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National Challengers round 12: Deepan and Swapnil to battle for the title!

by Gopakumar Sudhakaran - 23 August 2017

Going into the penultimate round, Deepan Chakkravarthy annihilated Himanshu Sharma's king in a Sicilian Paulsen. With this win, he has not only moved to the sole second spot but has also earned the right to fight for the title prize against tournament leader Swapnil Dhopade in the final round. On board 3, GM RR Laxman gave his opponent no chance, consuming only 52 mins for the entire game. In the final round, twelve players will be fighting for the nine qualification spots into the National Premier Championship and two for the title prize. An exciting finale is on the cards! 

Things have intensified at the 55th National Challengers Chess Championship in Ahmedabad. Going into the penultimate round, GM Swapnil Dhopade continued his streak of draws and allowed trailers a chance to catch up. Capitalising on this, GM Deepan Chakravarthy produced an emphatic victory in the penultimate round to pave the way for an exciting finish.

Playing with black pieces in Sicilian defense, Deepan outsmarted his railway team mate Himanshu Sharma in a razor sharp Sicilian.

Going into the Paulsen variation of the Sicilian, Sharma castled his king into a shattered pawn cover as is thematic for the variation. Seeing the open post of the king, Deepan rushed his pieces to the king side with the clear aim of annihilation. As play proceeded, Himanshu was able to win an exchange, but given his king position, things looked grim. Although the computers still thought black’s position was playable, practically speaking, the position looked like a field full of landmines for a human. And that’s exactly what happened. On move 26, Himanshu made an error and that simply spelled doom. This victory enabled Deepan to move to the second spot in the point-ladder. He is now within striking distance of the leader Swapnil Dhopade. As for Himanshu, he has slipped down to the joint fourth spot.

[Event "55 National challengers"]
[Site "ChessKast.com"]
[Date "2017.08.22"]
[Round "12"]
[White "Deepan Chakkravarthy J."]
[Black "Himanshu Sharma"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B33"]
[PlyCount "63"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:02:21"]
[BlackClock "0:25:31"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e6 5. Nb5 d6 6. Bf4 e5 7. Be3 Nf6 8. Bg5
Be6 9. Nd2 a6 10. Bxf6 gxf6 11. Nc3 f5 12. exf5 Bxf5 13. Nc4 Be6 14. Ne3 Bh6
15. Ned5 O-O 16. Qh5 Kg7 17. Rd1 f5 18. Rd3 f4 19. g3 Bf7 20. Qg4+ Bg6 21. Bg2
e4 22. Bxe4 Ne5 23. Qd1 Nxd3+ 24. Qxd3 f3 25. O-O Bxe4 26. Nxe4 Qd7 27. Qd4+
Kg6 28. Nef6 Qh3 29. Qe4+ Kg5 30. Nf4 Qg2+ 31. Nxg2 fxg2 32. Nxh7+ 1-0

 

 

Continuing his streak of draws, Swapnil Dhopade drew against Debashis Das in merely 25 moves

Tournament leader, Swapnil Dhopade had a one point lead over the rest of the field going since the last three rounds. And since round 10, his mindset had conspicuously changed. Keeping a safety first approach, he had been taking draws and keeping his lead. This penultimate round was no exception. Playing safe yet again, he settled for signed peace with Debashis Das in just 25 moves. But things have gotten a bit more difficult for him because of this. Since Deepan won his game in this round, he is only half a point behind. More importantly, he is paired against the leader himself! Equations could change if Deepan secures a victory over him in the final round tomorrow. There is all to play for!

[Event "55 National challengers"]
[Site "ChessKast.com"]
[Date "2017.08.22"]
[Round "12"]
[White "Swapnil S. Dhopade"]
[Black "Debashis Das"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A11"]
[PlyCount "51"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:31:11"]
[BlackClock "0:22:32"]
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 d5 3. Bg2 c6 4. c4 Bg4 5. Ne5 Be6 6. cxd5 Bxd5 7. Nf3 c5 8.
Nc3 Bc6 9. O-O e6 10. Re1 Be7 11. e4 O-O 12. d4 cxd4 13. Nxd4 Qb6 14. Nb3 Rd8
15. Qe2 Qa6 16. Qc2 Nbd7 17. Bf1 Qb6 18. Be3 Qc7 19. f3 Ne5 20. Be2 h5 21. Nb5
Qb8 22. N5d4 h4 23. Bf2 Bd6 24. Kg2 Ba4 25. Rac1 Ng6 26. Bb5 1/2-1/2

 

In another exciting battle of the day, Grandmaster RR Laxman outwitted third seed Lalith Babu to take his tally to 9 points.

Playing with the white pieces, the Chennai-based ICF man Laxman did not give any breathing space to his rival to seal the victory in 43 moves. More importantly, the Blitz King of India only consumed 52 minutes of his clock time to clinch the game.  Laxman and Das are now at the joint third spot with 9 points.

