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National Challengers 2017 Round 2+3: Day of underdogs!

by Gopakumar Sudhakaran - 15/08/2017

They say Indian players are under-rated. Well, this was shown in ample measure at rounds two and three of the National Challengers 2017. Players rated 500 points below their grandmaster opponents were able to draw their games. Especially noteworthy is the performance of Chaitanya Sairam Mogili, rated 1781, and has drawn against a GM, IM and a WFM. We have pictures from Ahmedabad and game analysis. Seventeen players lead with a perfect score after three rounds.

 Top players of the National Challengers Championship are feeling the heat in Ahmedabad’s overcast conditions early in the tournament as all four top seeded players were forced to split the points with their lower rated rivals in the second and third rounds here at the Karnavati Club.

 

Odisha’s Baivab Mishra held top seed Aravaindh Chithamabaram while third seed Lalith Babu M R of PSPB and fourth seed Air India’s N Srinath are forced to sign the peace treaty with Neelash Saha and Manush Shah, respectively.

Aravindh vs Baivab Mishra 

[Event "55th National Challengers Chess Champion"]
[Site "Ahmedabad "]
[Date "2017.08.14"]
[Round "2.1"]
[White "Aravindh, Chithambaram Vr"]
[Black "Baivab, Mishra"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A00"]
[WhiteElo "2579"]
[BlackElo "2074"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "146"]
[EventDate "2017.08.13"]
[EventRounds "13"]
[EventCountry "IND"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. c4 Bg7 4. d4 Qa5+ $5 5. Bd2 (5. Nc3 $14) 5... Qb6 6. Bc3
cxd4 7. Bxd4 Bxd4 8. Qxd4 Qxd4 9. Nxd4 {White has a small edge thanks to his
space advantage but nothing drastic.} d6 10. Nc3 Nf6 11. f3 Nc6 12. Nc2 O-O 13.
Be2 Be6 14. O-O-O {You can always expect Aravindh to come up with some new
ideas. Long castling is not so common such structures.} Rfc8 15. b3 Rab8 16.
Kb2 a6 17. Rd2 Na7 18. Rc1 Nd7 19. Ne3 Kf8 20. f4 f6 21. Nc2 Nc6 22. g3 Ke8 23.
Bf1 Kf8 24. Be2 Ke8 25. Bf1 Kf8 26. Re1 Ke8 27. Rf2 Kf8 28. Ne3 Ke8 29. Ned5
Nd4 30. Rd1 Nc6 31. Rfd2 Kf7 32. Be2 Ke8 33. Rf1 Na5 34. Rg1 Nc6 35. h4 Nd8 36.
g4 {While Black has been shuffling his pieces, Aravindh has made definite
progress.} g5 37. hxg5 fxg5 38. Rh1 Nf8 39. f5 Bxd5 40. exd5 $16 Nf7 41. Bd3 h6
42. f6 Nd7 (42... exf6 43. Re2+ Kd8 (43... Ne5 44. Bf5 Rd8 45. Rxh6 $18) 44.
Bf5 Rc7 45. Re6 $1 Nxe6 46. dxe6 Ne5 47. Rxh6 $18) 43. Bf5 Rc7 44. Bxd7+ (44.
fxe7 $16) 44... Rxd7 45. Ne4 Rc8 46. Rf2 b5 47. Kc3 bxc4 48. b4 Rcd8 49. a4 Kf8
50. fxe7+ Rxe7 51. Nxg5 $5 hxg5 52. Rh8+ Kg7 53. Rxf7+ Rxf7 54. Rxd8 Rf3+ 55.
Kxc4 Rf4+ 56. Kc3 Rf3+ 57. Kc2 Rf4 58. b5 axb5 59. axb5 Rb4 60. Kd3 Kf6 61.
Rf8+ $2 (61. Rxd6+ $1 $18 Ke7 (61... Ke5 62. Rg6 $1 $18) 62. Rg6 Rxg4 63. b6 {
White should win this.}) 61... Ke7 62. Rg8 Rxb5 63. Ke4 (63. Rxg5 Kf6 64. Rf5+
Kg6 $11) 63... Kf6 64. Rf8+ Kg6 65. Rd8 Rb4+ 66. Ke3 Rxg4 67. Rxd6+ Kf7 68. Re6
Ra4 69. Kf3 Rd4 70. Re4 Rxe4 71. Kxe4 Ke7 72. Kf5 Kd6 73. Kxg5 Kxd5 {Aravindh
