Pune: Top seed Farukh Amonatov pressed hard to score a fine win against Boris Savchenko to shoot into sole lead with 7.5 points after the 9th round of the 1st Maharashtra International Open Grandmaster chess tournament which is nearing the concluding stages at the Balewadi Sports Complex here on Monday.
Pune-based Aditya Samant makes 3rd IM NORM, COMPLETES TITLE REQUIREMENT; Sharan Rao makes second IM NORM
GM Deep Sengupta, GM Arjun Kalyan and GM Aleksej Aleksandrov scored thumping victories to follow in jointly follow in second place with 7 points each.
Luka Paichadze, Aditya Mittal, Srihari L R, Boris Savchenko, Neelash Saha, Kiriil Stupak and Mihail Nikitenko follow behind with 6.5 points each.
With just two more rounds remaining, the race for the title is still wide open though Amonatov still looks the favourite at this point.
Pune based Aditya Samant brought of cheer to the hosting city with a fine performance, garnering his third IM norm and with a rating already above 2400 has completed the requirement for the IM title. The 15-year-old youngster playing with a mask and a cap drew with L Srihari to tally 6 points.
21-year-old Sharan Rao from Mangalore made his second IM norm after holding GM Nguyen Van Huy to a draw in 31 moves of a Reti Opening. “ This tournament was a wonderful opportunity to make norms or enhance rating as there was a cut-off below Elo 2000 for participation” said Sharan.
GM Nikitenko Mihail adopted the Caro-Kann defence against Sengupta and focussed on the centre. Sengupta meanwhile started targeting the King-side. He craftily exchanged the defending knights and bishops even as his king-side pawns rolled on. Black’s castle was totally shattered and his queen and rooks stranded on the queen-side could not come to the King’s defence. On the 30th turn Sengupta’s Queen, rook and bishop threatened checkmate to pocket the point.
In another Caro-Kann adopted by second seed GM Luka Paichadze, reigning Women’s champion Divya Deshmukh ended on the losing side after 35 moves. This was a volatile game with both players keeping their King in the centre without castling and attacking aggressively. Divya broke through on the King-side but Luka ‘s queen and bishop combined to trap a rook and surround the King in a checkmating net.
Results Round 9: GM Farrukh Amonatov (7.5) bt GM Boris Savchenko (6.5); GM Deep Sengupta (7) bt GM Mihail Nikitenko (6.5); GM Nguyen Duc Hoa (6) lost to GM Aleksej Aleksandrov (7); GM V Karthik (6) lost to GM Arjun Kalyan (7); Kaustuv Kundu (5.5) drew with GM Deepan Chakravarty (5.5); IM Ortik Nigmatov (6) bt FM Aaryan Varshney (5); FM Sharan Rao (5.5) drew with IM GM Nguyen Van Huy (5.5); Neelash Saha (6.5) drew with IM Aditya Mittal (6,5); GM M R Lalith Babu (6) drew with Kushagra Mohan (6); GM Kiriil Stupak (6.5) bt IM Vikramaditya Kulkarni (5.5); Srihari L (6) drew with Aditya Samant (6); GM Vishnu Prasanna (5.5) lost to Srihari L R (6.5).