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Maharashtra Chess League starts with a bang

The first round of the Maharashtra Chess League started off typical of a rapid chess tournament, twists and turns along the way, with jubilation for some, and heartbreak for others…

The young hands of Jalgaon Battlers were undoubtedly the performers of the day, as they outwitted Mumbai Movers with a huge 5 – 1 score, with crucial victories coming from IM Srinath and untitled SL Narayanan.

Srinath, fresh from his victory at the Asian Junior 2013 at UAE, was left with a passive position out of an English Opening, where Arunprasad seems to be slowly pressing. But typical of Rapid Chess, the game entered a phase of cut and thrust tactics, where Srinath emerged the winner.

Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan is an untitled 15 year old lad from Kerala, South India, arguably from a place without much Chess tradition. But he exhibited a maturity beyond his age and rating today, as he scored a clean strategic win over GM RR Laxman, who is very famous for his prowess at any quick form of Chess.

Former World Junior Champion WGM Soumya Swaminathan was in the thick of action today, defending a slightly inferior position against the formidable WGM Tania Sachdev, in a crucial battle between Nagpur Royals and Ahmedbagar Checkers.

Defending a slightly inferior position with White pieces, Soumya was convinced that the position was repeated thrice, and claimed a draw. But she did the classic mistake of NOT stopping the clock and NOT desisting from making the move before claiming the draw!

After the Arbiter ruled that the game be continued, Tania finally blundered and allowed a simple mate on the 7th rank. But the star of the day for Nagpur was GM Tejas Bakre, who defeated GM GN Gopal in a crucial game to anchor their win over Ahmednagar, who have a formidable line-up…

As most of the games went on expected lines in their match against Thane Combatants, the credit for the slender 3.5 – 2.5 win for Pune Attackers should go to IM Himanshu Sharma and Amardeep Bartakke.

In a battle between near equals in rating, Himanshu defeated National Women Champion WGM Mary Ann Gomes, while Bartakke held the formidable WGM Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman to a draw.

Earlier in the day the event was inaugurated by Chandrakanth Dalvi, Commissioner Land Records, Government of Maharashtra, in the presence of Aniruddha Deshpande, President of Pune District Chess Circle, in the aesthetically designed tournament arena, complete with player area with game monitors, team dug-outs and spectator area.
Among the guests of the function were Vijay Bhave (President, PYC Gymkhana), Ravindra Dongre (President, Zone 3.7 – FIDE), Dilip Pagay (Secretary, Maharashtra State Chess Association) and Niranjan Godbole (Secretary, Pune District Chess Circle).

The games are being broadcasted live at http://mcl.chess.me, which also carries photographs, team details and all relevant info on the event.

Complete Results (1st Round):

Nagpur Royals 4-2 Ahmednagar Checkers
GM Grover Sahaj 2467 1:0 Sagar Shah 2376
GM Bakre Tejas 2500 1:0 GM Gopal G.N. 2526
WGM Soumya Swaminathan 2300 1:0 IM Tania Sachdev 2409
Shweta Gole 1934 0:1 GM Venkatesh M.R. 2492
Kulkarni Chinmay 2298 1/2:1/2 WFM Pujari Rucha 2132
IM Swapnil S. Dhopade 2376 1/2:1/2 IM Gagare Shardul 2360

Jalgaon Battlers 5-1 Mumbai Movers
GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi 2549 1/2:1/2 IM Deshmukh Anup 2254
IM Narayanan Srinath 2440 1:0 GM Arun Prasad S. 2495
S L Narayanan 2372 1:0 GM Laxman R.R. 2517
IM Karavade Eesha 2389 1:0 Shashikant Kutwal 2291
WGM Meenakshi Subbaraman 2237 1/2:1/2 WGM Nadig Kruttika 2236
Kathmale Sameer 2275 1:0 WGM Kiran Manisha Mohanty 2195

Thane Combatants 2,5-3,5 Pune Attackers
WGM Gomes Mary Ann 2387 0:1 IM Himanshu Sharma 2398
CM Puranik Abhimanyu 2224 0:1 IM Akshayraj Kore 2512
GM Ganguly Surya Shekhar 2630 1:0 WGM Padmini Rout 2347
IM Udeshi Aditya 2416 1:0 WGM Swathi Ghate 2260
IM Prathamesh Sunil Mokal 2389 0:1 GM Lalith Babu M.R. 2565
IM Vijayalakshmi S 2342 1/2:1/2 Bartakke Amardeep S. 2194

Scoreboard – After First Round:
1. Jalgaon Battlers – 5
2. Nagpur Royals – 4
3. Pune Attackers – 3.5
4. Thane Combaters – 2.5
5. Ahmednagar Checkers – 2
6. Mumbai Movers – 1

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