had a clear advantage in the game, but in the end he wasn't able to convert it
into a full point.} 1/2-1/2
Baivab was defending throughout the game and credit must be given as he held 2579 GM to a draw!
Manush Shah vs Srinath Narayanan
Black has just played g6. What should White play?
[Event "55th National Challengers Chess Champion"]
[Site "Ahmedabad "]
[Date "2017.08.14"]
[Round "2.4"]
[White "Manush, Shah"]
[Black "Narayanan, Srinath"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A00"]
[WhiteElo "2060"]
[BlackElo "2524"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "58"]
[EventDate "2017.08.13"]
[EventRounds "13"]
[EventCountry "IND"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. e3 b6 4. Bd3 Bb7 5. O-O c5 6. c4 cxd4 7. exd4 d5 8. cxd5
Nxd5 9. Nc3 Be7 10. Ne5 O-O 11. Qg4 Nf6 12. Qh4 Nc6 13. Bg5 g6 $2 {[%cal Gg7g6]
} (13... Nxe5 14. Bxf6 (14. dxe5 Qxd3) 14... Nxd3 15. Bxe7 Qc7 16. Bxf8 Rxf8 {
was the best for Black. White is better, but the game goes on.}) 14. Ba6 $1 {
This is a well-known trap. It's surprising that Srinath fell for it.} h6 {
Everything loses at this point.} 15. Bxb7 $6 (15. Qxh6 $1 Ng4 16. Qh3 Ngxe5 17.
Bxb7 $18) 15... hxg5 16. Qxg5 Nxe5 17. Bxa8 Qxd4 18. Bb7 Nd5 19. Qg3 Nf4 $6 (
19... Nxc3 20. Qxc3 Qxc3 21. bxc3 $16) 20. Rad1 Qb4 21. a3 (21. Rd2 $18) 21...
Qxb2 22. Qxf4 Qxc3 23. Rc1 Qa5 {This is the move that Manush missed. Now the
position is around even.} 24. Qe3 Bxa3 25. Ra1 Nc4 26. Qd3 b5 27. Be4 Kg7 28.
Rfd1 Qb4 29. Rdb1 Bb2 {Srinath had enough excitement for the day and offered a
draw! A great result for him after a completely lost position out of the
opening.} 1/2-1/2
Local boy Manush Shah missed a golden chance to win against GM Srinath Narayanan
On the third board, playing from the white side of English Opening Lalith Babu had to be satisfied with half a point after 73 moves against his West Bengal's Neelash Saha.
The man who drew Lalith Babu: Bengal's Neelash Saha
The woes of GM Sriram Jha continued in the second round also as he split the point with Andhra Pradesh youngster Chaitanya Sairam Mogili. It’s a memorable event so far for Chaitanya as he held International Master Satyapragyan in the opening round.
Rated 1781 and draws against an IM, a GM and a WFM, Chaitanya Sairam Mogili is on fire!
The third round belonged to Kushagra Mohan who beat GM R.R. Laxman. It was an innocuous Ruy Lopez opening by Kushagra that got the Telangana lad a balanced yet dynamic middle game and set the pace for an exciting finish. Laxman, traded his queen for rook and a minor piece in the middle game but Kushagra used his queen to full effect to secure a memorable victory.
After three rounds we have 17 players on lead with 3.0/3. The funny thing is that out of those 17 players only four are grandmasters! A special note about IM M.S. Thejkumar who is currently on 2492 in the live rating list. Just eight points away from GM title. Will Thejkumar manage to become Karnataka's first grandmaster at this National Challengers? 

