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National Senior Championship R02+03: Nine players lead with perfect score

by Satanick Mukhuty - 12/12/2019

A pack of nine players comprising seven GMs and two IMs is leading the National Senior Championship 2019 with perfect 3.0/3 score after three rounds. The event had double rounds yesterday but the players on the top showed no signs of slowing down and most of them clinched back-to-back victories to maintain their lead. They had a particularly smooth sailing in the second round with all of the first ten games ending in favour of the higher-rated candidates, while in round three IM Nitin S managed to pull off a mild upset by beating GM Visakh NR. In this illustrated report we bring you the games, analyses, photos, and more.

Abhijeet Gupta finds his footing with a crushing victory!

Top seed Abhijeet Gupta, who was visibly wobbly on the first day of the event, looked pretty convincing in the next two rounds as he first crushed Varun V with the black pieces in a mere 24 moves and then outplayed IM Mohammad Nubairshah Shaikh systematically in the Slav. With these two emphatic victories the 2611-rated Grandmaster moved to a perfect 3.0/3 along with nine other players.

After an unsteady first round the highest rated player of the event has found his killer form back! | Photo: Niklesh Jain

In the game against Varun, Abhijeet chose the Sicilian with the black pieces. The game was pretty balanced in its opening phase and entered uncharted territories as early as move 13. The 22-year-old started misplaying the position soon after which allowed the experienced Grandmaster to organize a quick and effective attack.  

 

Varun V - Abhijeet Gupta, Round 2

14.Ng3?! was already the first inaccuracy and allowed Black to go for the aggressive ...Ne5 ...Qh4 and ...Ng4 idea. Something like 14.exd5 Qxd5 15.Nf4 instead would have kept things even.

Also the fact that Black's bishops could beautifully access the long diagonals was a game changer! Can you guess the move Abhijeet played here?

Yes, it was the powerful 17...Nxf2! White can't think of recapturing on f2 because then comes the devastating d4-d3+ discovered check!

The final mistake that sealed White's fate was 21.dxPe6, this simply allowed the bishops on a7 and b7 to unleash their wrath!

After 23...Qg5! there was hardly anything White could do to resist the inevitable!

The unstoppable Aravindh Chithambaram

The defending champion and the winner of National triple-crown Aravindh Chithambaram is making steady progress with one win after another. He registered back-to-back victories against Ojas Kulkarni and Karthikeyan Pandian in rounds two and three of the event | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Aravindh tackled Grunfeld by Ojas in round two and pushed for the initiative in a solid positional manner. He did err once however on move 24 which gave Black the chance to equalize but the 2246-rated player from Karnataka failed to spot it.

 

Aravindh Chithambaram - Ojas Kulkarni, Round 2

Black continued with 16...Bxe4 in the above position which left White two strong connected pawns on the queenside to push with. A better continuation could have been 16...Qxd1 17.Rfxd1 Bxb5

23.b6! was just game over for Black. Although Aravindh erred in the very next move but his opponent simply missed his chance to fight back!

Karthikeyan Pandian - Aravindh Chithambaram, Round 3

Aravindh played a topsy-turvy game in the third round but on move 33 his opponent Karthikeyan Pandian blundered and ran straight into a mating net. How can Black finish the game after 33.Qe6 in the above position?

Nitin S pulls off an upset!

The biggest upset of the second day was pulled off by IM Nitin S, who defeated Vignesh NR in the third round with black pieces! | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Vignesh went for the Trompowsky attack with the White pieces and found a very comfortable position out of the opening. But a dubious decision on move 15 to castle long turned the tables on him. Nitin was able to open up the b-file and also put his queen and dark-squared bishop to aggressive use. His Grandmaster opponent failed to combat all this effectively and soon crumbled under pressure.

 

Vignesh NR - Nitin S, Round 3

White went for a risky queenside castle on move 15. This was dangerous because Black's queen and bishops were all actively directed towards that side of the board.

Photo Gallery

Even amidst the hectic schedule of having two rounds in a day, the players and organizers of National Senior Championship made sure to celebrate Vishy's 50th birthday and paid their tributes to the living legend | Photo: IA Dharmendra Kumar  

Abhijeet Gupta in action against Mohammad Nubairshah Shaikh. The top seed played a fine game in round three to defeat the 2421-rated IM in the Slav defense | Photo: Mahendra Dhakal

Deep Sengupta slipped down the leaderboard after he was held to draw by Himal Gusain in round three | Photo: Mahendra Dhakal

Diptayan Ghosh defeated Praveen Kumar C in the second round but split the point with fellow Grandmaster Himanshu Sharma in round three | Photo: Mahendra Dhakal

Vaibhav Suri made an emphatic comeback by winning both his games in rounds two and three | Photo: Mahendra Dhakal 

The experienced Grandmaster Sandipan Chanda is also one of the nine leaders with 3.0/3 | Photo: Mahendra Dhakal

The 12-year-old Garv Gaur from Haryana deserves a special mention. He is rated just 1799 but is holding his own against strong IMs | Photo: Rishi Kaushik

Garv has held three experienced International Masters to draws so far!

Results of round 2

Bo.No.NameRtgPts. ResultPts. NameRtgNo.
150Varun V 22501 0 - 11 GMGupta Abhijeet 26111
22GMAravindh Chithambaram Vr. 26051 1 - 01 Ojas Kulkarni 224651
34GMSengupta Deep 25641 1 - 01 Subhayan Kundu 222253
452FMNavalgund Niranjan 22311 0 - 11 GMLalith Babu M R25565
56GMGhosh Diptayan 25551 1 - 01 IMPraveen Kumar C 219955
654Utsab Chatterjee 22001 0 - 11 GMChanda Sandipan 25457
78GMDeepan Chakkravarthy J. 25351 1 - 01 FMMaheswaran P. 219157
856Soham Kamotra 21991 0 - 11 GMVisakh N R25169
910GMVishnu Prasanna. V 24931 1 - 01 Niraj Saripalli 218059
1058IMGokhale Chandrashekhar 21851 0 - 11 GMAnurag Mhamal 249011

 

Results of round 3

Bo.No.NameRtgPts. ResultPts. NameRtgNo.
11GMGupta Abhijeet 26112 1 - 02 IMMohammad Nubairshah Shaikh 242124
223GMKarthikeyan P. 24232 0 - 12 GMAravindh Chithambaram Vr. 26052
325IMGusain Himal 24122 ½ - ½2 GMSengupta Deep 25644
45GMLalith Babu M R25562 1 - 02 IMRajesh V A V 239328
529GMHimanshu Sharma 23922 ½ - ½2 GMGhosh Diptayan 25556
67GMChanda Sandipan 25452 1 - 02 Bharat Kumar Reddy Poluri 233734
733Harshavardhan G B 23442 0 - 12 GMDeepan Chakkravarthy J. 25358
89GMVisakh N R25162 0 - 12 IMNitin S. 232936
940Senthil Maran K 23052 ½ - ½2 GMVishnu Prasanna. V 249310
1011GMAnurag Mhamal 24902 ½ - ½2 GMRoy Chowdhury Saptarshi 229442

Complete results and standings


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