Delhi International Open: Niranjan Navalgund punches above weight

Untitled Niranjan Navalgund scripted an unlikely win by stunning Armenian Grandmaster Karen Movsziszian, seeded 11, and returned to humble International Master Saptarshi Roy to join 13 others in the lead with a perfect score after three rounds.

A file photo of Niranjan Navalgund.   -  special arrangement

Untitled Niranjan Navalgund scripted an unlikely win by stunning Armenian Grandmaster Karen Movsziszian, seeded 11, and returned to humble International Master Saptarshi Roy to join 13 others in the lead with a perfect score after three rounds of the Delhi International Open chess tournament, here on Tuesday.

On a day when second seed M. R. Lalith Babu slipped after being held by the lanky Akash Thakur, Rahul Sangma was the other player to maintain an all-win sequence by beating Polish GM Jacek Stopa. There was no stopping top-seeded Tajikistani Farrukh Amonatov.

But this double-round day belonged to Niranjan. The 22-year old punished Movsziszian who pressed too hard for initiative in their Reti game. Niranjan, who has already authored an interesting book, held his nerves and seized the opportunity to prevail in 40 moves.

In the evening, Roy chose not to take Niranajan’s knight to launch a decisive attack but the ploy backfired. Roy had his knight trapped and eventually resigned.

Leading results (Indians unless stated):

Third round: Ihor Nester (Ukr, 2) lost to Farrukh Amonatov (Tjk, 3); M. R. Lalith Babu (2.5) drew with Akash Thakur (2.5); Sayantan Das (3) bt Diptayan Ghosh (2); Arystanbek Urazayev (Kaz, 2) lost to M. Karthikeyan (3); P. Itiyan (3) bt Vitaliy Bernadskiy (Ukr, 2); Vitaly Sivuk (Ukr, 3) bt Srijit Paul (2); Vadim Malakhatko (Bel, 2.5) drew with V. A. V. Rajesh (2.5); Nouri Hamed (Phi, 2.5) drew with Swayams Mishra (2.5); Jacek Stopa (Pol, 2) lost to Rahul Sangma (3); Anna Styazhkina (Rus, 2) lost to Valeriy Neverov (Ukr, 3); Niranjan Navalgund (3) bt Saptarshi Roy (2).

Second round: Amonatov bt Aradhya Garg; M. Mahalakshmi lost to Babu; Ghosh bt Joydeep Dutta; Pratik Patil drew with Alberto David (Ita); Karthikeyan bt S. Jayakumar; Bernadskiy bt Anish Gandhi; Chilukuri Likhit lost to Sivuk; Ja Gireman drew with Adam Tukhaev (Ukr); Spencer Masango lost to Malakhatko; Karen Movsziszian (Arm) lost to Niranjan Navalgund.