Results of round 2

Bo. No.   Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts.   Name Rtg No.
1 1 GM Aravindh Chithambaram Vr. 2579 1 ½ - ½ 1   Baivab Mishra 2074 72
2 74   Bhatt Jalpan 2069 1 0 - 1 1 GM Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan 2564 2
3 3 GM Lalith Babu M R 2529 1 ½ - ½ 1   Neelash Saha 2062 75
4 76   Manush Shah 2060 1 ½ - ½ 1 GM Narayanan Srinath 2524 4
5 5 GM Swapnil S. Dhopade 2516 1 1 - 0 1   Bhambure Shantanu 2052 77
6 78   Deepthamsh Reddy. M 2052 1 0 - 1 1 GM Himanshu Sharma 2514 6
7 7 GM Kunte Abhijit 2505 1 1 - 0 1 WFM Tarini Goyal 2034 79
8 80   Sinha Santosh Kumar 2034 1 0 - 1 1 GM Debashis Das 2493 8
9 9 IM Thejkumar M. S. 2481 1 1 - 0 1   Tarun V Kanth 2031 81
10 82   Samant Aditya S 2030 1 0 - 1 1 GM Deepan Chakkravarthy J. 2466 10

Results of round 3

Bo. No.   Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts.   Name Rtg No.
1 2 GM Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan 2564 2 ½ - ½ 2 FM Gajwa Ankit 2267 37
2 38   Sankalp Gupta 2254 2 0 - 1 2 GM Swapnil S. Dhopade 2516 5
3 6 GM Himanshu Sharma 2514 2 1 - 0 2   Tiwari Arjun 2251 39
4 41   Wagh Suyog 2234 2 0 - 1 2 GM Kunte Abhijit 2505 7
5 8 GM Debashis Das 2493 2 ½ - ½ 2   Ram S. Krishnan 2214 43
6 42   Rathore S.K. 2230 2 0 - 1 2 IM Thejkumar M. S. 2481 9
7 10 GM Deepan Chakkravarthy J. 2466 2 1 - 0 2 CM Raja Rithvik R 2185 49
8 48   Jayakumaar S 2197 2 ½ - ½ 2 GM Bakre Tejas 2464 11
9 12 IM Swayams Mishra 2455 2 1 - 0 2   Moksh Amit Doshi 2148 53
10 14 IM Nitin S. 2421 2 1 - 0 2   Aaryan Varshney 2142 55

Rank after Round 3

Rk. SNo   Name sex FED Rtg Club/City Pts.  TB1   TB2   TB3   TB4   TB5 
1 5 GM Swapnil S. Dhopade   IND 2516 RSPB 3,0 0,0 4,0 5,5 5,50 3,0
  14 IM Nitin S.   IND 2421 RSPB 3,0 0,0 4,0 5,5 5,50 3,0
  24 FM Erigaisi Arjun   IND 2342 TEL 3,0 0,0 4,0 5,5 5,50 3,0
  33 IM Chakravarthi Reddy M   IND 2277 TEL 3,0 0,0 4,0 5,5 5,50 3,0
  35 IM Kathmale Sameer   IND 2275 MAH 3,0 0,0 4,0 5,5 5,50 3,0
6 6 GM Himanshu Sharma   IND 2514 RSPB 3,0 0,0 4,0 5,0 5,00 3,0
  9 IM Thejkumar M. S.   IND 2481 RSPB 3,0 0,0 4,0 5,0 5,00 3,0
  21   Hemant Sharma (del)   IND 2371 RSPB 3,0 0,0 4,0 5,0 5,00 3,0
  23 WGM Gomes Mary Ann w IND 2344 PSPB 3,0 0,0 4,0 5,0 5,00 3,0
  27   Fenil Shah   IND 2326 GUJ 3,0 0,0 4,0 5,0 5,00 3,0
  34   Sammed Jaykumar Shete   IND 2277 MAH 3,0 0,0 4,0 5,0 5,00 3,0
12 7 GM Kunte Abhijit   IND 2505 PSPB 3,0 0,0 3,5 4,5 4,50 3,0
  10 GM Deepan Chakkravarthy J.   IND 2466 RSPB 3,0 0,0 3,5 4,5 4,50 3,0
  12 IM Swayams Mishra   IND 2455 AI 3,0 0,0 3,5 4,5 4,50 3,0
  15 IM Das Arghyadip   IND 2419 RSPB 3,0 0,0 3,5 4,5 4,50 3,0
  52 CM Kushagra Mohan   IND 2159 TEL 3,0 0,0 3,5 4,5 4,50 3,0
17 18 IM Krishna C R G   IND 2387 RSPB 3,0 0,0 3,0 4,0 4,00 3,0

Round 4 on 2017/08/15 at 1000 hrs

Bo. No.   Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts.   Name Rtg No.
1 5 GM Swapnil S. Dhopade 2516 3   3 IM Krishna C R G 2387 18
2 21   Hemant Sharma (del) 2371 3   3 GM Himanshu Sharma 2514 6
3 7 GM Kunte Abhijit 2505 3   3 FM Erigaisi Arjun 2342 24
4 9 IM Thejkumar M. S. 2481 3   3   Sammed Jaykumar Shete 2277 34
5 23 WGM Gomes Mary Ann 2344 3   3 GM Deepan Chakkravarthy J. 2466 10
6 27   Fenil Shah 2326 3   3 IM Swayams Mishra 2455 12
7 33 IM Chakravarthi Reddy M 2277 3   3 IM Nitin S. 2421 14
8 15 IM Das Arghyadip 2419 3   3 CM Kushagra Mohan 2159 52
9 35 IM Kathmale Sameer 2275 3   GM Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan 2564 2
10 37 FM Gajwa Ankit 2267   GM Aravindh Chithambaram Vr. 2579 1

About the author:

Gopakumar became an A-grade International Arbiter during the FIDE Arbiter's Commission meeting. He is only the fifth Indian to achieve this feat. He was the chief arbiter at two 2600+ double round robin events, Asian Youth Chief Arbiter at South Korea, Deputy chief arbiter at Asian Youth and Asian Junior at New Delhi. He dedicates his success to the Air Force background that he comes from. 

Previous reports on National Challengers 2017:

Parthiv Patel at the opening ceremony

14-year-old holds Sriram Jha to a draw


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