Bespectacled S. Nitin is a seasoned International Master but may not have visualised nailing fourth-seeded Grandmaster Leon Mendonca by prompting his helpless king into a checkmating net.
In what turned out to be the biggest upset of the third round of the 59th MPL National chess championship, Nitin needed only 36 moves to inflict an embarrassing defeat on the young talent and stayed in the lead at three points with seven others.
Others who completed a hat-trick of victories were top seed S. P. Sethuraman, Abhijeet Gupta, Aronyak Ghosh, Koustav Chatterjee, P. Iniyan, G. B. Harshvardhan and Vedant Panesar.
Grandmasters Karthik Vekataraman, Mitrabha Guha, Deep Sengupta, P. Karthikeyan and Neelotpal Das were engaged in drawn encounters and became part of a 25-player pack placed half a point behind the leaders’ group.
Swapnil Dhopade seeded 11, gave a walkover to Bharat Reddy while fellow Grandmasters M. R. Venkatesh, and R. R. Laxman were involved in drawn encounters.
Meanwhile, for GM Deepan Chakkravarthy, the search for a victory resulted in his first defeat after he blundered a knight against Manipur’s veteran Imocha Laishram, and resigned immediately.