S. Sabanayakan

KOLKATA: Local favourite and Grandmaster Sandipan Chanda continued to enjoy a slender half a point lead over a pack of 10 players at the halfway mark of the fourth

Kolkata Open chess tournament at the Gorky Sadan on Saturday. The ten include, eight GMs and two International Masters.

Further half a point behind at the joint third place were 16 players, mostly GMs, two IMs and surprisingly two Fide Masters.

Decisive win

The top three boards produced hard fought draws but Indian GM P. Mahesh Chandran made sure of a decisive victory against Gadir Guseinov of Azerbaijan on the fourth board.

The Indian GM opened with his queen pawn and soon had a bind on the centre. He then won an exchange and used his passed pawn on the ‘b’ file to win another rook after which it was all over for the Azerbaijani super GM.

But the talk of the day was the top board draw between GM Chanda and Vietnamese GM Le Quang Liem. In a Reti opening, Chanda had a better game with a central passed pawn.

However, he made an error in the endgame with a hasty move that let Liem escape with a draw.

Instead of consolidating his gains at that stage by bringing his king into the game, Chanda’s move gave Liem some counter play which he used to full advantage.

The other game which caught everybody’s attention was between IM Bhaskaran Adhiban and GM Vadim Malakhatko of Belarus. The French defence game went on the theoretical line with Adhiban’s pieces having better play.

The under-16 World champion went in for the king side attack. As the game moved into the end game, Malakhatko blundered a bishop on the queen’s side and lost the game on the 54th move.

Laznicka impresses

Defending champion GM Viktor Laznicka of the Czech Republic came up with another superb game to win against GM Rustam Khusnutdinov of Kazakhstan in 47 moves.

Young Vidit Santosh Gujrathi scalped another GM in this tournament by beating Hillarp Persson Tiger of Sweden.

The fine run of Fide Master Sahaj Grover against GMs came to a grinding halt against GM Ziaur Rahman of Bangladesh.

The results (top 15 boards): Sandipan Chanda (Ind, 4.5) drew with Le Quang Liem (Vie, 4); Enamul Hossain (Ban, 4) drew with Eltaj Safarli (Aze, 4); Nigel Short (Eng, 4) drew with Evgeny Postny (Isr, 3.5) Magesh Chandran (Ind, 4) bt Gadir Guseinov (Aze, 3); Aleksej Aleksandrov (Blr, 3.5) drew with Deepan Chakkravarthy (Ind, 3.5).

Sundararajan Kidambi (Ind, 3.5) drew with Surya Sekhar Ganguly (Ind, 3.5); Viktor Laznicka (Cze, 4) bt Rustam Khusnutdinov (Kaz, 3); Parimarjan Negi (Ind, 4) bt Deep Sengupta (Ind, 3); Abhijit Kunte (Ind, 3.5) drew with Mikheil Mchedlishvili (Geo, 3.5); B. Adhiban (Ind, 4) bt Vadim Malakhatko (Bel, 3).

Jan Markos (Svk, 3) lost to R.R. Laxman (Ind, 4); S. Satyapragyan (Ind, 3.5) drew with Merab Gagunashvili (Geo, 3.5); Ziaur Rahman (Ban, 4) bt Sahaj Grover (Ind, 3); Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 3) drew with Himanshu Sharma (Ind, 3); Petr Kostenko (Kaz, 2.5) lost to Ni Hua (Chn, 3.5).

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