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Akash soars, Aravindh pulls off a brilliancy

by Satanick Mukhuty - 12/12/2019

Only four rounds are over at the National Senior Championship 2019 and things already seem to be heating up as out of the nine players who were leading at the end of the third round, only three could maintain their spots. Aravindh Chithambaram, Sandipan Chanda, and Akash G are the current leaders after four rounds with perfect scores of 4.0/4. The National triple-crown winner and defending champion Aravindh played a brilliant game today to beat India's blitz king Laxman Rajaram, while Akash G too grabbed eyeballs by getting the better of Deep Sengupta who is more than a hundred points higher rated than him. In this report we bring you the glimpses of all the excitement.

Akash G climbs his way to the top!

Presently an International Master, Akash G created a sensation seven years ago in 2012 by winning the National Premier Chess Championship and making his way to the FIDE World Cup. Back then he was a 16-year-old and was just vying for an IM norm. Now he is stronger, better, and has every chance to once again stun the competition, and indeed the way he is currently playing, that possibility doesn't seem too far-fetched! In the fourth round of the ongoing National Senior Championship in Sikkim, the Tamil Nadu lad defeated Grandmaster Deep Sengupta and registered his fourth victory in a row to emerge as one of the three leaders of the event.

Akash has a perfect 4.0/4 score so far. Can he weave his magic once again? | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Deep chose a solid approach in the Sicilian Moscow with the white pieces, delaying the development of his dark-squared bishop and consolidating the center first. The opening worked just fine for the GM as he soon found a pleasant position to play with good space and open lines for his active pieces.


Deep Sengupta - Akash G, Round 4 

Position after 26...Qd8: White is certainly doing very well here with his rooks nicely doubled on the f-file and the queen-bishop duo breathing fire on the black king. 

White could have forced matters above with something like 27.a5!? b5 28.Qe3 but in the game he went 27.Rg3?! and after 27...Qc7 28.Re3 b5 29.h5 h6 30.Qf4 Nh7 31.Rg3 Ng5 Black was more than fine.

Position after 31...Ng5: White's edge has just fizzled out.

And finally, 33.b4 was the inexplicable mistake that tilted the balance in Black's favour.

The simple 33...cxb4 just unleashed Black's pieces and suddenly White had multiple weaknesses! The rest was fairly simple for Akash to convert.

Aravindh Chithambaram's game of the day

The highlight of round four was definitely Aravindh's game against Laxman Rajaram. The defending champion showcased some very classy chess to outplay the blitz king of the country. Playing White, he found a comfortable position out of the opening and was soon pushing with his more active and better coordinated pieces. Laxman tried to alleviate his woes by going for counterplay but this ended up backfiring in his face.

Aravindh Chithambaram, the defending champion, has so far been quite invincible | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Aravindh Chithambaram - Laxman Rajaram, Round 4

The above position arose from a classical Nimzo-Indian and turned out to be the most critical. Black could have just defended his h7 pawn here with g6 but Laxman chose Qh4.

The problem with 16...Qh4 is that it immediately runs into 17.g3 followed by Bxh7+, but Aravindh interestingly found a deeper, more devious idea. He went 17.Qd2!? with the intention of eventually trapping the queen with Bg5 and g4! Laxman should have retreated the queen while there was still time but his adamance proved fatal.

White hit the final nail in the coffin with 20.Bc2, the idea now was to go Qd3 followed by e6! The way Aravindh converted the win from here was quite picturesque. You are invited to peruse the whole game in greater detail below.

You can also view the above video by Niklesh Jain, the head of ChessBase India Hindi, on Aravindh's marvellous win!

West Bengal's Sandipan Chanda is the third leader with perfect score after four rounds. He crushed IM Nitin S in the fourth round with the black pieces | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Sandipan adopted the Sicilian defense against Nitin's king's pawn opening and managed to advance his d-pawn all the way up to the third rank in the middlegame itself. The latter then blundered on move 24 and the rest of it was over in less than thirty moves.


Photo Gallery

Deepan Chakravarthy drew against the top seed Abhijit Gupta | Photo: IA Dharmendra Kumar

Neelotpal Das held Lalith Babu MR and faces Abhijit in the next round | Photo: IA Dharmendra Kumar

Senthil Maran K has remained unbeaten so far holding his own against GM Vishnu Prasanna and IM Vignesh NR in the last two rounds | Photo: IA Dharmendra Kumar

Results of round four

Bo.No.NameRtgPts. ResultPts. NameRtgNo.
18GMDeepan Chakkravarthy J. 25353 ½ - ½3 GMGupta Abhijeet 26111
22GMAravindh Chithambaram Vr. 26053 1 - 03 GMLaxman R.R. 244419
322GMNeelotpal Das 24303 ½ - ½3 GMLalith Babu M R25565
436IMNitin S. 23293 0 - 13 GMChanda Sandipan 25457
54GMSengupta Deep 2564 0 - 13 IMAkash G 243121
629GMHimanshu Sharma 2392 ½ - ½ GMVaibhav Suri 25973
76GMGhosh Diptayan 2555 1 - 0 IMKonguvel Ponnuswamy 236731
810GMVishnu Prasanna. V 2493 0 - 1 IMGirinath P.D.S. 233035
930GMSriram Jha 2384 0 - 1 GMAnurag Mhamal 249011
1012IMVignesh N R 2475 ½ - ½ Senthil Maran K 230540

Standings after four rounds

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgClub/City TB1 
12GMAravindh Chithambaram Vr.IND2605Tamil Nadu4,0
7GMChanda SandipanIND2545West Bengal4,0
21IMAkash GIND2431Tamil Nadu4,0
41GMGupta AbhijeetIND2611PSPB3,5
5GMLalith Babu M RIND2556PSPB3,5
6GMGhosh DiptayanIND2555West Bengal3,5
8GMDeepan Chakkravarthy J.IND2535RSPB3,5
11GMAnurag MhamalIND2490Goa3,5
22GMNeelotpal DasIND2430PSPB3,5
26IMSatyapragyan SwayangsuIND2412Air India3,5
32IMMuthaiah AlIND2363Tamil Nadu3,5
35IMGirinath P.D.S.IND2330RSPB3,5

Complete results and standings

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