So far, the performances of several under-15 players have stood out as six of them became part of a 29-player leaders’ group with an all-win record after four rounds of the Rs. 45-lakh Delhi International Open chess at the Nehru Stadium here.
Before favourite S. P. Sethuraman overcame some mid-game worries against teenager Apoorv Kamble and second seed Aravindh Chithambaram outplayed Swayham Das for their fourth victory, third seed Levan Pantsulaia escaped with a 38-move draw against local-teen Daaevik Wadhawan.
Facing Pantsulaia, rated 2597, Daaevik reached an overwhelmingly advantageous position after the Georgian’s 35th move. However, the inexperience of the youngster, rated 1886, came to the fore as he moved his king to a square that allowed Pantsulaia instant counter-play. Daavik then unleashed three rook-checks on the white king and signed peace in 38 moves.
Among the teen-leaders was Mukund Agarwal who stunned Grandmaster Saptarshi Roy. Other under-15 leaders were, S. Aswath, Arjun Adireddy, Goutham Krishna, Arpith Bijoy and Ajay Santhosh Parvathareddy.
Grandmasters who have already dropped half a point to lesser-rated rivals, are M. R. Lalit Babu, G. A. Stany, Alexei Fedorov, Deepan Chakkravarthy and Marat Dzhumaev.
Aleksej Aleksandrov, rated 2484 and seeded 12, drew for the second time in as many days after running into N. R. Jaidambareesh, rated 1666.
With over 1000 entries, some of the leading seeded players could face some severe tests only in the second half of this 10-round competition.
Unusual as it is, even in the fifth round, the games between leaders reflect a difference in ratings, ranging from 200 to over 650 points.