Kavitha sitting pretty

CHENNAI, NOV. 15. After five rounds of the Indian Oil Servo National under-18 boys & girls chess championship only J.E.Kavitha of Tamil Nadu has made progress towards retaining the National under-18 girls title which she won last time. All the others have slid back and will have to claw their way up in the remaining four rounds.

Last time, the top three in the boys were: P.Mageshchandran, Prathamesh Mokal and S.Kidambi. The current top standings are: 1- 3: Arghyadip Das, Prathamesh Mokal, Himanshu Sharma 4.5; 4-5 Deepan Chakravarthy, Poobesh Anand 4; 6-14 R.R.Laxman, G.Rohit, M.R.Venkatesh, R.S.Prasanna, P.Mageshchandran, Sudhir Sinha, S.R.Mishra, Ram S Krishnan and J.M.Utarid 3.5.

Tamil Nadu girls made a clean sweep of the top three places last time at Jamshedpur.

Of these three J.E.Kavitha, Y.Prathiba and H.Nilavoli the latter two have already suffered defeats.

However anything can happen in the next four days.

There are many strong youngsters fighting for just one solitary qualifying place as only the champions in both sections would represent India at the World under-18 boys & girls chess championships to be held next year at Oropesa, Spain.

The participants used the free day today to see something of Chennai and amused themselves with new experiences.

Mr S.Balaraman, the Secretary of the Thiruvallur District Chess Association, the main organiser of this national event, arranged a bus to take them to Spencer Plaza where they were treated to a show at the J Thrill Rider which is a Ride Simulation System.

The players came out with adjectives like ``superb'', ``fantastic'', etc.

After some shopping at the Plaza they moved for lunch and then went to the Snake Park and the Children's Park at Guindy.

A trip to the Ashtalakshmi temple at Besant Nagar and fun on the beach concluded their interesting free day.

Last night the organisers had arranged a dance programme by local children. However, the participants like K.Srivani (AP), Jonathan Utarid (Kar), Himanshu Sharma, Anuradha Beniwal (both Haryana), K.Prajeesha (Ker), Arif Ahsan, Sudhir Sinha (Both Bihar), Ranvir Bhatti (MP), etc., created their own programme of singing, riddles and jokes.

The much enjoyed evening came to a close with a dinner hosted by the President of the Thiruvallur District Chess Association, Mr Victory Mohan.

Top pairings of the sixth round:

Girls: Nabeela Farheen (TN) 4 vs J.E.Kavitha (TN) 4.5; Y.Prathiba (TN) 3.5 vs N.Sandhya (Ker) 4; Anuradha Beniwal (Har) 3.5 vs H.Nilavoli (TN) 3.5; C.V.Rajalakshmi (CCI) 3.5 vs Soumya Swaminathan 3.5.

Boys: Arghyadip Das (Goodricke) 4.5 Prathamesh Mokal (Mah) 4.5; J.Deepan Chakravarthi (TN) 4 vs Himanshu Sharma (Har) 4.5; R.R.Laxman (TN) 3.5 vs Poobesh Anand (Vara) 4; G.Rohit (AP) 3.5 vs M.R.Venkatesh (SPIC) 3.5; R.S.Prasanna (TN) 3.5 vs P.Mageshchandran (Ramalinga) 3.5; Sudhir Sinha (Bhr) 3.5 vs S.R.Mishra (Ori) 3.5.