Shyaamnikhil & Lugovskoy share lead, Muthaiah stops Susanto

Double GM Norm holder Shyaamnikhil P (ICF, Chennai) along with GM Lugovskoy Maxim of Russia moved into the top of the leaderboard with 5/5 score 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 third spot half a point behind at 4.5 points were Grandmasters Paichadze Luka, Aleksandrov Aleksej (both Belarus), Erigaisi Arjun, Karthik Venkataraman (both India) among others.

The first and third boards ended in peace with Nguyen Van Huy – Paichadze Luka and Karthik Venkataraman – Harikrishnan A Ra games concluding without a result.

This left overnight joint leaders Shyaamnikhil and Lugovskoy to snatch the lead winning their respective games. Shyaam scored over GM Tran Tuan Minh of Vietnam in 36 moves. The Bluemenfeld Counter Gambit game saw Shyaam leaping forward to a big pawn push in the centre. In the ensuing skirmish of exchanges, the Indian placed both his rooks behind passed pawns, converting his win without ado.

In another upset, International Master Muthaiah A L (SRM College, Vadapalani, Chennai) outplayed experienced Grandmaster Megaranto Susanto of Indonesia. Muthaiah’s kingside attack was a treat to watch, as he came up with an electrifying rook sacrifice, coupled with a mate threat. Susanto threw all his pieces on the Indian who kept his cool like “Dhoni in finish” forcing the Indonesian to resign after 31 moves.

At halfway mark, a number of promising Indian players are well within the striking mark for IM and GM Norms. The 15 lakh prize money tournament, a signature event of Tamil Nadu State Chess Association, concludes on Friday, 25th January.

Round 5 Results (Indians unless specified) Nguyen Van Huy (Vie) 4.5 drew with Paichadze Luca (Geo) 4.5, Tran Tuan Minh (Vie) 4 lost to Shyaamnikhil P (5), Karthik Venkataraman (4.5) drew with Harikrishnan A Ra (4.5), Lugovskoy Maxim (Rus) 5 bt Akash G (4), Popov Ivan (Rus) 4 drew with Girish A Koushik (4.5), Aleksandrov Aleksej (Blr) 4.5 bt Saravanan V (3.5), Harshavardhan G B (4) drew with Stupak Kirill (Blr) 4, Muthiah A L (4.5) bt Megaranto Susanto (Ina) 3.5

Tran Tuan Minh – Shyaamnikhil P
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 c5 4. d5 b5 5. dxe6 fxe6 6. cxb5 d5 7. Bg5 h6 8. Bh4 Qa5+ 9. Nbd2 Nbd7 10. e3 g5 11. Bg3 Ne4 12. Bd3 Bg7 13. O-O Nxg3 14. hxg3 O-O 15. Qc2 c4 16. Bh7+ Kh8 17. Nd4 Qb6 18. a4 Bxd4 19. exd4 Qxd4 20. Bg6 Qg7 21. b3 c3 22. Nf3 e5 23. Rac1 d4 24. Be4 Rb8 25. Rfe1 Nc5 26. b4 Nxe4 27. Qxe4 Bb7 28. Qxe5 Bxf3 29. gxf3 Qxe5 30. Rxe5 Rfd8 31. Ree1 Rbc8 32. Red1 d3 33. a5 c2 34. Rd2 Rc3 35. b6 axb6 36. axb6 Rb8 0-1

Muthaiah A L – Megaranto Susanto
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. d4 b6 3. g3 Bb7 4. Bg2 c5 5. c4 cxd4 6. Qxd4 Nc6 7. Qf4 g6 8. O-O Bg7 9. Nc3 O-O 10. Rd1 d6 11. Qh4 Na5 12. Bh6 Qc8 13. Nd5 Bxd5 14. cxd5 Bxh6 15. Qxh6 Qf5 16. Bh3 Qe4 17. Kf1 Nb7 18. Rac1 Qa4 19. Rd4 Qxa2 20. Ng5 Qxb2 21. Rcc4 Na5 22. Rb4 Nb3 23. Rf4 Nd2+ 24. Kg2 Qa1 25. g4 Rfc8 26. Rxf6 Qf1+ 27. Kg3 Rc3+ 28. e3 Rxe3+ 29. fxe3 Qg1+ 30. Bg2 Qxe3+ 31. Kh4 1-0