V.V. Subrahmanyam

Himanshu opted for a rare sacrifice offering his queen for two pieces that completely baffled Ganguly.Abhijeet Gupta outmanoeuvred veteran IM Lanka Ravi in Benoni Defence.

VISAKHAPATNAM: Himanshu Sharma of Haryana shocked defending champion, Surya Sekhar Ganguly, in the second round of the 43rd National `A' men's chess championship at the Swarna Bharathi indoor stadium here on Tuesday.

In his second career meeting with Ganguly, Himanshu outwitted the Grandmaster in an Irregular Opening. Ganguly's hasty move to open up the kingside only helped his rival's cause. Himanshu seized the opportunity as soon as the Kolkata player faltered while playing f5 on the 25th move. Himanshu opted for a rare sacrifice offering his queen for two pieces that completely baffled Ganguly.

No escape routes

In a double-rook versus King endgame, Himanshu clearly held the upper hand and with his bishop positioned ideally for counter-play, the Haryana player ensured that there were no escape routes for the top-seeded Ganguly.

Abhijeet Gupta outmanoeuvred veteran IM Lanka Ravi in Benoni Defence. Ravi rued his lack of preparation which was visible in the end-game where he failed to come up with the right moves. After erring while playing Qc3 instead of Qg6 and then f4 on 37th move, Ravi had little chance of coming back into the game.

Grandmasters R.B. Ramesh and Sandipan Chanda were involved in a draw in another second round game. "I could have come up with a better game but somehow failed. There were no clear mistakes by Ramesh to capitalise on," remarked Sandipan later.

Former world junior champion, Koneru Humpy, scored her second successive win outplaying Arghyadip Das in Queen's Indian Opening in the men's second round. After Arghyadip played c5 break Humpy gained control and in the middle-game she had better positional advantage.

Arghyadip's position weakened further playing d x c4 which resulted in a queen and knight ending for Humpy. In the end-game, to the delight of Humpy, he made another tactical mistake playing the h5-h6. The Vijayawada girl then had no problems in wrapping up the game.

In the women's section, defending champion Nisha Mohota (PSPB) outplayed former world under-18 champion Aarthie Ramaswamy in 29 moves in Queen Pawn Irregular Opening. A couple of dubious opening moves by Aarthie helped Nisha open up the `g' file to launch a kingside attack and also saw the former strangely preferring to have her king in the centre to castling. Under pressure, Aarthie came up with a suspect b5 which eventually saw Nisha clinch the game.

Facile win

Last year's runner-up Mary Ann Gomes scored a facile win against Maji Supriya in Reti Opening which got transposed into Dutch Defence. "Though I missed a sack in the middle-game, she blundered a piece in the end-game which made things easier for me,'' remarked girl from Frank Correa Academy in Kolkata.

Hyderabad girl I. Ramyakrishna, playing in her first National `A', pulled off a surprise win against Swathi Mohota in Slav Variation. After an exchange of knights in middle-game, the student from Chaitanya Residential School took charge and with Swathi being a pawn down in the end-game, the former had no discomfort in wrapping up the game after Swathi blundered playing f4.

WGMs Subbaraman Vijayalakshmi and Dronavalli Harika were involved in a 12-move friendly draw.

Pulls out

Meanwhile, Grandmaster Tejas Bakre pulled out of the event on health grounds thereby giving a walk-over to M.S. Tej Kumar in the second round on Tuesday.

The results: second round: Men: D.P. Singh (1.5) drew with D.K. Sharma (0.5); Sandipan Chanda (1.5) drew with R.B. Ramesh (1.5); M.S. Tej Kumar (1) w/o Tejas Bakre; Sriram Jha (0.5) lost to Deepan Chakravarthy (2); M.R. Venkatesh (2) bt V. Kamble (0.5); B.S. Shivanandan (1) drew with P.D.S. Girinath (0.5); Koneru Humpy (2) bt Arghyadip Das (0.5); Abhijit Kunte (0.5) lost to S. Arun Prasad (1); Sunderrajan Kidambi (1.5) drew with Saptarshi Roy Choudhary (1); Abhijeet Gupta (1) bt Lanka Ravi (0); Himanshu Sharma (1) bt S.S. Ganguly (1).

Women: Dronavalli Harika (1) drew with S. Vijayalakshmi (1); Nisha Mohota (1.5) bt Aarthie Ramaswamy (0.5); Mary Ann Gomes (2) bt Maji Supriya (0.5); Esha Karvade (1) bt Anupama Gokhale (0); Amruta Mokal (1) lost to Swathi Ghate (2): Alka Das (1) bt J.E. Kavitha (0); Ishwarya Shobana (1) lost to Kiran Mohanty (2); Nimmy George (2) bt Soumya Swaminathan (0); I. Ramyakrishna (1) bt Swati Mohota (0); S. Meenakshi (0.5) bye.

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