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National Challengers Round 5+6: Swapnil, Himanshu, Sammed lead with 5.5/6

by Gopakumar Sudhakaran - 17 August 2017

It was a turbulent day at the Karnavati Club in Ahmedabad where rounds 5 and 6 of the 55th National Challengers were underway. Seven out of the top ten games finished with decisive results in the fifth round while the sixth round witnessed four decisive games. The most spectacular game of the day featured the Bengali WGM Mary Ann Gomes yet again. But this time around, she was not on the sunny side of the of the result as she blundered mate in one in an equal endgame.  

Round 5

Railways Grandmaster duo Swapnil Dhopade and Himanshu Sharma were in joint lead with a perfect score after the fifth round of the 55th National Challengers Chess Championship, here at the Karnavati Club, Ahmedabad.

GM Swapnil Dhopade was able to create ripples in a seemingly placid position...
...to get the better of his team-mate and round 5 opponent, S Nitin

Playing with the black pieces in a Four Knights Game, Swapnil was able to equalise very easily against S Nitin.  A minor slip by Nitin in the middle-game gave his Grandmaster opponent the edge. Making the most of Nitin's slip, Swapnil was able to liquidate the position into a bishop versus knight endgame where his knight was far more active than Nitin's bishop. As play progressed, Nitin missed a knight-fork that caught his bishop and was forced to resign.

[Event "55th National Challengers Chess Champio"]
[Site "Ahmedabad "]
[Date "2017.08.16"]
[Round "5.1"]
[White "Nitin, S."]
[Black "Swapnil, S. Dhopade"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A00"]
[WhiteElo "2421"]
[BlackElo "2516"]
[PlyCount "76"]
[EventDate "2017.08.13"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bb5 Bb4 5. O-O O-O 6. d3 Bxc3 7. bxc3 d6 8.
Bg5 Qe7 9. Nd2 h6 10. Bh4 Nd8 11. Re1 Ne6 12. Nf1 Nf4 13. Ne3 c6 14. Bc4 Ng6
15. Bg3 Be6 16. Qf3 Nh7 17. Nf5 Qd7 18. Bb3 Bxf5 19. Qxf5 Qxf5 20. exf5 Ne7 21.
d4 Nxf5 22. dxe5 Nxg3 23. hxg3 dxe5 24. Rxe5 Rfe8 25. Rae1 Rxe5 26. Rxe5 Kf8
27. f3 Nf6 28. Kf2 Nd7 29. Rh5 Ke7 30. g4 f6 31. f4 a5 32. a3 Kd6 33. Rh1 Re8
34. Rd1+ Kc7 35. Re1 Rxe1 36. Kxe1 Nc5 37. Ke2 Ne4 38. c4 a4 0-1

The second board match between Himanshu Sharma and Mary Ann Gomes was a rollercoaster ride for both players and spectators. Countering Mary's Sicilian with 2. Nc3, the players ventured into an obscure Dragon like structure. As middle game commenced, the Haryanvi GM flung his pawns forward with the hope of hunting down Mary's monarch. But the Bengali WGM bravely defended her king, marching it all the way to the queenside. With her king tucked in safely, Mary now had a winning position (and of course, a little lamb :P). Himanshu's failed attack had left gaping holes on the kingside and now it was his own king which looked precarious. Had Mary found a few precise moves, she would have pocketed the full point. But that was not to be. After a couple of inaccurate moves by her, the position was dead equal. It would still have been easier for her if this was the end of the story. But just when this pulsating battle had stabilised, she overlooked one-move mate and handed over the full point to the Railways Grandmaster. 

