Delhi Int’l Chess: Naiditsch stops Karthikeyan, inches closer to title

In the crucial top-board battle against fellow overnight leader M. Karthikeyan, Arkadij Naiditsch needed just 29 moves to stamp his authority.

Arkadij Naiditsch has 7.5 points with two rounds remaining.

Arkadij Naiditsch seems to have virtually sealed the title though two rounds are yet to be played in the Delhi International Open chess tournament here on Sunday.

In the crucial top-board battle against fellow overnight leader M. Karthikeyan, Naiditsch needed just 29 moves to stamp his authority. In Ruy Lopez, Naiditsch produced a controlled performance and forced the Karthikeyan, a two-time National champion, to err. A series of three moves, of sub-optimal strength, hastened the end for Karthikeyan.

Read: Anand edges past Matlakov in Tata Steel opener

Naiditsch, at 6.5 points, enjoys a one-point lead over Russia’s Andrei Deviatkin, Bangladesh’s Ziaur Rahman, the Netherlands’ Sergei Tiviakov and home challenger Akash Iyer. He now needs to stay undefeated in the last two rounds to take the title.

Deviatkin, seeded 24, was a surprise winner over second seed and defending champion Farrukh Amonatov in 53 moves in an error-filled encounter.

Shete, Iyer cause wins

Among the Indians, the untitled duo of Akash and Sammed Shete upstaged higher-rated overseas Grandmasters.

Shete, who was among the qualifiers for the National championship last year, ended the comeback of flamboyant fourth seed Timur Gareyev. Sporting a colourful turban throughout the round, Gareyev crashed to a 39-move defeat to Shete. Iyer stopped 13th seeded Ukrainian Vitaly Sivuk in 35 moves.

The results (Indians unless stated):
  • Eighth round: Arkadij Naiditsch (Aze, 7.5) bt M. Karthikeyan (6.5); Andrei Deviatkin (Rus, 6.5) bt Farrukh Amonatov (Tjk, 5.5); Ivan Rozum (Rus, 5.5) lost to Ziaur Rahman (Ban, 6.5); N. R. Vignesh (6) drew with Deep Sengupta (6); Sergei Tiviakov (Ned, 6.5) bt Harsha Bharathakoti (5.5); David Alberto (Ita, 6) drew with Marat Dzhumaev (Uzb, 6); Vitaly Sivuk (Ukr, 5.5) lost to Akash Iyer (6.5); Vaibhav Suri (6) drew with Mohamamd Nubairshah Shaikh (6); Koustav Chatterjee 6) drew with Roeland Pruijssers (Ned, 6); Abhijeet Gupta (6) bt Hemant Sharma (5); Timur Gareyev (USA, 5) lost to Sammed Shete (6); Kaustav Kundu (5.5) drew with Tran Tuan Minh (Vie, 5.5); M. R. Lalit Babu (5.5) drew with Saravana Krishnan (5.5); P. Karthikeyan (6) bt Sankalp Gupta (5); Adam Horvarth (6) bt Sameer Kathmale (5).