Harshavardhan stuns GM Rozum, Akash among leaders

Former National Champion International Master G Akash shared the lead with 4.0 points after the fourth round of the 11th Chennai Open International Grandmaster Chess tournament 2019 for Sakthi Group Dr N Mahalingam Trophy at Novotel IBIS OMR Hotel, Chennai here today. GM Norm holder Akash defeated Grandmaster Ziatdinov Raset of USA. In the top board GM Paichadze Luka of Georgia scored over defending Champion, Grandmaster Laxman R R of India.

Sharing the lead at 4.0 points with Paichadze Luka (Georgia) were Tran Tuan Minh, Nguyen Van Huy (both Vietnam), Lugovskoy Maxim (Russia), Akash G, Karthik Venkataraman, Shyamnikhil P, Harikrishnan A Ra and Girish A Koushik (all India). Half a point behind at 3.5 points were 11 players including GMs Popov Ivan (Russia) and Aleksandrov Aleksej (Belarus) among others. Top seeded Russian Grandmaster Alexandr Predke shed his second half a point, against Chennai based International Master T U Navin Kanna and remains at 3.0 points.

GM Norm holder Akash put it across GM Ziatdinov Raset of USA in a Ruy Lopez game that lasted 46 moves. An early exchange sacrifice showed the Indian’s will to go all out for win. Shattering both sides of the board, Akash kept the Ziatdinov’s king in the centre and finished the game in a flourish giving his rook thereby forcing the queening of his pawn.

Earlier, IM Norm holder G B Harshavardhan (Velammal School, Chennai) scored the biggest win of his career defeating third seeded Russian Grandmaster Rozum Ivan (ELO 2589) in the third round that concluded late yesterday. Rozum side stepped a draw by repetition on the 20th move, but went into an inferior rook ending that Chennai boy fully used to his advantage securing the win after 56 moves. Further, Harsha came up with a steady show today holding International Master N R Vignesh to a draw and is scheduled to meet Grandmaster Stupak Kirill (Belarus) in the next round. The third round also witnessed upset wins for Sai Vishwesh C and Senthil Maran K over Grandmasters Deviatkin Andrei and Sundararajan Kidambi respectively.

Six rounds remain in this 15 lakhs prize money tournament that concludes on Friday, 25th January, 2019.

Round 4 results (Indians unless specified) : Paichadze Luka (Geo) 4 bt Laxman R R (3), Manik Mikulas (Svk) 3.5 drew with Aleksandrov Aleksej (Blr) 3.5, Girish A Koushik (4) bt Deepan Chakkravarthy J (3), Stupak Kirill (Blr) 3.5 drew with Muthaiah A L (3.5), Rathanakaran K (3) lost to Tran Tuan Minh (Vie) 4, Tran Minh Thang (Vie) 3 lost to Karthik Venkataraman (4), Vignesh N R (3.5) drew with Harshavardhan G B (3.5), Akash G (4) bt Ziatdinov Raset (USA) 3, Sai Vishwesh C (3) lost to Nguyen Van Huy (Vie) 4

Round 3 results (Indians unless specified) : Pantsulaia Levan (Geo) 2 lost to Tran Minh Thang (Vie) 3, Harshavardhan G B (3) bt Rozum Ivan (Rus) 2, Popov Ivan (Rus) 2.5 drew with Saravanan V (2.5), Srihari L R (2) lost to Paichadze Luka (Geo) 3, Aleksandrov Aleksej (Blr) 3 bt Ameir Moheb (Egy) 2, Ziatdinov Raset (USA) 3 bt Erigaisi Arjun (2), Deepan Chakkravarthy J (3) bt Konguvel Ponnuswamy (2), Suvrajit Saha (2) lost to Stupak Kirill (Blr) 3

Akash G – Ziatdinov Raset

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 d6 5. Bxc6+ bxc6 6. d4 f6 7. Nc3 g6 8. Be3 Nh6 9. Qe2 Ng4 10. O-O-O Nxe3 11. Qxe3 Bg7 12. h4 Bg4 13. h5 Bxh5 14. Rxh5 gxh5 15. Nh4 Qd7 16. Nf5 Bf8 17. d5 c5 18. Ne2 Rg8 19. Rh1 Rg5 20. Neg3 Qf7 21. Qb3 Kd8 22. Qb7 Rc8 23. Qxa6 Qg6 24. Qe2 c6 25. dxc6 Qe8 26. Nxh5 Qxc6 27. Nxf6 Ra8 28. Qc4 Rxf5 29. exf5 Qxg2 30. Qd5 Qg5+ 31. Kb1 Ra7 32. Qe6 Be7 33. Nd5 Qg2 34. Rd1 Qg4 35. Ne3 Qf3 36. f6 Bf8 37. a3 Qxf2 38. Nf5 Qf3 39. Rd3 Qg4 40. f7 Rd7 41. Rb3 Kc7 42. Ka2 Qg6 43. Rb7+ Kxb7 44. Qxd7+ Ka6 45. Qc8+ Kb6 46. Qxf8 1-0