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MPL National Teams 2023 R1: Srihari astonishes Adhiban

by Shahid Ahmed - 11/02/2023

18-year-old Srihari L scored the biggest upset of the first round at MPL 42nd National Team Chess Championship Open 2023. The teenager earned his biggest win of his career against GM Adhiban. His teammate of Pondicherry, Umashankar A was also winning against GM G N Gopal. However, he settled for a draw by perpetual check. PSPB Men's team barely managed to avoid a draw and won their first round against Ponndicherry 2.5-1.5. AAI, RSPB B and RSPB A scored whitewash wins in the Open. Among the Women, PSPB, AAI and Maharashtra scored 4-0 wins with ease. Today is the first of the two double rounds. Round 2 starts today at 10 a.m. IST. Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

PSPB makes a shaky start in the Open

The National team championship is the strongest team event of the country. Since we do not have any leagues yet, this event provides a great opportunity for the youngsters to face the stalwarts. Pondicherry's biggest hope for a future IM and GM, Srihari L who currently has one IM-norm in his bag, seized his chance when it was presented to himself in the very first round.

18-year-old L Srihari scored the biggest win of his career | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

PSPB - Pondicherry: 2.5-1.5

Pondicherry's top player, 18-year-old Srihari L (2268) scored a huge victory over the Asian Continental 2022 Bronze medalist, GM B Adhiban (

Position after 26...Bf6

Black did not bother saving the c5-pawn. Instead, he wanted the e-file for his rook at e8. 26...Bf6 27.Rxc5 Re2 28.Re1 Rxe1+ 29.Qxe1 Qxf4 Black did not get to control the e-file for long but he surely got another piece into the attack - queen. 30.Qf2 Qg4 31.h3 Qg6 32.Nd6?? Bh4-+

Position after 32...Bh4

32...Bh4! launches a deadly double attack on both White's queen and knight. There was already a checkmate threat looming on g2. White had to drop the knight and he resigned in five more moves.

Srihari L talks about his huge victory over GM Adhiban B | Video: ChessBase India

Srihari L (PUD) en route his victory over GM Adhiban B (PSPB) | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Gopal - Umashankar

Position after 32.Nf6

GM G N Gopal (2589) had a sharp position against Umashankar A (1888). White went wrong 32.Nf6 creating an opportunity for Black to gain White's queen. 32...Ba2+ 33.Kc2 Rxc3+ Black could have played it in the previous move also 34.Rxc3 Bxd5 35.Nxd5 Qh4 36.Ree3 Qa4+ 37.Kc1 Qa1+ 38.Kc2 Qa4+ and the game was drawn due to perpetual check. Black could have pushed for a win 37...f4.

Umashankar A (PUD) played fantastic against GM G N Gopal (PSPB) | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

PSPB certainly did not have it easy in the first round | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

PSPB - Pondicherry: 2.5-1.5

BSNL - AAI: 0-4 | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

RSPB A - Tamil Nadu A: 4-0 | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

DASCB - Tamil Nadu B (pictured): 0-4 | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Women: PSPB - Tamil Nadu D: 4-0 | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Kerala - AAI: 0-1 | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Priyanka - Athira

Position after 54.Bf4

54...Kd3! is the only way for Black to save the game whereas 54...Kb1 loses the game which is what Athiraj A J (TN D, 1370) played against WIM Priyanka K (AAI, 2177).

Final momennts: WIM Priyanka K vs Athira A J | Video: ChessBase India

Maharashtra - Tamil Nadu C: 4-0 | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

The tournament hall at Dr.Mahalingam College of Engineering and Technology, Pollachi, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy
Everything you need to know about MPL National Team Chess Championships 2023 | Video: ChessBase India

D V Sundar and Dr. M Manickam made the inaugural first moves | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

D V Sundar, former Vice President of FIDE was the Chief Guest for the inauguration ceremony. He made the inaugural first move of the championship, together with Dr. M. Manickam, Chairman of MCET and President of Tamil Nadu State Chess Association. Muali, Head of Programs, All India Radio and Doordarshan, Coimbatore and M Raghu Kumar, District Youth Welfare and Sports Officer were the guests of honour. MS Gopakumar IA, rating officer of AICF, R Ananatharam, Vice President, Tamil Nadu State Chess Association, IA V Vijayaraghavan, R K Balagunashekaran, Joint Secretaries of TNSCA were the other dignitaries present.


For more photos, please click at the respective links: Technical Meeting, Inauguration Ceremony and Round 1.

Why were the players asked to rearrange the pieces? | Video: ChessBase India
Final moments: Pournami S vs WGM Vantika Agrawal  | Video: ChessBase India

Replay Round 1 Open games

Replay Round 1 Women games

Round 1 Open results

11PSPB Men0:0Pondicherry16
33RSPB A04:00Tamil Nadu A18
419DASCB0½:0Tamil Nadu B4
55RSPB B04:00Haryana A20
621Bihar B0½:0Odisha A6
77Telangana0:½0Tamil Nadu E22
99Tamil Nadu C04:00Andhra Pradesh B24
1025Karnataka A0:0Tamil Nadu D10
1111Karnataka B04:00Himachal A26
1227Andhra Pradesh A0½:0Bihar A12
1313Kerala B0:½0Haryana B28
1429Himachal C00:40Kerala A14
1515Madhya Pradesh04:00Himachal B30


Round 2 Open pairings

18LIC2:2PSPB Men1
22AAI2:2Tamil Nadu C9
310Tamil Nadu D2:2RSPB A3
44Tamil Nadu B2:2Karnataka B11
512Bihar A2:2RSPB B5
66Odisha A2:2Kerala B13
714Kerala A2:2Telangana7
816Pondicherry0:2Madhya Pradesh15
924Andhra Pradesh B0:0BSNL17
1018Tamil Nadu A0:0Karnataka A25
1126Himachal A0:0DASCB19
1220Haryana A0:0Andhra Pradesh A27
1328Haryana B0:0Bihar B21
1422Tamil Nadu E0:0Himachal C29
1530Himachal B0:0SSCB23


Round 1 Women results

11PSPB Women04:00Tamil Nadu Women D8
29Kerala Women00:40AAI Women2
33Maharashtra Women A04:00Tamil Nadu Women C10
411Andhra Pradesh Women02:20Tamil Nadu Women B4
55Telangana Women04:00Himachal Women B12
613Himachal Women C00:40Tamil Nadu Women A6
77Odisha Women A0:½0Himachal Women A14


Round 2 Women pairings

15Telangana Women2:2PSPB Women1
22AAI Women2:2Odisha Women A7
36Tamil Nadu Women A2:2Maharashtra Women A3
44Tamil Nadu Women B1:0Tamil Nadu Women D8
510Tamil Nadu Women C0:1Andhra Pradesh Women11
614Himachal Women A0:0Kerala Women9
712Himachal Women B0:0Himachal Women C13


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