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Can Karthik Venkataraman win MPL 59th National Senior Chess Championship?

by Shahid Ahmed - 03/01/2023

GM Karthik Venkataraman is someone who generally plays the first half of the tournament in an energy saving mode. In the second half, he unleashes his super-strong side where his opponents can only hope to avoid his wrath. After a 4.5/6 start, he scored 5/6 in the last six games, including a hat-trick of wins. He is now the sole leader heading into the final round 9.5/12. He will face GM Visakh N R in the final round. Visakh also had a fantastic 2022 where he won several Open tournaments consecutively in Europe. It is quite fitting that they are facing each other for a championship match in the Round 13 which starts today at 9 a.m. IST today. Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Too close to call

The MPL 59th National Senior Chess Championship 2022 can be won by anyone. GM Karthik Venkataraman (AP) needs a win over GM Visakh N R (RSPB) to win the tournament. While a draw would allow GM Abhijeet Gupta (PSPB) to catch up if he manages to beat IM Sayantan Das (RSPB) who is on a five-game winning streak. It is clear that Sayantan has all the momentum he needs which his opponent does not. As many as six players are at 8.5/12.

GM Karthik Venkataraman is on the verge of winning MPL 59th National Senior Chess Championship 2022 | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Koustav - Karthik: 0-1

GM Karthik Venkataraman (AP, 2503) opted for a long castle in the Open Catalan against GM Koustav Chatterjee (WB, 2508). He had no trouble equalizing out of the opening. Despite having a bishop pair, Koustav was not allowed to maximize them. Karthik used his knights quite well which eventually created trouble for his opponent.

Position after 30.Ba5

The black knights were so well placed at b5 and d5, that White had almost no good idea to execute. 30.Ba5? allowed Nbc3 31.Rxd5 cost White an exchange Nxe2 32.Rxe5 Nxc1 33.Bxd8 Rxe5 Black is now completely winning as White does not have enough compensation for the lost exchange.

Abhijeet - Aronyak

The choice of passive line in the Nimzo-Indian, combined with a passive play caused IM Aronyak Ghosh (RSPB, 2521) to lose his first game of the event against GM Abhijeet Gupta (PSPB, 2601).

Position after 30...Kf7

30...Rxb7 31.Nxb7 Re8 is still better for White. However, it is not immediately over for Black. 30...Kf7 walked into trouble 31.a6 Na5 32.Rxc7 Rxc7 33.Nb7 Nc6 34.Rc1 and there is no way for Black to avoid material loss.

Hari Madhavan - Sayantan: 0-1

IM Hari Madhavan (TN, 2385) launched an ambitious attack against IM Sayantan Das (RSPB, 2475) and had to pay a heavy price for it.

Position after 19.Rf3

White should have taken the c4-pawn first 19.dxc4 Qxc4 and then went 20.Rf3. Instead, he directly went 19.Rf3 ignoring Black's counter-attack on the queenside. 19...c3 20.Bc1 made things worse Rfe8 21.Rh3 h6 22.Rg3? cxb2 23.Bxb2 Nxf4 24.Qf3 Be5 25.Qf2 f5 26.Nd2 Qxc2 27.Nc4 Ne2+ and White resigned.

Deepan - Visakh: 0-1

GM Visakh N R (RSPB, 2544) used his tactical alertness to grab a pawn against GM Deepan Chakkravarthy (RSPB, 2457).

Position after 14...Bxf2+

14..Bxf2+ dropped a pawn 15.Kxf2 Qb6+ 16.Be3 Rxd1 17.Bxb6 Rxf1+ 18.Bxf1 axb6. Having a rook and bishop on the board, the extra pawn might not be enough to win the game but it was surely enough for Black to push for a win.

Position after 34...b5

White needed to trade the pawns to keep drawing chances 35.axb6 Kxb6 36.Bd3. Instead, 35.Be2 f5 36.Bd3 Be6 gave Black a decisive advantage and he won the game in another ten moves.

A total of 196 players including 18 GMs and 27 IMs are taking part in this tournament organized by Delhi Chess Association. The event is taking place in New Delhi from 22nd December 2022 to 3rd January 20233. The 13-round Swiss league tournament has a time control of 90 minutes for 40 moves followed by 30 minutes with an increment of 30 seconds from move no.1

