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Indian Grandmaster Sahaj Grover jumps to joint third in Cappelle Chess

Young Indian Grandmaster Sahaj Grover came up with a fine show to beat higher ranked Krzysztof Jakubowski of Poland and then drew with Axel Bachmann of Paraguay to jump to joint third spot after the end of the fourth round of 31st Cappelle-La-Grande International chess tournament here on Tuesday.

Indian Grandmaster Sahaj Grover jumps to joint third in Cappelle Chess

Cappelle La Grande, France: Young Indian Grandmaster Sahaj Grover came up with a fine show to beat higher ranked Krzysztof Jakubowski of Poland and then drew with Axel Bachmann of Paraguay to jump to joint third spot after the end of the fourth round of 31st Cappelle-La-Grande International chess tournament here on Tuesday.

On a double round day, Grover excelled with black pieces against Jakubowski and scored a crushing victory and then in the fourth round played an easy draw with Bachmann to take his tally to 3.5 points out of a possible four.

Igor Kovalenko of Latvia and Vladimir Onischuk of Ukraine emerged as the early leaders in the nine-round tournament with a perfect score. Kovalenko beat Alexander Kovchan of Ukraine while Federico Perez Ponsa of Argentina was no match for Onischuk.

With two leaders in front, Grover is now joint third with Kamil Dragun of Poland, Erwin L'Ami of Holland, Renier Cazquez Igarza of Spain and Bachmann. In the next round, the Indian is pitted against Konstantin Landa of Russia.

Higher ranked Indians Abhijeet Gupta and Vidit Gujrathi also had a decent outing on the double round day. Gupta was held to a draw by Swede Axel Smith in the third round but made amends by winning the fourth against Jose Rafael Sequera Paolini of Venezuela while Vidit Gujrathi also had a similar result -- a draw with Meelis Kanep of Estonia followed by a fine attacking victory over compatriot Grandmaster V Vishnu Prasanna.

Gupta, Gujrathi, Sandipan Chanda and S Arun Prasad are among a big pack of players having three points each. Chanda got two draws on the double round day with Dennis Wagner of Germany and Chinese Gao Rui and Arun Prasad won both his games against lower ranked opposition to come back in reckoning.

Among other Indians, G N Gopal and S Kidambi have 2.5 points each while M R Venkatesh is now on two points from his four outings.

The day belonged to Grover as he showed top form in outplaying higher rated Jakubowski from the black side of a Moller variation out of a Ruy Lopez opening. