Prasad holds Adhiban on tough day for veterans

The National chess championship finally got off as rescheduled and produced its share of excitement here on Thursday. Little-known Bala Chandra Prasad compelled former champion and second seeded Grandmaster B. Adhiban to force a draw by perpetual checks.

Bala Chandra Prasad, the only untitled player in the 14-man field, made light of a 350-point rating difference and walked away with honours even in 52 moves.   -  Rajeev Bhatt

The National chess championship finally got off as rescheduled and produced its share of excitement here on Thursday.

Little-known Bala Chandra Prasad compelled former champion and second seeded Grandmaster B. Adhiban to force a draw by perpetual checks.

Prasad, the only untitled player in the 14-man field, made light of a 350-point rating difference and walked away with honours even in 52 moves. Though Adhiban had an extra bishop, he had to resort to repeated checks since one of Prasad’s pawn was firmly placed on the seventh rank.

After the organisers found an appropriate room, and not auditorium as originally planned, to hold the event, things moved smoothly.

Top seed Vidit Gujrathi had no trouble in brushing aside a passive Sriram Jha in the shortest game of the day. In just 24 moves, Vidit emerged with an extra bishop. Jha saw the futility in continuing and resigned.

Young Aravindh Chithambaram, seeded three, outplayed Abhijit Kunte, the most experienced among the eight GMs in the field in 33 moves. Veteran International Master Neeraj Kumar Mishra, too, met a similar end against a much younger S. Nitin in 41 moves.

GMs Tejas Bakre and defending champion M. Karthikeyan settled for a 31-move draw.

The results:

First round: Abhishek Kelkar lost to Surya Praneeth; S. Nitin bt Neeraj Kumar Mishra; Bala Chandra Prasad drew with B. Adhiban; Tejas Bakre drew with M. Karthikeyan; Vidit Gujrathi bt Sriram Jha; R. R. Laxman drew with Ravi Teja; Abhijit Kunte lost to Aravindh Chithambaram.

Second round pairings: Praneeth-Chithambaram; Teja-Kunte; Jha-Laxman; Karthikeyan-Vidit; Adhiban-Bakre; Mishra-Prasad; Kelkar-Nitin.