It was a lucky round for GM Himanshu Sharma who didn't just save his king from the forthcoming onslaught but also ended up winning the game!
[Event "55th National Challengers Chess Champio"]
[Site "Ahmedabad "]
[Date "2017.08.16"]
[Round "5.2"]
[White "Himanshu, Sharma"]
[Black "Gomes, Mary Ann"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A00"]
[WhiteElo "2514"]
[BlackElo "2344"]
[PlyCount "101"]
[EventDate "2017.08.13"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 d6 3. Nge2 Nf6 4. g3 g6 5. Bg2 Bg7 6. d4 cxd4 7. Nxd4 Bg4 8.
Nde2 Nc6 9. h3 Bd7 10. O-O O-O 11. a4 Rc8 12. Nd5 Nxd5 13. exd5 Na5 14. Ra2 Bf5
15. b3 Qc7 16. c4 Qb6 17. Ra3 h5 18. Bd2 Bb2 19. Ra2 Bf6 20. Nc1 Qc7 21. Bh6
Rfe8 22. g4 hxg4 23. hxg4 Bd7 24. Be4 e6 25. Qd3 exd5 26. Bxg6 Bxg4 27. Bf5
Bxf5 28. Qxf5 Bg7 29. Bxg7 Kxg7 30. Qg5+ Kf8 31. Qh6+ Ke7 32. Re1+ Kd7 33. Qh3+
Kc6 34. Rxe8 Rxe8 35. Rc2 dxc4 36. b4 Re1+ 37. Kg2 Qd8 38. Qh5 Qg8+ 39. Kf3 Re5
40. Qg4 Rg5 41. Qd4 Rf5+ 42. Ke2 Qg2 43. Rc3 Re5+ 44. Re3 Rxe3+ 45. Qxe3 Qg4+
46. f3 Qg2+ 47. Ke1 Qh1+ 48. Kd2 Nb3+ 49. Nxb3 cxb3 50. Qe8+ Kd5 51. Qe4# 1-0

A pack of five players including overnight joint leaders Abhijit Kunte and Sammed Jaykumar Shete are in the second spot, just half a point adrift of the leaders. Kunte and Shete signed peace after playing out the mandatory 25 moves. Grandmaster Debashis Das of Odisha and Arghyadip Das of Railways gave them company after beating Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury and Pranavananda V, respectively. 

Grandmaster Debashis Das of Odisha leapt into the five way tie for second with his win against GM Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury
Akash PC Iyer of Tamilnadu joined the pack after registering an emphatic victory over local favourite Grandmaster Tejas Bakre.

Results of Round 5

1

14

IM

Nitin S.

2421

4

0 - 1

4

GM

Swapnil S. Dhopade

2516

5

2

6

GM

Himanshu Sharma

2514

4

1 - 0

4

WGM

Gomes Mary Ann

2344

23

3

7

GM

Kunte Abhijit

2505

4

½ - ½

4

 

Sammed Jaykumar Shete

2277

34

4

2

GM

Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan

2564

½ - ½

 

Fenil Shah

2326

27

5

8

GM

Debashis Das

2493

1 - 0

GM

Roy Chowdhury Saptarshi

2317

29

6

30

 

Akash Pc Iyer

2304

1 - 0

GM

Bakre Tejas

2464

11

7

12

IM

Swayams Mishra

2455

½ - ½

 

Ram S. Krishnan

2214

43

8

63

 

Pranavananda V

2122

0 - 1

IM

Das Arghyadip

2419

15

9

52

CM

Kushagra Mohan

2159

0 - 1

3

GM

Lalith Babu M R

2529

3

10

1

GM

Aravindh Chithambaram Vr.

2579

3

1 - 0

3

 

Moksh Amit Doshi

2148

53

Rank after Round 5

Rk.

SNo

 

Name

sex

FED

Rtg

Club/City

Pts.

 TB1 

 TB2 

 TB3 

 TB4 

 TB5 

1

6

GM

Himanshu Sharma

 

IND

2514

RSPB

5,0

0,0

15,0

17,0

17,00

5,0

2

5

GM

Swapnil S. Dhopade

 

IND

2516

RSPB

5,0

0,0

14,0

16,5

16,50

5,0

3

7

GM

Kunte Abhijit

 

IND

2505

PSPB

4,5

0,0

14,0

16,5

14,50

4,0

4

34

 

Sammed Jaykumar Shete

 

IND

2277

MAH

4,5

0,0

13,5

16,0

13,75

4,0

5

8

GM

Debashis Das

 

IND

2493

ODI

4,5

0,0

13,5

15,5

13,50

4,0

6

15

IM

Das Arghyadip

 

IND

2419

RSPB

4,5

0,0

13,0

16,0

14,25

4,0

7

30

 

Akash Pc Iyer

 

IND

2304

TN

4,5

0,0

13,0

15,5

13,50

4,0

8

2

GM

Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan

 

IND

2564

KER

4,0

0,0

15,0

18,0

14,00

3,0

9

1

GM

Aravindh Chithambaram Vr.

