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MPL National Teams 2023 R5-6: Defending champions AAI in domination mode

by Shahid Ahmed - 14/02/2023

The defending champion, AAI (Airports Authority of India) defeated the top seed PSPB in Round 5 Open. The reigning Asian Junior Open champion, scored the key victory over GM Vaibhav Suri to ensure AAI scores a 2.5-1.5. In the sixth round, they defeated RSPB convincingly 3.5-0.5 and moved to 11/12, two points ahead RSPB A, Odisha and PSPB. RSPB A denied PSPB a win as their match ended in a draw. In the Women's event, AAI decimated Maharashtra 4-0 to jump into the lead. Tamil Nadu A went down 0.5-3.5 against PSPB allowing them to get into the lead with AAI at 7/8 each. Round 7 Open and Round 5 Women starts today at 10 a.m. IST. Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Women: AAI and PSPB move ahead of Maharashtra

Maharashtra's sole lead did not last for long as AAI and PSPB registered victories by big margins to move to the top of the standings. Maharashtra will now face PSPB in Round 5 while AAI is up against Telangana.

IM Harshavardhan G B scored the key victory for his team AAI | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Open Round 5: PSPB - AAI: 1.5-2.5

The top seed PSPB seemed wobbly since the first round. They lost their first match of the event against the defending champions, AAI (Airports Authority of India). Three games ended in draws. The sole victory was scored by the reigning Asian Junior Open champion, IM Harshavardhan G B (2428) over GM Vaibhav Suri (2606).

Harshavardhan - Vaibhav

Position after 25.Ne4!

Harshavardhan played a fantastic move 25.Ne4! Rhd8 26.Nd6+ forcing Black to lose the bishop pair. 25...Bxd6 26.Rxd3 Be7 27.Ra3 and White very nicely went on to convert his advantage into a full point without giving him any opportunity to fight back.

Surya - Sankalp

Position after 45.Nf4

Sankalp was winning the rook, knight and few pawns endgame. Having less time on tthe clock prevented him from executing 45...Re3+! 46.Rxe3 Nc4+ 47.Kf5 Nxe3+ 48.Ke5 a4 49.Nd3 Nxc2 50.h5 a3 51.Nc1 Ne1 and Black is winning. This win wouldn't have changed the overall outcome of the match. However, it would have given AAI more game points which they might need as a tie-breaker.

Final moments: GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly (PSPB) vs GM Sankalp Gupta (AAI) | Video: ChessBase India

GM Sankalp Gupta almost seized his advantage in the endgame | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

PSPB - AAI: 1.5-2.5

RSPB A - Tamil Nadu B: 2-2 | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Tamil Nadu C - RSPB B: 1-3 | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Bihar B - Kerala B: 1.5-2.5 | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Telangana - Odisha: 0-4 | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Round 6: AAI - RSPB B: 3.5-0.5

GM Aravindh Chithambaram (2613), GM Abhimanyu Puranik (2596) and IM Harshavardhann G B (2428) won their respective games. Only GM Sankalp Gupttatt (2504) drew with GM Deepan Chakkravarthy (2439). This win increased AAI's lead by two points as they moved to 11/12.

AAI registered their fifth win of the event against RSPB B | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

AAI - RSPB B: 3.5-0.5

RSPB A - PSPB: 2-2

IM Vignesh N R (2490) and IM Aronyak Ghosh (2530) drew with GM B Adhiban (2610) and GM Karthikeyan Murali (2626) respectively. However, Karthikeyan could have won in the sharp queen and rook endgame. GM Visakh N R (2548) and GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly (2582) scored win each for their teams RSPB A and PSPB, over GM G N Gopal (2589) and GM Swapnil Dhopade (2496) respectively.

Karthikeyan - Aronyak

Position after 46...Rg8

White needed to play 47.c6 and after which Black has no defense, whether Black takes on c6 or not. The game continued 47.Kg3 Qf7 and Aronyak managed to salvage a draw and save a crucial half point.

RSPB A denied a victory for PSPB | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

RSPB A - PSPB: 2-2

Akash - Sreyas

Position after 29...Bh3

FM Sreyas Payyappart (KER B, 2105) has made a deadly threat 29...Bh3! There is only way for White to save the game. Can you find it? GM Akash G (TN B, 2495) could not and lost the game after 30.Rc8+ Kh7. This win helped Kerala B to draw the match with the all GM team, Tamil Nadu B.

