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Chennai Open: Akash among leaders, Harshavardhan stuns GM Rozum

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 scored over 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.

Top seed GM Alexandr Predke, P Stephen Balasamy, Gen Secy, TNSCA, B Murugavel, Vice President, TNSCA, GM Elect D Gukesh, D V Sundar, Vice President, FIDE, Frederic Friedel, Co-founder, ChessBase, IM Manuel Aaron

Top seed GM Alexandr Predke, P Stephen Balasamy, Gen Secy, TNSCA, B Murugavel, Vice President, TNSCA, GM Elect D Gukesh, D V Sundar, Vice President, FIDE, Frederic Friedel, Co-founder, ChessBase, IM Manuel Aaron

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.

IM Norm holder Harshavardhan G B

IM Norm holder Harshavardhan G B

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 Rupees 15 lakhs (Euros 18460) prize money tournament that concludes on Friday, 25th January, 2019.

Earlier, the inauguration was preceded by a felicitation for the achievement of second youngest Grandmaster title in the history of chess by Chennai boy D Gukesh (DOB 29th May, 2006). Achieving the final GM Norm in the recently concluded Delhi Open, Gukesh, who is our current World Under 12 Champion, made it on his 12th year, 7th month and 17th day. The Velammal School boy fell short of world record holder Russian Sergey Karjakin by 17 days. Karjakin (DOB 12th Jan, 1990) had completed the GM title in 12 years and 7 months in 2002.

Mr S Kailasanathan, CEO, Microsense, GM Elect D Gukesh, International Master Manuel Aaron, Mr D V Sundar, Vice President, FIDE

Mr S Kailasanathan, CEO, Microsense, GM Elect D Gukesh, International Master Manuel Aaron, Mr D V Sundar, Vice President, FIDE

Speaking on the felicitation of GM Elect Gukesh, Mr D V Sundar, Vice President FIDE said, “This boy, Gukesh, is bound to go far, bringing more laurels to himself and the country”.

Mr Frederic Friedel, Co-founder, ChessBase added, “Gukesh shows profound understanding for chess and I see the rising of another Magnus Carlsen in him”.

Mr S Kailasanathan, CEO of Microsense – official sponsor of Gukesh – added, “We could see the talent in Gukesh and were too happy to be of support to him during his great achievement”. M/s Microsense gave a cash award of Rs. 100000 (Rupees one lakh only) to the young achiever.

A cash award of Rs 30000 (Rupees thirty thousand only) was awarded to Master Gukesh on behalf of Tamil Nadu State Chess Association. Also present in the dais were, International Master Manuel Aaron, the Chief Guest, Shri P Stephen Balasamy, Gen. Secretary, TNSCA, Shri B Murugavel, Organising Secretary, Shri Rohan, General Manager, Novotel IBIS OMR Hotel, Shri V Hariharan, former Secretary AICF & TNSCA.

Manik Mikulas (Slovakia) playing Aleksandrov Aleksej (Belarus)

Manik Mikulas (Slovakia) playing Aleksandrov Aleksej (Belarus)

World Under 12 Girls Champion Savitha Shri B

World Under 12 Girls Champion Savitha Shri B

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

Round 2 Results (Indians unless specified) : Saranya J (1) lost to Pantsulaia Levan (Geo) 2, Rozum Ivan (Rus) 2 bt Rajarishi Karthi (1), Rathneesh R (1) lost to Popov Ivan (Rus) 2, Paichadze Luka (Geo) 2 bt Shiva Pavan Teja Sharma U (1), Bala Kannamma P (1) lost to Aleksandrov Aleksej (Blr) 2, Erigaisi Arjun (2) bt Md. Abzid Rahman (Bdesh) 1, Dahale Atul (1) lost to Deepan Chakkravarthy J (2).

Round 1 Results (Indians unless specified) Sathish Chandra G drew with Predke Alexandr (Rus), Pantsulaia Levan (Geo) bt Adireddy Tarun, Dharani Kumar M S lost to Rozum Ivan (Rus), Popov Ivan (Rus) bt Adarsh Tripathi, Evrin Selvam lost to Paichadze Luka (Geo), Aleksandro Aleksej (Blr) bt Aakash G, Badri Narayan B lost to Erigaisi Arjun, Deepan Chakkravarthy J bt Niharika Ch, Divyan T lost to Stupak Kirill (Blr), Tran Tuan Minh (Vie) bt Tejes Suresh Kumar, Giri Abhishek lost to Megaranto Susanto (Ina), Karthik Venkataraman bt Chirag Mudraje.

R R Vasudevan
Press Officer
Chennai Open 2019