 

IND

2579

TN

4,0

0,0

14,5

17,5

13,75

3,0

10

14

IM

Nitin S.

 

IND

2421

RSPB

4,0

0,0

14,5

17,0

12,00

4,0

Round 6 

Going into round 6, Maharashtra’s Sammed Jaykumar Shete joined tournament leaders after defeating Grandmaster Debashis Das of Odisha. This crucial victory enabled Shete to catch up with leaders Swapnil Dhopade and Himanshu Sharma, who signed peace after the mandatory 25 moves.

Playing with white pieces in the Moscow variation of the Sicilian defence, Shete exploited Das's structural weaknesses by efficiently manoeuvring his pieces and sealed the game in his favour.
[Event "55th National Challengers Chess Champio"]
[Site "Ahmedabad "]
[Date "2017.08.16"]
[Round "6.3"]
[White "Sammed Jaykumar, Shete"]
[Black "Debashis, Das"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A00"]
[WhiteElo "2277"]
[BlackElo "2493"]
[PlyCount "81"]
[EventDate "2017.08.13"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Nc6 4. Bxc6+ bxc6 5. O-O e5 6. c3 f5 7. exf5 Be7 8.
d4 e4 9. Nfd2 Nf6 10. f3 exf3 11. Nxf3 Bxf5 12. dxc5 O-O 13. Nd4 Bd7 14. Bg5
dxc5 15. Nf3 Rb8 16. Qe2 c4 17. Na3 Qb6+ 18. Kh1 Rbe8 19. Nxc4 Qa6 20. b3 Bc5
21. Qd3 Be6 22. Bxf6 gxf6 23. Nd4 Bd5 24. Rf4 Kh8 25. Nf5 Rg8 26. Ng3 Rg6 27.
a4 Qc8 28. b4 Bxc4 29. Rxc4 Bb6 30. a5 Bc7 31. Rxc6 Qb8 32. Rf1 Bxg3 33. hxg3
Rxg3 34. Qf5 Reg8 35. Qxf6+ R3g7 36. a6 Qg3 37. Rf2 Re8 38. Re2 Reg8 39. Rce6
Qg5 40. Qxg5 Rxg5 41. Re8 1-0

The top board encounter between GM Himanshu Sharma and GM Swapnil Dhopade was an uneventful draw

A pack of seven players including top seed Aravindh Chithambaram and former national champion Abhijit Kunte are within striking distance, trailing by only half a point. Aravindh beat team mate Niranjan Navalgund while Kunte signed his second peace treaty of the day with Arghyadip Das. Earlier in the fifth round, he had drawn against Shete.

Fully focused, Aravindh beat team mate Niranjan Navalgund to make it into the seven way tie for the joint second place.
[Event "55th National Challengers Chess Champio"]
[Site "Ahmedabad "]
[Date "2017.08.16"]
[Round "6.5"]
[White "Navalgund, Niranjan"]
[Black "Aravindh, Chithambaram Vr"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A00"]
[WhiteElo "2335"]
[BlackElo "2579"]
[PlyCount "72"]
[EventDate "2017.08.13"]
1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nc3 d6 4. Bg5 a6 5. a4 Nf6 6. e5 Nfd7 7. f4 dxe5 8. fxe5
c5 9. e6 fxe6 10. dxc5 Nc6 11. Nf3 Qa5 12. Qd2 Qb4 13. Nd1 Nxc5 14. Be3 Ne4 15.
Qxb4 Nxb4 16. Rc1 Bd7 17. c3 Nd5 18. Bd4 Bxd4 19. Nxd4 Nc5 20. a5 Nf4 21. Rc2
e5 22. g3 Nfd3+ 23. Kd2 exd4 24. cxd4 Nb3+ 25. Kc3 Rc8+ 26. Kxb3 Nc1+ 27. Rxc1
Rxc1 28. Bg2 e5 29. d5 Ke7 30. Nc3 Rxh1 31. Bxh1 Bf5 32. Ka3 Kd6 33. b4 Rc8 34.
Kb3 Bd3 35. Kb2 Rc4 36. Kb3 Rd4 0-1

In other important sixth round encounters, Chakkravarthy Reddy of Telangana held second seed SL Narayanan of Kerala to a draw while Deepan Chakkravarthy and Swayams Mishra garnered full points against Ankit Gajwa and Arjun Tiwari, respectively.

