National Chess C’ship: Praneeth stuns Sethuraman

GM Karthikeyan Murali recorded his third successive win after a fierce battle with GM Deep Sengupta.

This is K. Praneeth Surya's first win over a player rated above 2650.   -  The Hindu

K. Praneeth Surya stunned defending champion GM S.P. Sethuraman in the fifth round of the ONGC 53rd National Premier chess championship, organised by the Tiruvarur DCA, at the Kasi’s Inn here on Thursday.

Praneeth attacked from the 22nd move by opting a pawn break with f4 and boldly threw open his king side. Sethuraman underestimated his ploy and preferred to encash it with his queen manoeuvre. Six moves later, Praneeth not only regained the pawn but also won the exchange. Sethuraman tried to defend the position, but another rook sacrifice by Praneeth for a knight tilted the scale in the latter’s favour. This is Praneeth’s (Elo rating 2413) first win over a player rated above 2650.

GM Abhijit Kunte adopted the Nimzo Indian defence against GM Vidit Gujrathi and the latter’s piece development was better than that of the former. Vidit gained a pawn on the 29th move and his powerful d- pawn on the seventh rank forced a win for him six moves later. With this victory, Vidit has emerged sole leader with four points.

IM K. Ratnakaran answered with the Kopec system to the Sicilian defence by IM Arghyadip Das. But both could not make any breakthrough and shook hands for a draw after 36 moves. Arghyadip, with 3.5 points, is in the second position.

GM Karthikeyan Murali recorded his third successive win after a fierce battle with GM Deep Sengupta. Karthikeyan won a pawn on the 24th move and four moves later, Deep had to lose the exchange to avoid a checkmate. Karthikeyan grew in confidence and won the rook vs. knight ending comfortably.

Results (fifth round):

Neelotpal Das (PSPB) 2.5 drew with M.R. Venkatesh (PSPB) 1; Deep Sengupta (PSPB) 1 lost to Karthikeyan Murali (TN) 3; M. Shyam Sundar (AAI) 3 bt P. Karthikeyan (Rlys) 3; K. Praneeth Surya (Tel) 3 bt S.P. Sethuraman (PSPB) 3; K. Ratnakaran (Rlys) 1.5 drew with Arghyadip Das (Rlys) 3.5; P. Shyaamnikhil (TN) 2 lost to Swapnil S. Dhopade (Rlys) 3; Vidit Gujrathi (PSPB) 4 bt Abhijit Kunte (PSPB) 1.5.