulgaria, while Anurag Mahamal and Sagar Shah got the better of Zheljazko Savov of Bulgaria and Ukrainian Mykola Lisnichuk respectively.
The first round is often a tough one for the higher ranked players. Besides Abhijeet, Tigran Petrosian of Armenia, Levente Vajda of Romania and Tamir Nabaty of Israel were the other Grandmasters who conceded half a point.
The shocker of the day was, however, elsewhere as former women’s world champion Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria lost to Turkish youngster Melih Yurtseven.
Important and Indian results: First round: Constantin Lupulescu (Rou) bt Margarita Voiska (Bul); Diana Baciu (Mda) drew with Tigran Petrosian (Arm); Hrant Melkumyan (Arm) bt Gabriel Voiteanu (Rou); Metodi Stoinev (Bul) drew with Levente Vajda (Rou); Avetik Grigoryan (Arm) bt Kazbek Primbetov (Kaz); Pavel Janev (Bul) drew with Abhijeet Gupta; V. Vishnu Prasanna w/o Antonina Dragasevic (Srb); N. Raghavi drew with Ivajlo Enchev (Bul); Ashwin Jayaram w/o Oleksandr Fedotov (Ukr); Swapnil Dhopade bt Lubomir Mishkovski (Bul); Anurag Mhamal bt Zheljazko Savov (Bul); Mykola Lisnichuk (Ukr) lost to Sagar Shah.