National Premier Chess C'ship Day 1: Sethuraman registers win

GM S. P. Sethuraman and GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi, the joint top seeds, scored facile wins in the opening round of the ONGC 53rd National Premier chess championship.

S.P. Sethuraman won his maiden National Premier Chess Title at Kottayam in 2014.   -  THE HINDU

GM S. P. Sethuraman and GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi, the joint top seeds, scored facile wins in the opening round of the ONGC 53rd National Premier chess championship, organised by the Tiruvarur DCA, at the Kasi’s Inn here on Sunday.

Sethuraman played a positional game in the Taimanov variation of Sicilian defence to outwit GM Karthikeyan Murali of Tamil Nadu. After losing a pawn on the 27th move, though Karthikeyan combined his knight, rooks, and queen to threaten Sethuraman’s king on the open file, the latter never felt the pressure and picked up another pawn on the 35th move. Karthikeyan gave up the fight after 43 moves.

Vidit employed Caro Kann defence against FM K. Praneeth Surya of Telangana. Praneeth began well, preventing his opponent’s king from castling. He even offered some minor piece sacrifice, but Vidit consolidated his position slowly. A weak Qh3 on the 17th move by Praneeth forced him to lose a piece and after a couple of moves he was left with 45 seconds on his clock compared to one hour and 15 minutes to that of Vidit. Praneeth’s few more incorrect moves cost him the game after 36 moves.

Results

First round:

P. Karthikeyan (Rlys) 1 bt M.R. Venkatesh (PSPB) 0; Karthikeyan Murali (TN) 0 lost to S.P. Sethuraman (PSPB) 1; Neelotpal Das (PSPB) 0.5 drew with Arghyadip Das (Rlys) 0.5; Deep Sengupta (PSPB) 0.5 drew with Swapnil S. Dhopade (Rlys) 0.5; M. Shyam Sundar (AAI) 1 bt Abhijit Kunte (PSPB) 0; K. Praneeth Surya (Tel) 0 lost to Vidit Santosh Gujrathi (PSPB) 1; K. Rathnakaran (Rlys) 1 bt P. Shyaamnikhil (TN) 0.