Aravindh, Sandipan share lead in national chess championship

Two rounds remain in the National Championship, with the winner getting the chance to represent India in various international championships.

International Master and former National Champion Akash G winning the Grandmaster Norm was the highlight of the day. [Representative image]   -  Getty Images

Second seeded Grandmaster Aravindh Chithambaram of Tamil Nadu and West Bengal’s seventh seeded GM Sandipan Chanda shared the lead with 7.5 points in the National Senior Chess Championship here on Tuesday.

Following the leaders half a point behind at 7.0 points were GMs Vaibhav Suri (Delhi), Anurag Mhamal (Goa) and International Masters Akash G (TN), Ravi Teja S (RSPB), Shyaamnikhil P (RSPB) and Konguvel Ponnuswamy (PSPB) respectively.

The highlight of the day turned out to be the third and final Grandmaster Norm for International Master and former National Champion Akash G of Tamil Nadu.

Requiring a draw to achieve his GM Norm, Akash played steadily to hold fellow GM Vishnu Prasanna to a draw. His 7/9 GM Norm performance includes wins over GMs Deep Sengupta, Aravindh Chithambaram and Sandipan Chanda.

The day saw further upsets too, as IM Shyaamnikhil (RSPB) defeated multiple Commonwealth Champion and top seed Abhijeet Gupta, while IMs Ravi Teja (RSPB) and Saravana Krishnan (TN) scored over GMs Lalith Babu (PSPB) and Tejas Bakre (Air India) respectively.

12-year-old Harshad of Tamil Nadu upset International Master Sayantan Das of West Bengal, setting himself up for a possible IM Norm.

Two rounds remain in the National Championship carrying a prize fund of Rs 20 lakh. The winner will also represent India in various international championships.