S. Paul Arokia Raj
The ongoing 33rd National U-13 Open Chess Championship in the port city of Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh witnessed turn of events in the eighth round. This has resulted in four players emerging as the joint leaders with 7 points each.
The joint leaders are FM Jubin Jimmy (Kerala), M.Pranesh, V.Pranav and Nikhil Magizhnan (all from Tamil Nadu). Six others with 6.5 points are close on the heels of the leaders.
At the same time in the girls category, the top seed Velpula Sarayu (Telangana) now with 7.5 points stretched her lead by one point when she asserted her supremacy over her opponent in the top table. Two others namely Kriti Mayur Patel (Maharashtra) and Kheerthi Ganta (Telangana) are on the second spot with 6.5 points each. With only three more rounds to go a virtual battle line is drawn to pick up the champion.
In an interesting battle between the top two seeds V. Pranav and M.Pranesh (both from Tamil Nadu), the former with white pieces opted for exchange variation of Ruy Lopez opening. Trouble started for Pranav when black stunned his king with a Queen check on his 23rd move. The continuous onslaught by black shook white’s citadel resulting in loss of two pawns and the game.
FIDE Master Jimmy bounced back to victory when he registered a emphatic win over S. Harshad (Tamil Nadu) in a long drawn battle of 67 moves in a b3 opening. Nikhil Magizhnan employed two knight’s defense with black pieces to over power Jain Adi (Gujarat) to join the elite group of leaders.
In a clash on the top table Velpula Sarayu outmaneuvered Mayur Patel with white pieces in London system. She scuttled the effort of black to castle and safe guard her king by going all out attack against the centralized king of black. At one stage when Velpula promoted her ‘a’ pawn to Queen and dragged a mating net Mayur Patel tendered her resignation on her 42nd move.