India National Premier Chess Championship

Karthikeyan shocks Arun Prasad, six share lead

New Delhi (11 Dec 2010): A marathon five hour battle between top seed Grandmaster G N Gopal and second seed Parimarjan Negi ended without decisive result and they are now sharing the lead with two and half points at the end of third round matches along with team mates M R Venkatesh, B Adhiban, S Kidambi and Tamilnadu youngster S P Sethuraman in the ongoing REC National Premier Chess Championship here at K R Mangalam World School, GK-II on Saturday.

Playing with white pieces in Sicilian Scheveningen opening, Gopal taken an early initiative but Negi stood firm on the grounds in the early hours of the game and went on to take his chances at the later stages of the much awaited battle between the duo. But after 67 moves they split the points as Negi went on to give perpetual check with his queen as only queens and two pawns were left on the board.

Sethuraman defeated overnight joint leader Neelotpal Das while Asian Games Bronze medal winning Indian team member Adhiban easily overcame Saptarshi Roy of Railways to catch up with the leaders. Later Venkatesh and Kidambi joined the party at the top of point table after defeating former National Champion Grandmaster Abhijit Kunte and Fide Master J Ramakrishna respectively. Playing white side of Sicilian Scheveningen-Keres Attack, National Challenger Champion Venkatesh overcame his Grandmaster team mate in 47 moves.

Meanwhile Grandmaster S Arun Prasad of PSPB suffered a shocking defeat from the hands of Tamilnadu International Master P Karthikeyan in the third round. Playing with white pieces in declined variation of Queen’s Gambit opening, Karthikeyan outwitted his Grandmaster rival in 43 moves.

In other surprising results, Karnataka youngster G A Stany stunned International Master Prathamesh Mokal of Maharashtra while the poor form of third seed Grandmaster Deep Sengupta and Veteran Grandmaster Praveen Thipsay continued in the third round also as they had satisfied with half point against their lower rated rivals Akash Thakur of Railways and Padmini Rout of Orissa.

Continuing his fine form in the championship, city based Air India player G B Joshi held Grandmaster R R Laxman to a creditable draw in the third round encounter. Local hopes International Masters Vaibhav Suri and Rahul Sangma agreed to split the points against fellow International Masters M R Lalith Babu of Andhrapradesh and D P Singh of Railways respectively. During the third round, players celebrated 41st birthday of World Champion Viswanathan Anand by cutting the cake.

In the fourth round on Sunday, Gopal takes on Kidambi with black pieces while Negi and Sethurman pitted against MR Venkatesh and B Adhiban respectively with white pieces.

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