Commonwealth Chess Championship: Krishnan stuns Narayanan; 17 share lead

International Master P. Saravana Krishnan reached the threshold of checkmating Narayanan after 45 moves when the youngster resigned.

When the dust settled after fierce battles resulted in a series of surprise outcomes, 17 players shared the lead with two points. (REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE)   -  C.V. Subrahmanyam

Favourite Abhijeet Gupta survived a day of upsets but second seed S. L. Narayanan became the biggest name of the long casualty list in the second round of the Commonwealth chess championship here on Sunday.

After the morning’s first round saw the three top female seeds - 14-year-old Divya Deshmukh, Tania Sachdev and Bhakti Kulkarni - settle for draws against players rated more than 500 points below, several men’s seeds were left embarrassed in the afternoon round.

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When the dust settled after fierce battles resulted in a series of surprise outcomes, 17 players shared the lead with two points.

International Master P. Saravana Krishnan reached the threshold of checkmating Narayanan after 45 moves when the youngster resigned. Botswana’s little-known Providence Oatihotse held former champion M.R. Lalit Babu, seeded four, in 73 moves following perpetual checks.

Surprises continued when Ajay Karthikeyan stunned fifth seed Deepan Chakkravarthy in 84 moves and young sensation from Kerala, Jubin Jimmy proved equal to sixth seed and last year’s bronze medallist Debashis Das in just 30 moves.

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Two Grandmasters in-waiting P. Iniyan and Swayams Mishra, seeded eight and nine, crashed to shock defeats at the hands of rising talents L. R. Srihari and V. Varshini.

Among the seasoned International Masters, C. R. G. Krishna drew with G. B. Joshi and P. Shyaamnikhil split the point with Kumar Gaurav.