Vidit Santosh Gujrathi, former under 14 world champion from Maharashtra was the cynosure of all eyes in the ninth round of the NIT Nagpur International Grandmasters Open Chess Tournament, organised by Nagpur Improvement Trust at Naivedhyam Recreation Centre, Nagpur Today.
He made a quick draw with top seed Aleksandrov Aleksej of Belarus, to earn a well deserved nine-game GM norm. Ziaur Rahman of Bangladesh wrested the sole lead with 7.5 points, followed by five others with 7 points each.
Ziaur exchanged queens in the tenth move itself. Though Abdulla had an extra pawn in his kitty, the pawn structure was weak with doubled pawns. Abdulla queened one of his pawns at the expense of his rook, but Ziaur played brilliantly to keep his opponent’s king at bay and was about to promote his g-pawn. Abdulla gave up the fight immediately.
Himanshu Sharma of Railways played a solid game against India’s latest GM Sahaj Grover of Delhi to pocket a point in 46 moves.
Karnataka’s newly approved international master GA Stany held second seeded Kravtsiv Martyn of Ukraine to a draw in a symmetrical position with rook and three pawns. The Ruy Lopez opening game ended with no decisive result after 32 moves.
In another symmetrical pawns position with both sides having a queen in a game arising from Giuoco Paiano opening, Maharashta IM Ankit Rajapara drew with GM Saidali Iuldachev Uzbekistan in 39 moves.
West Bengal youngster Diptayan Ghosh enhanced his IM norm chance by splitting the point with GM Mr Lalith Babu of PSPB in a miniature game of 22 moves.
Among other winners, Petrosian Davit of Armenia made a blistering attack on the king side of IM Vikramaditya Kulkarni with his queen, rooks and night. It forced Vikramaditya to resign in 26 moves.
GM Harutjunyan Gevorg of Armenia required six more moves to beat former under 25 national champion BT Muralikrishnan of Railways, by sacrificing a bishop on 17th move. Seven moves later, he had a heavy compensation in the form of opponent’s queen for his rook.
CRG Krishna of AP had a satisfactory day by securing his second IM norm, beating less fancied opponent Shailesh Jaiswar of Maharashtra.
Report by IA Rathinam Anantharam