National chess championship: Aravindh stops Suri, rejoins Stany in lead

With two rounds to go, the title-race is set to go down to the wire with at least six players eying their chances of emerging as champion on Tuesday.

Aravindh Chithambaram who defeated Vaibhav Suri to share the lead with G A Stany after 11 rounds of National chess championship in Jammu on Sunday.   -  RAKESH RAO

Young Aravindh Chithambaram’s patience paid off as he managed to break his five-game draw sequence by ending the unbeaten run of joint-overnight leader Vaibhav Suri.

The top-board battle saw an abrupt finish with Suri committing a serious blunder with a bishop-move on the 29th turn.

The victory saw Aravindh replace his latest victim as the joint leader in the company of G. A. Stany after 11 rounds of National chess championship here on Sunday.

Aravindh, who won five successive rounds before drawing an equal number of games, now has 8.5 points. Stany, who later drew with Deepan Chakkravarthy in 63 moves, matched Aravindh’s tally.

Decisive battles were at a premium with only two of the top nine boards producing winners. Apart from Aravindh, the other winner was second seed Murali Karthikeyan who continued his comeback with a fourth victory in the last five games.

The two-time National champion punished Swapnil Dhopade in just 22 moves after the latter overlooked the loss of a rook and resigned immediately.

The triumphant Karthikeyan, at eight points, is following the leaders in the company of Suri, Krishna, Deepan and Tejas.

With two rounds to go, the title-race is set to go down to the wire with at least six players eying their chances of emerging as champion on Tuesday.

Some from the pack of 12 players, presently at 7.5 points, can also stake their claims with a strong finish.

Among this lot, eighth seed M. R. Venkatesh, seven-time National champion Pravin Thipsay, reigning National junior champion Karthik Venkatraman and S. Satyapragyan made it by scoring impressive wins.

Even the title-race was getting close, top seed Abhijeet Gupta (6.5) managed to escape a hat-trick of defeat following a hard-earned draw against Dinesh Kumar Sharma.

Leading results (11th round): Aravindh Chithambaram (8.5) bt Vaibhav Suri (8); Deepan Chakkravarthy (8) drew with G. A. Stany (8.5); C. R. G. Krishna (8) drew with Tejas Bakre (8); Swapnil Dhopade (7) lost to Murali Karthikeyan (8); N. R. Vignesh (7.5) drew with Deep Sengupta (7.5); Sandipan Chanda (7.5) drew with S. Nitin (7.5); G. Akash (7.5) drew with Vishnu Prasanna (7.5); Anurag Mhamal (7.5) drew with P. Shyam Nikhil (7.5); Srijit Paul (7.5) drew with Neelotpal Das (7); K. Ratnakaran (6.5) lost to M. R. Venkatesh (7.5); Karthik Venkataraman (7.5) bt V. S. Raahul (6.5); P. D. S. Girinanth (7) drew with V. A. V. Rajesh (6.5); S. Prasanna (6.5) lost to Pravin Thipsay (7.5); G. B. Harshavardhan (7) drew with Viani Antonio Dcunha (7); S. Satyapragyan (7) bt Sankalp Gupta (6.5)