Pranesh impressive, Lugovskoy leads 7.5/8

Grandmaster Lugovskoy Maxim (Russia) maintained his lead with 7.5 points after the eighth round in the 11th Chennai Open International Grandmaster Chess tournament 2019 for Sakthi Group Dr N Mahalingam Trophy at Novotel IBIS OMR Hotel, Sholinganallur, Chennai here today.

Sharing the second spot with 7.0 points was Pantsulaia Levan of Georgia. Further half a point behind at third place with 6.5 points were top seed Predke Alexandr, Popov Ivan, Deviatkin Andrei (all Russia), Paichadze Luka (Georgia), Girish A Koushik and Vignesh N R (both India).

The top board game turned out to be a Queens Gambit Declined affair, where Stupak Kirill opened up his kingside for initiative. With both players castling long, the middle game piece play led them to a rook and minor piece ending. Overnight leader Lugovskoy played it safe, creating positional weakness into white territory. Kirill gave up when his position appeared falling apart, as he ran into his final seconds of play.

The second board, saw top seed Grandmaster Predke Alexandr (Russia) shedding one more draw, this time against Grandmaster Paichadze Luka of Georgia. The Ruy Lopez exchange variation game saw early aggression from black. But, as soon as the queens were traded off, the players repeated their moves in a rook and knight ending signing peace after 31 moves.

Sivaganga boy M Pranesh scored a fine win over International Master S Nitin of Southern Railways. With six points in his kitty, Pranesh is on the right track to achieve his International Master Norm. This ten round Swiss event carries a prize fund of Rupees 15 lakhs with 55 prizes in the Open & Category sections. The final round is scheduled for Friday, 25th Jan,2019.

Round 8 Results (Indians unless specified) : Stupak Kirill (Blr) 6 lost to Lugovskoy Maxim (Rus) 7.5, Paichadze Luka (Geo) 6.5 drew with Predke Alexandr (Rus) 6.5, Pantsulaia Levan (Geo) 7 bt Karthik Venkataraman (6), Rozum Ivan (Rus) 6 drew with Nguyen Van Huy (Vie) 6, Akash G (5.5) lost to Popov Ivan (Rus) 6.5, Neelotpal Das (5.5) lost to Aleksandrov ALeksej (Blr) 6.5, Erigaisi Arjun (5.5) lost to Girish A Koushik (6.5), Tran Tuan Minh (Vie) 6 drew with Babiy Olga (Ukr) 6, Siddarth M (5.5) lost to Deviatkin Andrei (Rus) 6.5

Stupak Kirill – Lugovskoy Maxim
1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Nbd7 5. cxd5 exd5 6. e3 c6 7. Bd3 Be7 8. Qc2 Nh5 9. Bxe7 Qxe7 10. Nge2 g6 11. g4 Ng7 12. O-O-O Nb6 13. h3 Be6 14. Nf4 O-O-O 15. Be2 h5 16. gxh5 Nxh5 17. Nxh5 gxh5 18. Bd3 Qf6 19. Rdf1 Qf3 20. Ne2 Qf6 21. Nf4 h4 22. Rfg1 Kb8 23. Kb1 Nc8 24. Rg2 Rhg8 25. Rhg1 Rxg2 26. Rxg2 Nd6 27. a3 Bc8 28. Qd1 Nf5 29. Nh5 Qe7 30. Qf3 Nd6 31. Nf4 Qf6 32. Qh5 Rh8 33. Qe5 Qxe5 34. dxe5 Nc4 35. Bxc4 dxc4 36. f3 a5 37. Kc2 Re8 38. Rg5 b5 39. Kc3 Kc7 40. a4 Kb6 41. Rh5 Rd8 42. Rxh4 Kc5 43. Rh5 Be6 44. Kc2 Rg8 45. Rh6 Rg3 46. Rf6 b4 47. h4 Rg1 48. Ne2 Rg2 0-1

Nitin S – Pranesh M
1. Nc3 Nc6 2. e4 e5 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Bb5 Bb4 5. O-O Bxc3 6. bxc3 O-O 7. Re1 Re8 8. d3 h6 9. Nd2 Ne7 10. d4 Ng6 11. a4 c6 12. Bf1 d5 13. exd5 cxd5 14. Nb3 e4 15. c4 Bg4 16. Qd2 dxc4 17. Bxc4 Nh4 18. Bf1 Qc8 19. Ba3 Qf5 20. Bd6 e3 21. Rxe3 Ne4 22. Rxe4 Qxe4 23. Bg3 Qe7 24. Bb5 Rec8 25. Re1 Qg5 26. f4 Qf6 27. Nc5 Nf5 28. Bf2 Nd6 29. h3 Bf5 30. g4 Nxb5 31. axb5 Bxc2 32. Qxc2 b6 33. Qe4 bxc5 34. dxc5 Qc3 35. Kg2 Rab8 36. Bd4 Qc4 37. g5 hxg5 38. fxg5 Re8 39. Qxe8+ Rxe8 40. Rxe8+ Kh7 41. Be3 Qxb5 42. Re7 a5 43. Rxf7 Qe2+ 44. Bf2 a4 45. Ra7 Qe4+ 46. Kg1 Qf3 47. h4 Kg6 48. Ra6+ Kh5 49. c6 Qg4+ 50. Kh2 Qe2 0-1