Chennai: Top seeded V. Haribalu of Chennai latched on to a double pawn blunder from K.V. Shantharam of Indian Bank to win and maintain his all-win record after the ninth round in the Rotary Club of Madras Mount KCF International FIDE-rating chess tournament being played here on Wednesday.
Haribalu leads by a one-point margin with full nine points. Two rounds will be played on Thursday and the champion will be decided by Thursday evening.
Four players — M. Kunal, Ja Gireman, Vasantha Ruba Varman and T.R. Shanmuganathan — are tied for the second place on eight points.
Haribalu had a home-prepared second-move surprise for Shantharam who had played the French defence. On move 28, the veteran banker lost a couple of pawns and Harbalu maintained his lead. He needs a win or two draws from the last day for a win.
The highlight of Wednesday was 12-year old Gireman’s win over high rated P. Lokesh of Chennai. Gireman, former Tamil Nadu Under-9 champion went for the Levenfish attack against the Sicilian dragon and obtained a strong outpost with his knight to win.
Gireman is a student of the Stanes Anglo-Indian School in Coimbatore.
Important results (round nine):
V. Haribalu (TN) 9 bt K.V. Shantharam (IB) 7, M. Kunal (TN) 8 bt P. Satyanarayana (AP) 7, Ja Gireman (TN) 8 bt P. Lokesh (TN) 7, Abhilash Reddy (AP) 7 lost to Vasantha Ruba Varman (TN) 8, T.R. Shanmuganathan (TN) 8 bt Srija Seshadri (TN) 7, C.R.G. Krishna (AP) 7.5 bt Roshan Rangarajan (Mah) 6.5.
N. Abdul Majeed (Ker) 7 drew with Santoshkashyap Hg (Kar) 7, Harshavardhan R.B (TN) 6.5 lost to Y.G. Vijendra (Kar) 7.5, B. Kumaran (TN) 7 drew with R.K. Ranjith (TN) 7, J. Nishvin (TN) 6.5 lost to Akash Pc Iyer (TN) 7.5.