Nisha, Neeraj, Arthie score upset wins

HASTINGS (UK), DEC. 30. International Woman Master Nisha Mohota scored a sensational victory over Grandmaster Niel McDonald of England in the first round of the Challengers tournament in the Hastings international chess congress here on Saturday.

International Master Neeraj Kumar Mishra and double WGM norm holder Aarthie Ramaswamy were the other two to cause upsets beating English GM Keith Arkell and GM Colin McNab of Scotland on the first day.

Otherwise, the Indians had a mixed day as GMs Dibyendu Barua and Pravin Thipsay scored easy victories over Bragi Thorfinnsson and FIDE Master Alexander Vikoulov of Russia respectively.

But GM norm hopefuls IMs Lanka Ravi and D.V. Prasad tasted defeat against top seed GM Vitaly Tsheshkovsky of Russia and Jochen Kountz of Germany.

The other Indian woman GM Subbaraman Vijayalakshmi started her campaign in style, outclassing Joerg Wegerle of Germany quite easily with black pieces. IWMs Saheli Dhar-Barua and Meenakshi Subbaraman drew their games while IWM Bhagyashree Thipsay and Swati Ghate lost.

Important results (round 1 challengers) (Indians unless specified): V. Tseshkovsky (Rus) bt Lanka Ravi; Bragi Thorfinnsson (Isl) lost to Dibyendu Barua; Glenn Flear (Eng) drew with Simon Knott (Eng); James Plaskett (Eng) bt David Ross (Eng); Jochen Kountz (Ger) bt D.V. Prasad; Rizouk Aimen (Alg) bt Swati Ghate; Neeraj Kumar Mishra bt Keith Arkell (Eng); A. Cherniaev (Rus) lost to Craig Hanley (Eng); Alexander Vikoulov (Rus) lost to Pravin Thipsay; Colin McNab (Sco) lost to Aarthie Ramaswamy; Simon Williams (Eng) lost to Simutowe Amon (Zam); Graeme Buckley (Eng) drew with S. Meenakshi; J. Wegerle (Ger) lost to S. Vijayalakshmi; Neil Berry (Sco) drew with P. Konguvel; Neil McDonald (Eng) lost to Nisha Mohota; Gavin Lock (Eng) bt Bhagyashree Thipsay; Jessie Gilbert (Eng) drew with Saheli Dhar-Barua.


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