FM Sreyas Payyappat on his win against GM Akash G | Video: ChessBase India

FM Sreyas Payyappat (right) scored a crucial win over GM Akash G | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Tamil Nadu B - Kerala B: 2-2

Odisha - Madhya Pradesh: 4-0 | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

LIC - Karnataka A: 3.5-0.5 | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Women Round 4: AAI - MAH: 4-0

AAI whitewashed Maharashtra 4-0. WGM Vantika Agrawal (2370), WGM Divya Deshmukh (2363), WIM Arpita Mukherjee (2185) and WIM Priyanka K (2177) - all four of them scored convincing victories over their respective opponents.

AAI defeated the leaders Maharashtra 4-0 to get themselves in the lead | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

AAI - MAH: 4-0

PSPB also got into the lead by scoring an emphatic victory over Tamil Nadu A | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Tamil Nadu A - PSPB: 0.5-3.5

Telangana - Odisha: 4-0 | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

The tournament hall | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Ceremonial first moves of Round 4 Open and Round 4 Women | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

For more photos, please click at the respective links. Round 5 Open and Round 4 Women, and Round 6 Open.

Replay Round 5-6 Open games

Replay Round 4 Women games

Round 6 Open results

12AAI9:½8RSPB B5
23RSPB A82:28PSPB Men1
34Tamil Nadu B72:27Kerala B13
46Odisha A74:07Madhya Pradesh15
58LIC6:½6Karnataka A25
610Tamil Nadu D61:36Tamil Nadu C9
720Haryana A6:6Bihar B21
914Kerala A5:4BSNL17
1022Tamil Nadu E4½:4Karnataka B11
1112Bihar A4:4Andhra Pradesh B24
1223SSCB41:34Tamil Nadu A18
1319DASCB23:12Haryana B28
1426Himachal A21:32Himachal B30
1527Andhra Pradesh A24:00Himachal C29


Standings after Round 6

Rk.SNoTeamGames  +   =   -  TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 
23RSPB A6330901723742,5
36Odisha A64119016,519942
41PSPB Men64119014,522635,5
64Tamil Nadu B63218015,519539,5
75RSPB B64028015209,836,5
89Tamil Nadu C64028013,5176,534,5
920Haryana A64028013,5155,535,5
1013Kerala B63218013152,836


Round 7 Open pairings

16Odisha A9:11AAI2
21PSPB Men9:8Haryana A20
39Tamil Nadu C8:9RSPB A3
45RSPB B8:8Tamil Nadu B4
513Kerala B8:8LIC8
614Kerala A7:7Pondicherry16
715Madhya Pradesh7:6Tamil Nadu D10
811Karnataka B6:6Bihar B21
924Andhra Pradesh B6:6Tamil Nadu A18
1025Karnataka A6:5Telangana7
1130Himachal B4:4Bihar A12
1217BSNL4:4Andhra Pradesh A27
1319DASCB4:4Tamil Nadu E22
1429Himachal C0:4SSCB23
1528Haryana B2:2Himachal A26


Round 4 Women results

12AAI Women54:06Maharashtra Women A3
26Tamil Nadu Women A4½:5PSPB Women1
35Telangana Women44:04Odisha Women A7
44Tamil Nadu Women B34:03Tamil Nadu Women C10
58Tamil Nadu Women D2:2Andhra Pradesh Women11
612Himachal Women B2½:2Kerala Women9
714Himachal Women A02:20Himachal Women C13


Standings after Round 4

Rk.SNoTeamGames  +   =   -  TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 
12AAI Women4310711413034,5
21PSPB Women43107113127,833
35Telangana Women4301601280,530
43Maharashtra Women A4301601184,526,5
54Tamil Nadu Women B4211509,563,522,5


Round 5 Women pairings

11PSPB Women7:6Maharashtra Women A3
22AAI Women7:6Telangana Women5
37Odisha Women A4:5Tamil Nadu Women B4
49Kerala Women4:4Andhra Pradesh Women11
510Tamil Nadu Women C3:4Tamil Nadu Women A6
613Himachal Women C1:2Tamil Nadu Women D8
714Himachal Women A1:2Himachal Women B12


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