Lalith Babu tames world champion Carlsen in online chess

When contacted the champ at Ponnur in Guntur District he was his usual shy self gingerly confirming the triumph on Thursday night.

Lalith Babu’s sagging morale received a fillip with this win and he wants to put his not-so-impressive show at the Gibraltar GM tournament behind and prepare for the forthcoming big fixtures earnestly.   -  C.H. VIJAYA BHASKAR

Grandmaster Musunuri Lalith Babu (2531) is on cloud nine for his recent achievement and the Twitterati is abuzz hailing his convincing victory over the current world champion Magnus Carlsen in an on-going online chess tournament – PROChessLeague, organised by USA-based www.chess.com.

When contacted the champ at Ponnur in Guntur District was his usual shy self and gingerly confirming the triumph on Thursday night.

“I was representing Delhi Dynamite (DD) from Ponnur while Carlsen as a member of Norway Gnomes played from Copenhagen. We (DD) defeated the Norway outfit 11.5 - 4.5 in a lopsided encounter to qualify for the play-off. Indian GMs P. Harikrishna, Sahaj Grover, Abhijit Gupta and U. A. E. GM Salem Saleh were the other members of DD team,” said the victorious champ to Sportstar on Friday.

The Indian Oil Corporation officer, in a 45-minute tussle, tamed the world champion in 80 moves. “The unorthodox opening by the child prodigy (Carlsen) had put him in a spot of bother right from the beginning. Interestingly, with everything on the line for Norway, Carlsen chose a less-than-critical opening. However, he entertained the fans with truly risky and dubious opening play essaying 1.Na3, 1.f3, and the Portuguese variation of the Scandinavian defense rarely seen at the top level”.

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“In the semi-rapid game, he was forced to sacrifice his queen to protect his weak king and he was keen on defending (his king) most of the times,” he added.

Lalith Babu’s sagging morale received a fillip with this win and he wants to put his not-so-impressive show at the Gibraltar GM tournament behind and prepare for the forthcoming big fixtures earnestly.

“This win means a lot to me for I defeated the world’s top player. I will be preparing for the Asian chess championship to be held in May with new vigor and confidence. The Commonwealth Championship and Jakarta Asian Games are other two major tourneys lined up for me this year,” said Lalith, who trains with his first coach Murali at the sleepy village of Ponnur.