Chess: Eight share lead in Kolkata Open
Kolkata, May 16: Eight players shot into the lead with a full score at the end of what turned out to be a stable day for most of the high ranked players in the ongoing 3rd Kolkata Open Chess Tournament here on Wednesday.
Bengal youngsters Srijit Paul and Koustav Chatterjee impressed by holding their Grandmaster opponents to draws, while Indian prodigy Nihal Sarin was held to a draw by Bangladeshi sensation Mohammed Fahad Rahman.
One of the sharpest games of the tournament so far was played out on the second board between K. Rathnakaran and Aravindh Chithambaram, two players known for their creativity.
In a wild battle from a Ruy Lopez opening, Rathnakaran played energetically to sacrifice an exchange on the 18th move and looked to be holding an advantage as Aravind's kingside looked exposed and vulnerable. However, the game ended in a draw in 62 moves after lots of twists and turns.
Teenaged Anand Nadar held Grandmaster Sandipan Chanda to a relatively sedate draw from 46 moves, while Veteran D.V. Prasad continued his good run in the tournament by holding Grandmaster Sundararajan Kidambi to an interesting draw.
It was also a day when many of the prominent Grandmasters in the field gave delightful displays of their fine strategic technique, carving out wins playing flawless chess late into the endgame.
Top seed Nigel Short revealed his creative side by developing his king-knight to the h6 square on the 4th move itself from the black side of an irregular queen-pawn opening against IM Shyam Nikhil.
Patiently maneuvering and improving his position throughout the middlegame, he entered major pieces ending with a slight advantage, and converted into a win in 47 moves by keeping his opponent under constant pressure throughout.
Ivan Rozum of Russia was another Grandmaster who showed his technical superiority in a rook endgame over young Arjun Kalyan. Rated at 2581, Rozum won a pawn in the middlegame and patiently converted his advantage in a rook ending lasting 46 moves.
A similar method of play saw local Grandmaster Deep Sengupta scoring a facile win over teenaged IM Siva Mahadevan in a Guico Piano game leading into a minor pieces ending lasting 43 moves.