National Chess: Vidit Gujrathi maintains lead

Vidit adopted the classical variation of French defence. Sethuraman, playing the white pieces, castled on the long side. Vidit tried to exploit it by forwarding the queen side pawns and Sethuraman did the same on the king side. But, Vidit seized the initiative first and went for the kill on the 28th move, forcing Sethuraman to lose his queen for the meagre compensation of a bishop and knight.

Vidit Gujrathi leads with 6 points.   -  The Hindu

Defending champion GM S. P. Sethuraman and GM Vidit Gujrathi, the joint top seeds, played out a draw in the eighth round of the ONGC 53rd National Premier chess championship, organised by the Tiruvarur DCA, at the Kasi’s Inn here on Monday. Vidit, with 6 points, maintains his sole lead.

Vidit adopted the classical variation of French defence. Sethuraman, playing the white pieces, castled on the long side. Vidit tried to exploit it by forwarding the queen side pawns and Sethuraman did the same on the king side. But, Vidit seized the initiative first and went for the kill on the 28th move, forcing Sethuraman to lose his queen for the meagre compensation of a bishop and knight. But, under time pressure, both the players, especially Vidit, made mistakes to level the game with equal pieces towards the end. An exciting game eventually ended in a tame draw after 48 moves.

IM P. Karthikeyan shattered the pawn structure of IM P. Shyaamnikhil in a centre counter defence game by the latter and had three connected pawns in the end game. Karthikeyan combined his rook and two knights efficiently to win the game. He continues to be in the second spot with 5.5 points.

Another game with French defence ended in favour of GM Karthikeyan Murali against IM K. Ratnakaran. In the Tarrasch variation, Karthikeyan lost a pawn on the 30th move, but doubled his agile rooks on e- file to win exchange. Karthikeyan required only a few more moves to register a win. He is in the third position with 5 points.

Results (after eighth round):

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