Special Correspondent

KOLKATA: As the leadership race for the fourth Kolkata Open chess tournament intensified, young Indian Fide Master Sahaj Grover produced a stunning upset crushing Swedish Grandmaster Hillarp Persson Tiger in the third round at Gorky Sadan on Thursday.

Local GM Sandipan Chanda led four other GMs into lead with a fine display of technique. He along with super GM Nigel Short of England, GM Eltaj Safarli of Azerbaijan, GM P. Magesh Chandran of India and GM Enamul Hossain of Bangladesh shot into the lead with three points.

In an English Opening, Grover forced the Swedish GM to hand over the initiative in the middle game. The young Fide Master won an exchange to enjoy the upper hand and from there onward it was a matter of technique for him.

Infusing life

Chanda infused life into the Catalan Opening game with a sharp tactical play to create a mating threat which forced his opponent Kazak GM Rustam Khusnutdinov to give up his queen for a rook and a minor piece. Chanda used his material advantage to triumph.

Short won another lovely game with white pieces against GM Merab Gagunashvili of Georgia. The Georgian employed the Caro-Kana defence which proved inadequate.

Short used a wicked pin against his opponent’s king to eventually win the game on the 40th move.

Chandran won against GM Rauf Mamedov of Azerbaijan.

The Indian had two knights against the King and a pawn of his opponent but still managed to win a theoretically drawn position. World Under-12 champion Sayantan Das drew with world under-16 champion IM Bhaskaran Adhiban.

In an unusual happening, French GM Vladislav Tkachiev, who was reportedly inebriated before the start of the game against C. Praveen Kumar of India on the 22nd board, fell asleep after 15 moves. His flag fell and was declared lost on time.

The results (top 15 boards): Nigel Short (Eng, 3) bt Merab Gagunashvili (Geo, 2); Ziaur Rahman (Ban, 2.5) drew with Surya Sekhar Ganguly (Ind, 2.5); Rauf Mamaedov (Aze, 2) lost to P. Magesh Chandran (Ind, 3); Sandipan Chanda (Ind, 3) bt Rustam Khusnutdinov (Kaz, 2); Eltaj Safarli (Aze, 3) bt Himanshu Sharma (Ind, 2); Enamul Hossain (Ban, 3) bt Abhijeet Gupta (Ind, 2); Abhijit Kunte (Ind, 2.5) drew with Vadim Malakhatko (Bel, 2.5).

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 2.5) bt Vidit Santosh Gujrathi (Ind, 2); Gadir Guseinov (Aze, 2.5) bt Tejas Bakre (Ind, 1.5); P. Kartikeyan (Ind, 2) drew with Evgeny Postny (Isr, 2); Aleksej Aleksandrov(Blr, 1.5) bt Swapnil Dhopade (Ind, 1.5).

Parimarjan Negi (Ind, 2.5) bt M. Shyam Sundar (Ind, 1.5); Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury (Ind, 1.5) lost to Mikheil Mchedlishvili (Geo, 2.5); P. Konguvel (Ind, 1.5) lost to Le Quang Liem (Vie, 2.5); Hillarp Persson Tiger (Swe, 1.5) lost to Sahaj Grover (Ind, 2.5).

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