Fort Kochi's C. Rejith Babu upset Thrissur's seventh-seeded State player Joy Lazar in the opening round of the Kerala State senior chess championship at the St. Joseph's EM HSS, Thrikakkara, on Monday evening.

In another surprise, Kozhikode's K. Prabeesh defeated Kottayam's seasoned former State champion T.K. Joseph, the 11th seed.

The results (first round, top 10 boards): M.B. Senbabu lost to S.L. Narayanan, E.P. Nirmal bt Muhammed Rafi, Sageesh Gopi lost to O.T. Anilkumar, M.B. Muralidharan bt Adesh Joshi, Aravind Nath Rajesh lost to Nimmy A. George, V.N. Viswanathan bt S. Anil Kumar, C. Rejith Babu bt M.A. Joy Lazar, P.V. Gireesh bt Vishnu Sreekumar, P.K. Mohammed Salih lost to V. Rajith, K.K. Manikandan drew with P. Gautham Krishna.

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