Special Correspondent

Three Indians among leaders

KOLKATA: Three Indians and a Czech emerged leaders with 6.5 points after the eighth round of the third Kolkata Open chess tournament at the Gorky Sadan here on Monday.

Four more were in the second place, half a point adrift, as the battle for the top honours intensified.

Playing white, Super Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran, one of the leaders, outplayed GM Nguyen Anh Dung of Vietnam in 60 moves.

Under pressure

Dung was put under pressure after he employed the Slav Defence. The top seed pushed his passed pawn on the ‘a’ file to win a piece and a little later the game itself.

Third-seeded GM Koneru Humpy came into her own in beating International Master Saptarshi Roy on the second board.

The Kolkata player, chasing his maiden GM norm, seemed to have done enough to ensure a draw but blundered owing to lapse in concentration. This defeat ought to be a major blow for his norm chance.

GM Sandipan Chanda needed just 39 moves to subdue GM Ziaur Rahman. Chanda kept the Bangladesh GM under pressure throughout after the latter tried out the Modern Defence. Chanda’s central pawn played a crucial role and eventually decided the issue.

Czech GM Viktor Laznicka, joining the three Indians at the top, registered an exciting victory over GM Alberto David of Luxembourg.

The Czech, playing black pieces, employed the Sicilian Defence to gradually consolidate his position. After he got equality he counterattacked to earn the point.

Russian GM Vladimir Dobrov tamed IM Sundararajan Kidambi to be in the joint second position. The encounter turned into a scuffle when the centre opened up and both players attacked each other’s exposed kings. Dobrov’s bishop played a vital role and this forced the Indian to resign on the 28th move.

Important results (Indians, unless stated otherwise): K. Sasikiran (6.5) bt Nguyen Anh Dung (Vit, 5.5); Saptarshi Roy (5.5) lost to Koneru Humpy (6.5); Sandipan Chanda (6.5) bt Ziaur Rahman (Ban, 5.5); Alberto David (Lux, 5) lost to Viktor Laznicka (Cze, 6.5); R.B. Ramesh (5.5) drew with Ehsan Ghaem Maghami (Iri, 5.5); Sriram Jha (5) lost to Adly Ahmed (Egy, 6); Abdulla Al-Rakib (Ban, 5.5) drew with Tejas Bakre (5.5); Vladimir Dobrov (Rus, 6) bt Sundararajan Kidambi (5); Safin Shukhrat (Uzb, 6) bt B.T. Murali Krishnan (5); Ashwin Jayaram (5) lost to S. Arun Prasad (6).

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