National Chess C’ship: Vidit Gujrathi keeps lead

In the Closed Catalan game, both Vidit and Karthikeyan played a cautious and error-free middle game.

Vidit Gujrathi leads with seven points.   -  The Hindu

GM Vidit Gujrathi continued to lead the field, with seven points, after registering a win over IM P. Karthikeyan in the ninth round of the ONGC 53rd National Premier chess championship, organised by the Tiruvarur DCA, at the Kasi’s Inn here on Tuesday.

In the Closed Catalan game, both Vidit and Karthikeyan played a cautious and error-free middle game. After a series of exchanges in the centre, Vidit won a rook for knight on the 25th move. Though Karthikeyan won a pawn on the 32nd move, Vidit’s control of the open file by his rook and a1h8 diagonal by his queen and bishop made Karthikeyan to resign on the 36th move. With the loss, Karthikeyan (5.5 points) slipped to the third spot.

GM Karthikeyan Murali defeated IM P. Shyaamnikhil and recorded his fifth win of the championship. Shyaamnikhil played Modern defence. In the middle game, he lost two valuable pawns and when Karthikeyan won one more pawn, Shyaamnikhil did not hesitate to resign on the 36th move. Karthikeyan has moved to the second spot with six points and will meet Vidit in the next round.

Employing neo-Grunfeld defence, defending champion GM S.P. Sethuraman played out a formal 25 move draw with GM Abhijit Kunte.

FM K. Praneeth Surya playing against GM Deep Sengupta was on par with his opponent throughout the game. He drew the game comfortably by constantly threatening Deep’s king in a queen and pawns ending.

Results (ninth round):

M. Shyam Sundar (AAI) 4.5 drew with M.R. Venkatesh (PSPB) 4; K. Praneeth Surya (Tel) 4.5 drew with Deep Sengupta (PSPB) 3.5; K. Ratnakaran (Rlys) 3.5 drew with Neelotpal Das (PSPB) 4.5; P. Shyaamnikhil (TN) 3 lost to Karthikeyan Murali (TN) 6; Vidit Gujrathi (PSPB) 7 bt P. Karthikeyan (Rlys) 5.5; Abhijit Kunte (PSPB) 3.5 drew with S.P. Sethuraman (PSPB) 4.5; Swapnil S. Dhopade (Rlys) 4 lost to Arghyadip Das (Rlys) 5.