Local favourite Fenil Shah drew with third seed Lalith Babu M R.

Results of Round 6

Bo.

No.

 

Name

Rtg

Pts.

Result

Pts.

 

Name

Rtg

No.

1

5

GM

Swapnil S. Dhopade

2516

5

½ - ½

5

GM

Himanshu Sharma

2514

6

2

15

IM

Das Arghyadip

2419

½ - ½

GM

Kunte Abhijit

2505

7

3

34

 

Sammed Jaykumar Shete

2277

1 - 0

GM

Debashis Das

2493

8

4

13

IM

Shyaamnikhil P

2447

4

½ - ½

 

Akash Pc Iyer

2304

30

5

25

 

Navalgund Niranjan

2335

4

0 - 1

4

GM

Aravindh Chithambaram Vr.

2579

1

6

33

IM

Chakravarthi Reddy M

2277

4

½ - ½

4

GM

Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan

2564

2

7

3

GM

Lalith Babu M R

2529

4

½ - ½

4

 

Fenil Shah

2326

27

8

37

FM

Gajwa Ankit

2267

4

0 - 1

4

GM

Deepan Chakkravarthy J.

2466

10

9

39

 

Tiwari Arjun

2251

4

0 - 1

4

IM

Swayams Mishra

2455

12

10

43

 

Ram S. Krishnan

2214

4

½ - ½

4

IM

Nitin S.

2421

14

Rank after Round 6

Rk.

SNo

 

Name

sex

FED

Rtg

Club/City

Pts.

 TB1 

 TB2 

 TB3 

 TB4 

 TB5 

1

6

GM

Himanshu Sharma

 

IND

2514

RSPB

5,5

0,0

22,0

25,0

22,25

5,0

2

5

GM

Swapnil S. Dhopade

 

IND

2516

RSPB

5,5

0,0

22,0

24,5

21,75

5,0

3

34

 

Sammed Jaykumar Shete

 

IND

2277

MAH

5,5

0,0

20,0

22,5

20,00

5,0

4

7

GM

Kunte Abhijit

 

IND

2505

PSPB

5,0

0,0

22,5

25,0

20,00

4,0

5

10

GM

Deepan Chakkravarthy J.

 

IND

2466

RSPB

5,0

0,0

20,5

23,0

18,50

5,0

6

1

GM

Aravindh Chithambaram Vr.

 

IND

2579

TN

5,0

0,0

20,0

23,0

19,00

4,0

7

30

 

Akash Pc Iyer

 

IND

2304

TN

5,0

0,0

20,0

22,5

17,75

4,0

8

96

 

Kamdar Udit

 

IND

1947

GUJ

5,0

0,0

20,0

22,0

17,50

4,0

9

15

IM

Das Arghyadip

 

IND

2419

RSPB

5,0

0,0

19,5

23,0

18,50

4,0

10

12

IM

Swayams Mishra

 

IND

2455

AI

5,0

0,0

19,5

22,5

18,00

4,0

Round 7 on 2017/08/17 at 1000 hrs

Bo.

No.

 

Name

Rtg

Pts.

Result

Pts.

 

Name

Rtg

No.

1

6

GM

Himanshu Sharma

2514

 

 

Sammed Jaykumar Shete

2277

34

2

1

GM

Aravindh Chithambaram Vr.

2579

5

 

GM

Swapnil S. Dhopade

2516

5

3

30

 

Akash Pc Iyer

2304

5

 

5

GM

Kunte Abhijit

2505

7

4

10

GM

Deepan Chakkravarthy J.

2466

5

 

5

IM

Das Arghyadip

2419

15

5

12

IM

Swayams Mishra

2455

5

 

5

 

Kamdar Udit

1947

96

6

2

GM

Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan

2564

 

 

Ram S. Krishnan

2214

43

7

36

IM

Shashikant Kutwal

2268

 

GM

Lalith Babu M R

2529

3

8

8

GM

Debashis Das

2493

 

IM

Chakravarthi Reddy M

2277

33

9

38

 

Sankalp Gupta

2254

 

IM

Shyaamnikhil P

2447

13

10

14

IM

Nitin S.

2421

 

 

Lokesh N.

2205

47

 

About the author:

Image result for Gopakumar ChessBase India

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

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

Mary Ann Gomes wins an instructive rook endgame


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