Abu Dhabi Masters: Abhijeet loses but Indian youngsters impress

India’s Abhijeet Gupta suffered a shock defeat but Indian youngsters Raunak Sadhwani and D. Gukesh put up impressive displays in the Abu Dhabi Chess Masters.

In the men section, where India is represented by Surya Shekhar Ganguly and G. N. Gopal, the team was placed sixth.   -  GETTY IMAGES

India’s Abhijeet Gupta suffered a shock defeat but youngster D. Gukesh held highly-regarded Grandmaster Valdimir Akopian of Armenia to a creditable draw in the second round of Abu Dhabi Masters chess tournament here on Thursday.

Highest-rated Indian Grandmaster, Abhijeet went for the French defense and made a costly middle game error to eventually go down to Gumay Mammadzada of Azerbaijan.

However, it turned out to be a good day for young Indian players as Raunak Sadhwani also put up an excellent contest to draw with Egyptian Grandmaster Ahmed Adly, while Arjun Kalyan, who is fresh from his maiden GM norm, split the point with Andrei Istratescu of Romania.

Opening day report: Rathanvel stuns top seed GM Le Quang Liem

FIDE master V. S. Rathanvel also continued with his dream start to hold higher-ranked Nodirbek Abdusattarov of Uzbekistan. Rathanvel had caused the biggest upset of the opening round, defeating top seed Le Quang Liem of Vietnam in this super-open where 88 Indians are participating out of a total 158 participants.

With seven rounds still to go in one of the strongest open of Asia, Vishnu Prasanna, Aravindh Chithambaram, S. L. Narayanan, Nihal Sarin remain in the leading group with a perfect score. As many as 20 players share the lead.

The third round will see some fine clashes lined up as Narayanan will meet highly-rated Wang Hao of China, Chithambaram will fancy his chances against Vladimir Fedoseev of Russia while Vishnu Prasanna has set up a contest with FIDE Presidential candidate Nigel Short of England, a former world championship contender.

Important and Indian results round 2 (Indians unless stated): Ivan Cheparinov (Geo, 2) beat Abhijit Kunte (1); Swapnil S. Dhopade (1) lost to Wang Hao (Chn, 2); Vladimir Fedoseev (Rus, 2) beat N R Vignesh (1); P Iniyan (1) lost to Dubov Daniil (Rus, 2); Harsha Bharathakoti (1.5) drew with Gabriel Sargissian (Arm, 1.5); R R Laxman (1.5) drew with Anton Korobov (Ukr, 1.5); Nigel Short (Eng, 2) beat S Nitin (1); D Gukesh (1.5) drew with Vladimir Akopian (Arm, 1.5); Parham Maghsoodloo (Iri, 2) beat Sundararajan Kidambi (1); Adly Ahmed (Egy, 1.5) drew with Raunak Sadhwani (1.5); Raja Rithvik (1.5) drew with Lupulescu Constantin (Rou, 1.5); Gunay Mammadzada (Aze, 2) beat Abhijeet Gupta (1); Dimakiling Oliver (Phi, 1) lost to Aravindh Chithambaram (2); S L Narayanan.(2) beat N Krishna Teja (1); Arjun Kalyan (1.5) drew with Andrei Istratescu (Rou, 1.5); Soumya Swaminathan (1.5) drew with Alexandr Fier (Bra, 1.5); Chinmay Kulkarni (1) lost to Nihal Sarin (2); Nodirbek Abdusattorov (UZb, 1.5) drew with V S Rathanvel (1.5); V S Raahul (1.5) drew with M R Lalith Babu (1.5); V Vishnu Prasanna. (2) beat Jeet Jain (1); Rakshitta Ravi (1) lost to Erigaisi Arjun (2).