The 2nd edition of prestigious Gurgaon International Grandmasters Chess Tournament organized by The Haryana Chess Association and District Chess Association of Gurgaon under the aegis of All India Chess Federation and FIDE got off to a rousing start here at Suncity World School on Wednesday.
A total number of 252 players from 10 countries which include 13 Grandmasters, 11 International Masters and 205 International rated chess players are participating in this 10 rounds Swiss System tournament.
Grandmaster Kravstiv Martyn of Ukraine of Russia started as top seed in this Rs. 10,11,000/- lakh prize money event in which Rs. 2 lakh reserved for the winner. While the Indian Challenge in the event are spearheaded by Grandmasters S Arun Prasad and Sahaj Grover of Delhi.
In major upsets in the second round, playing white side of Classical System of Pirc defence, Tamilnadu youngster N Lokesh stunned fourth seed Georgian Grandmaster Merab Gagunashvili in just 29 moves while seasoned International Master Vishal Sareen, who is playing competitive match after Reykjavik Open in 2011 suffered a shock defeat by the hands of Kerala teenager A Abhishek.
Meanwhile top seed Ukrainian Grandmaster Kravstiv Martyan, second seed Oliver Barbosa of Philippines, Indian Grandmasters Arun Prasad and Sahaj Grover moved to third round with full points in their kitty after comfortable victories over lower seeded opponents in the second round.
Martyn defeated Md Shariff Hossain of Bangladesh while Barbosa beat Fide Master Prasanna Kurukulasuriya of Sri Lanka. Grover defeated Sa Kannan and Arun Prasad made short work of Yogit S in the second round encounters.
The other surprises of the round came in the form of draws as Rajesh Upadhayay of Indian Air Force held Grandmaster Sundararajan Kidambi while Andhra girl Cholleti Sahajasri forced International Master Naryanan Srinath to sign the peace treaty.
In the first round, unheralded Sikkim teenager Tamang Thendup held eighth seed Ukrainian Grandmaster Valeriy Neverov, rated more than 750 Elo points than him to a creditable draw.
Earlier in a colourful opening ceremony, Shri. Subhash Goyal, President Confederation of Indian Tourism Professionals and Shri. Bharat Singh Chauhan, CEO All India Chess Federation inaugurated the event by making the customary first move against top seed Kravstiv Martyn and Haryana girl Tanishka Kotia in presence of Shri. Naresh Sharma, Secretary The Haryana Chess Association, Smt. Roopa Chakkravarthy, Principal Suncity School, Shri. Pradeep Gupta, former Secretary of The Haryana Chess Association, Shri. Anil Kumar Parnami, Vice President The Haryana Chess Association, Shri. Sharmendra Singh, President Dist Chess Association of Gurgaon, Shri. Raju Verma, Chairman Dist Chess Association of Gurgaon, Shri. Desh Rattan Gulati, Vice President Dist Chess Association of Gurgaon and Shri. Rajpal Chouhan, Organising Secretary.