VISAKHAPATNAM: GM-elect Deepan Chakravarthy reasserted his growing stature in the ongoing 43rd National `A' men's chess championship with an authoritative win over Diwakar Prasad Singh in a 17th round game to stay at the top with 13 points and move one big step closer to realising his dream of winning the title at the Swarna Bharathi Indoor Stadium here on Saturday.
The 18-year-old countered D.P. Singh with a brilliant tactical game in Be3 variation of Ruy Lopez.
Unperturbed by Singh's early pawn sacrifice, he paid back the compliment giving up his own pawn later to gain counter-play.
Fully aware of his rival's rich repertoire in endgame, Deepan ensured that it slipped into a bishop vs. knight ending with the latter being more active for him.
Surya Sekhar Ganguly marred the chances of GM-norm holder M.R. Venkatesh to be in the reckoning, with an emphatic win in a French Tarrasch Variation.
Clearly unprepared for this variation which Ganguly doesn't prefer normally, Venkatesh was on the defensive right through. Ganguly made an exchange sacrifice very early and soon capitalised on a bad move to eventually wrap up the game and stay second with 11.5 points. He is now joint-third with D.P. Singh on 11 points.
GM Koneru Humpy settled for a draw with Abhijeet Gupta in Grunfeld Defence. Humpy said that she was up against the variation for the first time and despite being two pawns up in the middle-game, there was little to be creative and signed the truce.
Easy victory for Ghate
In the women's championship, WGM Swathi Ghate scored an easy win over WGM Subbaraman Vijayalakshmi to be sole leader with 11.5 points after 15 rounds. Looking completely out of sorts, by her own confession, Vijayalakshmi blundered playing Ng5 on the 32nd move after which Swathi was a pawn up and started attacking with her two active knights. In a clearly losing position, Vijayalakshmi only delayed the inevitable.
GM-norm holder Mary Ann Gomes was locked in a 48-move draw with Swathi Mohota in an English Opening to be second with 10.5 points. Defending champion Nisha Mohota outwitted Soumya Swaminathan in King's Indian Classical Variation to pick up 9.5 points. WGM Dronavalli Harika outsmarted Kiran Monisha Mohanty in Queens Gambit Exchange Variation.
The results: Men: 17th round: D. Chakravarthy (13) bt D.P. Singh (11); R.B. Ramesh (8) bt P.D.S. Girinath (5.5); D.K. Sharma (6) bt Arghyadip Das (6); Sandipan Chanda (10.5) bt S. Arun Prasad (7); M.S. Thejkumar (6) lost to Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury (9); Sriram Jha (5) drew with Lanka Ravi (6); M.R. Venkatesh (11) lost to S.S. Ganguly (11.5); B.S. Sivanandan (6) drew with Himanshu Sharma (6); K. Humpy (10.5) drew with Abhijeet Gupta (7.5); Abhijit Kunte (10) drew with Sunderrajan Kidambi (9.5); Vikramaditya Kamble (5) bye.
Women: 15th round: Aarthie Ramaswamy (7.5) drew with Anupama Gokhale (4); S. Vijayalakshmi (8.5) lost to Swathi Ghate (11.5); S. Meenakshi (9.5) bt J.E. Kavitha (6); D. Harika (9.5) bt K.M. Mohanty (7); Nisha Mohota (9.5) bt Soumya Swaminathan (3.5); Mary Ann Gomes (10.5) drew with Swathi Mohota (5); Eesha Karvade (9) bt I. Ramyakrishna (5); Amruta Mokal (7) bt Nimmy A. George (6.5); Alka Das (4) drew with Ishwarya Shobana (5.5); Maji Supriya (6) bye.