[Event "55 National challengers"]
[Site "ChessKast.com"]
[Date "2017.08.22"]
[Round "12"]
[White "Laxman R.R."]
[Black "Lalith Babu M R"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E15"]
[PlyCount "85"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "2:12:17"]
[BlackClock "1:08:24"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 b6 4. g3 Ba6 5. Nbd2 d5 6. cxd5 exd5 7. Bg2 Bd6 8.
O-O O-O 9. Ne5 Nbd7 10. Ndf3 Qe8 11. Bf4 Nh5 12. Be3 Bb7 13. Rc1 f6 14. Nd3 f5
15. Qd2 Ndf6 16. Nfe5 c5 17. b3 Ne4 18. Qb2 Qe7 19. f3 cxd4 20. Qxd4 Bc5 21.
Nxc5 bxc5 22. Qb2 d4 23. fxe4 Qxe5 24. b4 Qe7 25. Bf2 Bxe4 26. bxc5 Qg5 27.
Bxe4 fxe4 28. Bxd4 Rfd8 29. e3 Rac8 30. c6 a6 31. Rc5 Qg4 32. Qb3+ Kh8 33. Qd1
Qxd1 34. Rxd1 Nf6 35. Rb1 Ne8 36. Rb7 Rd6 37. c7 Rb6 38. Ra7 Kg8 39. Kg2 Rb1
40. h4 Nd6 41. Rd5 Nf7 42. h5 Rc1 43. Bb6 1-0

 

The blitz king in action!

GM Abhijit Kunte deployed the Modern Benoni to get the better of Chakravarthi Reddy. He is now 7th on the leaderboard.

12 players are in the joint fifth place and eyeing for the 9 qualification spots for the national premier, scheduled in November in Patna. The final round is sure to be a spectacle!

Results of Round 12

Bo.

No.

 

Name

Rtg

Pts.

Result

Pts.

 

Name

Rtg

No.

1

5

GM

Swapnil S. Dhopade

2516

½ - ½

GM

Debashis Das

2493

8

2

10

GM

Deepan Chakkravarthy J.

2466

1 - 0

GM

Himanshu Sharma

2514

6

3

17

GM

Laxman R.R.

2397

8

1 - 0

GM

Lalith Babu M R

2529

3

4

1

GM

Aravindh Chithambaram Vr.

2579

8

½ - ½

8

IM

Nitin S.

2421

14

5

19

IM

Ravi Teja S.

2383

8

½ - ½

8

GM

Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan

2564

2

6

15

IM

Das Arghyadip

2419

1 - 0

8

 

Sammed Jaykumar Shete

2277

34

7

33

IM

Chakravarthi Reddy M

2277

0 - 1

GM

Kunte Abhijit

2505

7

8

29

GM

Roy Chowdhury Saptarshi

2317

1 - 0

IM

Swayams Mishra

2455

12

9

13

IM

Shyaamnikhil P

2447

½ - ½

 

Nayak Rajesh

2211

44

10

16

IM

Satyapragyan Swayangsu

2410

½ - ½

 

Dhananjay S

2206

46

Ranking after Round 12

Rk.

SNo

 

Name

sex

FED

Rtg

Club/City

Pts.

 TB1 

 TB2 

 TB3 

 TB4 

 TB5 

1

5

GM

Swapnil S. Dhopade

 

IND

2516

RSPB

10,0

0,0

88,0

93,5

76,50

8,0

2

10

GM

Deepan Chakkravarthy J.

 

IND

2466

RSPB

9,5

0,0

86,5

92,5

71,25

9,0

3

8

GM

Debashis Das

 

IND

2493

ODI

9,0

0,0

88,5

94,0

69,50

7,0

4

17

GM

Laxman R.R.

 

IND

2397

RSPB

9,0

0,0

79,5

84,5

62,50

7,0

5

6

GM

Himanshu Sharma

 

IND

2514

RSPB

8,5

0,0

92,0

98,5

67,00

7,0

6

3

GM

Lalith Babu M R

 

IND

2529

PSPB

8,5

0,0

89,0

95,0

65,25

6,0

7

7

GM

Kunte Abhijit

 

IND

2505

PSPB

8,5

0,0

86,5

92,5

64,25

5,0

8

27

 

Fenil Shah

 

IND

2326

GUJ

8,5

0,0

86,5

92,5

63,25

7,0

9

1

GM

Aravindh Chithambaram Vr.

 

IND

2579

TN

8,5

0,0

86,5

92,5

62,75

6,0

10

15

IM

Das Arghyadip

 

IND

2419

RSPB

8,5

0,0

86,0

92,5

63,00

6,0

Round 13 Pairing

Bo.

No.

 

Name

Rtg

Pts.

Result

Pts.

 

Name

Rtg

No.

1

5

GM

Swapnil S. Dhopade

2516

10

 

GM

Deepan Chakkravarthy J.

2466

10

2

8

GM

Debashis Das

2493

9

 

9

GM

Laxman R.R.

2397

17

3

1

GM

Aravindh Chithambaram Vr.

2579

 

IM

Das Arghyadip

2419

15

4

2

GM

Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan

2564

 

WGM

Gomes Mary Ann

2344

23

5

3

GM

Lalith Babu M R

2529

 

GM

Roy Chowdhury Saptarshi

2317

29

6

20

GM

Sriram Jha

2375

 

GM

Himanshu Sharma

2514

6

7

7

GM

Kunte Abhijit

2505

 

IM

Ravi Teja S.

2383

19

8

14

IM

Nitin S.

2421

 

 

Fenil Shah

2326

27

9

40

 

Kaustuv Kundu

2240

8

 

8

IM

Shyaamnikhil P

2447

13

10

34

 

Sammed Jaykumar Shete

2277

8

 

8

IM

Satyapragyan Swayangsu

2410

16

 

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

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

National challengers round 7: Railway GMs Swapnil and Himanshu maintain their stronghold

National challengers round 8: Himanshu's fumble catapults Swapnil into sole lead

National Challengers round 9: Swapnil Dhopade is unstoppable

National Challengers round 10: Watch out for Lalith Babu!

National Challengers round 11: The battle for nine qualification spots intensifies!


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