Three players — Swapnil Dhopade of Railways, and M.R. Venkatesh and G.N. Gopal of Petroleum — shared the lead with four points each after the fifth round of the Tata National premier chess here on Friday.

The top board saw the overnight leaders in action, where IM Swapnil drew against GM Venkatesh by opting for the 4-pawns attack in reply to Venkatesh’s King’s Indian defence. Swapnil had an attack on the queen’s wing but Venkatesh forced a draw by perpetual checks with his queen.

Grandmaster G.N. Gopal had little difficulty in getting the better of GM Sahaj Grover as the latter slipped to an inferior position throughout the game due to his weak knight move on the tenth.

Highly rated IM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi of Petroleum held GM Deepan Chakravarthy of Tamil Nadu to a draw in an interesting game where Deepan sacrificed 3 pawns for an attack. They finally drew after repetition of moves.

Lalith Babu stunned

International Master P. Kartikeyan stunned his Petroleum colleague, GM M.R. Lalit Babu, with the black pieces in a Grunfeld defence. Lalith Babu resigned on the 29th move when he was on the verge of losing a piece.

In another notable upset 13-year-old Aravindh Chithambaram of Tamil Nadu shocked National women’s champion WGM Mary Ann Gomes of Bengal to take his tally to 2.5 points.

In another all-Petroleum match, GM Neelotpal Das drew against top seeded GM B. Adhiban in a Grunfeld defence. Neelotpal won a pawn on the queenside but was forced to give it back before the latter forced a draw by repetition of moves.

The results (fifth round): Swapnil Dhopade (4) drew with M.R. Venkatesh (4), G.N. Gopal (4) bt Sahaj Grover (3), Deepan Chakravarthy (3.5) drew with Vidit Gujarathi (3.5), Neelotpal Das (3) drew with B. Adhiban (3), M.R. Lalith Babu (2.5) lost to P. Kartikeyan (3.5), S. Satyapragyan (3) drew with Deep Sengupta (3), S. Kidambi (3) drew with Abhijit Kunte (3), S. Arun Prasad (3.5) bt Swayams Mishra (2.5), Debashis Das (2.5) drew with G. Akash (3), S.L. Narayanan (2.5) drew with Dibyendu Barua (2.5), Saptarshi Roy (2.5) drew with Sagar Shah (2.5), Diptayan Ghosh (2.5) drew with C. Praveen Kumar (2.5), S.P. Sethuraman (2.5) bt M.L. Abhilash Reddy (2), V.A.V. Rajesh (2.5) bt S. Ravi Teja (1.5), Aravindh Chithambaram (2.5) bt Mary Ann Gomes (1.5), Murali Kartikeyan (1.5) lost to B.T. Murali Krishnan (2.5), Bitan Banerjee (2.5) bt Arindam Mukherjee (1.5), C.R.G. Krishna (2.5) bt Pratik Patil (1.5), K. Praneeth Surya (2) drew with Sashikant Kutwal (2), Sohan Phadke (1) lost to Suvrajit Saha (1.5).


  • Aravindh Chithambaram shocks WGM Mary Ann Gomes


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