Arvind Aaron

Chennai: Top seed International Master G.B. Prakash of Indian Bank scored over teenaged V.A.V. Rajesh of Chennai district to join the leaders at the end of the tenth and penultimate round in the Tamil Nadu Chess Championship being played at the Nehru Stadium on Sunday.

Prakash took advantage of the anti-positional opening play of his opponent and won a rook for minor piece with the white pieces. Rajesh, a former Andhra player, trooped his queen into enemy territory and ran into trouble before losing in 49 moves.

Prakash joined R. Siddharth and and B.T. Muralikrishnan in the lead with eight points from ten games. With only one round to be played, all three players have title chances. Three players, C. Praveen Kumar, Arun Karthik and P. Maheswaran, are tied for the fourth place on 7.5 points.

After only 13 moves, Siddharth offered and got a draw with white against Muralikrishnan from a transposed exchange variation of the French defence. There was scope for play but they had equal chances when a draw was agreed upon.

Of the three leaders, Prakash has won the title once in 1990 and Muralikrishnan also once in 2006. Siddharth of Anna University, who has the advantage of playing white against Prakash, has not won the event before. As far as the tie-break scores goes, Muralikrishnan has the edge. If he beats Praveen Kumar with white he will clinch the V.J. Brahmaiah Rolling Shield irrespective of the other results. This event with 110 FIDE rated players is smoothly organised by S. Balaraman of Vishy Anand Chess Academy. Games, results and placings can be seen and downloaded at the official site of the Tamil Nadu State Chess Association.

Important results (round ten): R. Siddharth (Che) 8 drew with B.T. Muralikrishnan (Rly) 8, G.B. Prakash (IB) 8 bt V.A.V. Rajesh (Che) 7, R. Ashwath (Che) 7 drew with Arun Karthik (Che) 7.5, P. Phoobalan (Cbe) 7 drew with Sudhakar Babu (IB) 7, Ajay Srikanth (Che) 7 drew with Shyam Nikhil (Mdu) 7, Praveen Kumar (Che) 7.5 bt Vinoth Kumar (Che) 6.5, P. Maheswaran (Vir) 7.5 bt R. Balasubramaniam (Che) 6.5, V. Hariharan (IB) 7 drew with R. Premnath (Kan) 7, S.A. Shazuli (Kan) 6.5 drew with T.J. Suresh Kumar (Kan) 7, D.P. Singh (Rly) 7 bt N. Surendran (Tvlr) 6.

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