National Chess Championship: Karthik snatches sole lead before the final round

Karthik leads the championship standings with 9.5 points, while N. R. Visakh, Abhijeet Gupta and Sayantan Das follow closely on nine points.

Karthik Venkataraman (L) defeated Koustav Chatterjee in 35 moves in the penultimate round to lead the championship with 9.5 points.

Karthik Venkataraman (L) defeated Koustav Chatterjee in 35 moves in the penultimate round to lead the championship with 9.5 points. | Photo Credit: FILE PHOTO by Rakesh Rao

Karthik leads the championship standings with 9.5 points, while N. R. Visakh, Abhijeet Gupta and Sayantan Das follow closely on nine points.

A second successive top-board victory with the dark pieces brightened Karthik Venkataraman’s prospects of winning the National chess title here on Tuesday.

A day after upstaging Abhijeet Gupta in an unusual finish, Karthik benefited from a dubious rook-for-knight trade-off by country’s latest Grandmaster Koustav Chatterjee on Monday and won in 35 moves.

On a day when the top-four boards saw decisive verdicts, the triumph gave Karthik (9.5 points) a half-point lead ahead of his 13th and final round clash with N. R. Visakh (9). Abhijeet and Sayantan Das are the other two players with 9 points.

Koustav, Aronyak Ghosh, N. B. Hari Madhavan, L. R. Srihari, Mitrabha Guha and P. Shyaamnikhil follow at 8.5 points.

Abhijeet, who plays Sayantan in the final round, needs a victory to challenge for the title. Ahead of the final round, this former champion enjoys the best tie-break score.

Facing Aronyak, Abhijeet capitalized on a weak defence and eventually threatened to capture a knight before the youngster resigned on the 34th move.

Sayantan ended the nine-round unbeaten run of N. B. Hari Madhavan in just 27 moves. After Madhavan’s premature aggression on the kingside, Sayantan launched a measured counter-attack and threatened to gain a knight. Sensing more damage, Madhavan gave up.

Visakh’s superior understanding of an endgame involving a bishop each and pawns came handy in ending Deepan Chakkravarthy’s resistance in 46 moves.

12th Round Results
Koustav Chatterjee (8.5) lost to Karthik Venkataraman (9.5); Abhijeet Gupta (9) bt Aronyak Ghosh (8.5); N. B. Hari Madhavan (8.5) lost to Sayantan Das (9); Deepak Chakkravarthy (8) lost to N. R. Vishakh (9); G. B. Harshavardhan (8) drew with L. R. Srihari (8.5); Anuj Shrivatri (8) drew with S. P. Sethuraman (8); Vedant Panesar (8) drew with P. Iniyan (8); N. R. Vignesh (8) drew with Sandipan Chanda (8); R. R. Laxman (7.5) lost to P. Shyaamnikhil (8.5); Mehar Chinna Reddy (7.5) lost to Mitrabha Guha (8.5); M. R. Venkatesh (7.5) drew with S. Nitin (7.5); Leon Mendonca (7.5) drew with Subhayan Kundu (7.5); Deep Sengupta (7.5) drew with V. A. V. Rajesh (7.5); Arghyadip Das (7.5) drew with Utkal Ranjan Sahoo (7.5); Mohammad Nubairshah Shaikh (7.5) drew with Soham Kamotra (7.5); Audi Ameya (8) v K. Ratnakaran (7); Sanket Chakravarty (7.5) drew with Kushagra Mohan (7.5); Ajay Krishna (8) bt S. Badrinath (7).
For more updates, follow Sportstar on :
Download Sportstar App
Download Sportstar App
 Pen, Paper and Podcast with Vijay Lokapally
Connect With Us