Roller-coaster ride for defending champion Sethuraman

After a winning start, he lost in the second round, before bouncing back to register victories in the next two to become one of the joint leaders after the fourth round. Defeat in the fifth and sixth rounds was a setback for him, but those who have been closely following his career, say that he has it in him to make a strong comeback and that the rest day (Saturday) would do him much good.

S. P. Sethuraman clinched his first national chess title last year.   -  The Hindu

It has been a roller-coaster ride for defending champion GM S. P. Sethuraman in the first six rounds of the ONGC 53rd National Premier chess championship here.

After a winning start, he lost in the second round, before bouncing back to register victories in the next two to become one of the joint leaders after the fourth round. Defeat in the fifth and sixth rounds was a setback for him, but those who have been closely following his career, say that he has it in him to make a strong comeback and that the rest day (Saturday) would do him much good.

Meanwhile, GM Vidit Gujrathi has remained unbeaten in the championship so far with three wins and three draws. He is the sole leader with 4.5 points. “Ideally, I would have liked to have more points. I am looking forward to scaling up the intensity in the coming rounds,” he says.

IM Arghyadip Das, another undefeated player in the championship so far, and IM P. Karthikeyan are in the joint second spot, just 0.5 points behind the leader. GM Karthikeyan Murali, GM M. Shyam Sundar, and GM-elect Swapnil S. Dhopade are sharing the third spot with 3.5 points each.

With the second phase of the tournament set to commence on Sunday, the stage is set for absorbing contests in the next seven rounds of the championship, which has lived up to its billing.