Replay Round 12 games

Round 12 results

18IMKoustav ChatterjeeU202508West Bengal0 - 1GMKarthik Venkataraman2503Andhra Pradesh10PGN
23GMGupta Abhijeet2601PSPB81 - 0IMAronyak GhoshU202521RSPB7PGN
332Hari Madhavan N BU202385Tamil Nadu0 - 18IMDas Sayantan2475RSPB18PGN
420GMDeepan Chakkravarthy J.2457RSPB80 - 18GMVisakh N R2544RSPB5PGN
522IMHarshavardhan G BU202434Tamil Nadu½ - ½8IMSrihari L RU182429Tamil Nadu25PGN
626IMAnuj ShrivatriU182414Madhya Pradesh½ - ½GMSethuraman S.P.2642PSPB1PGN
730FMPanesar VedantU202387Maharashtra½ - ½GMIniyan PU202507Tamil Nadu9PGN
812IMVignesh N R2493RSPB½ - ½GMChanda Sandipan2475West Bengal17PGN
936GMLaxman R.R.2372RSPB0 - 1IMShyaamnikhil P2490RSPB13PGN
1027IMMehar Chinna Reddy C.H.2405RSPB0 - 1GMMitrabha Guha2487West Bengal14PGN
1119GMVenkatesh M.R.2459PSPB7½ - ½IMNitin S.2372RSPB37PGN
124GMMendonca Leon LukeU162566Goa7½ - ½7Subhayan Kundu2319West Bengal51PGN
1315GMSengupta Deep2486PSPB7½ - ½7IMRajesh V A V2314RSPB53PGN
1421IMDas Arghyadip2438RSPB7½ - ½7Sahoo Utkal Ranjan2333Odisha46PGN
1523IMMohammad Nubairshah Shaikh2433Maharashtra7½ - ½7CMSoham KamotraU182329Jammu and Kashmir48PGN
1628IMAudi Ameya2401Goa71 - 07IMRatnakaran K.2304RSPB55PGN
1738Sanket ChakravartyU182367West Bengal7½ - ½7IMKushagra MohanU182390Telangana29PGN
1834IMAjay Krishna S2383Tamil Nadu71 - 07Badrinath S.1938Puducherry105PGN
196GMShyam Sundar M.2526Tamil Nadu1 - 0Nagare Kaivalya SandipU162124Maharashtra80PGN
2064Sai Vishwesh.C2219Tamil Nadu½ - ½GMNeelotpal Das2384PSPB33PGN


Standings after Round 12

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 
110GMKarthik VenkataramanIND2503Andhra Pradesh9,5849070,5007
23GMGupta AbhijeetIND2601PSPB9879368,0009
35GMVisakh N RIND2544RSPB984,59167,2507
418IMDas SayantanIND2475RSPB971,576,557,2508
57IMAronyak GhoshIND2521RSPB8,5899666,0006
68IMKoustav ChatterjeeIND2508West Bengal8,5889462,7507
714GMMitrabha GuhaIND2487West Bengal8,587,59465,0006
832Hari Madhavan N BIND2385Tamil Nadu8,582,58859,7507
925IMSrihari L RIND2429Tamil Nadu8,57984,558,7505
1013IMShyaamnikhil PIND2490RSPB8,5758055,5006
111GMSethuraman S.P.IND2642PSPB88993,560,0006
129GMIniyan PIND2507Tamil Nadu882,58857,0005
1330FMPanesar VedantIND2387Maharashtra8808654,7505
1422IMHarshavardhan G BIND2434Tamil Nadu8808554,0005
1526IMAnuj ShrivatriIND2414Madhya Pradesh878,58453,7506
1617GMChanda SandipanIND2475West Bengal877,58353,0006
1712IMVignesh N RIND2493RSPB877,582,552,2506
1834IMAjay Krishna SIND2383Tamil Nadu877,582,550,7507
1928IMAudi AmeyaIND2401Goa877,581,551,5006
2037IMNitin S.IND2372RSPB875,58152,5007


Round 13 pairings

110GMKarthik Venkataraman2503Andhra Pradesh9GMVisakh N R2544RSPB5
218IMDas Sayantan2475RSPB99GMGupta Abhijeet2601PSPB3
37IMAronyak GhoshU202521RSPBGMMitrabha Guha2487West Bengal14
432Hari Madhavan N BU202385Tamil NaduIMKoustav ChatterjeeU202508West Bengal8
513IMShyaamnikhil P2490RSPBIMSrihari L RU182429Tamil Nadu25
61GMSethuraman S.P.2642PSPB88GMDeepan Chakkravarthy J.2457RSPB20
79GMIniyan PU202507Tamil Nadu88IMAnuj ShrivatriU182414Madhya Pradesh26
828IMAudi Ameya2401Goa88IMVignesh N R2493RSPB12
917GMChanda Sandipan2475West Bengal88FMPanesar VedantU202387Maharashtra30
1037IMNitin S.2372RSPB88IMHarshavardhan G BU202434Tamil Nadu22
1115GMSengupta Deep2486PSPB8IMAjay Krishna S2383Tamil Nadu34
1248CMSoham KamotraU182329Jammu and KashmirGMShyam Sundar M.2526Tamil Nadu6
1346Sahoo Utkal Ranjan2333OdishaGMVenkatesh M.R.2459PSPB19
1449IMAvinash RameshU182327Tamil NaduIMDas Arghyadip2438RSPB21
1523IMMohammad Nubairshah Shaikh2433MaharashtraGMKarthikeyan P.2316RSPB52
1699Adireddy ArjunU121980TelanganaIMMehar Chinna Reddy C.H.2405RSPB27
1729IMKushagra MohanU182390TelanganaFMKrishnan RitvikU162266Maharashtra56
1851Subhayan Kundu2319West BengalGMLaxman R.R.2372RSPB36
1953IMRajesh V A V2314RSPBSanket ChakravartyU182367West Bengal38
2042IMUtsab ChatterjeeU202350West BengalIMSaravana Krishnan P.2244Tamil Nadu59



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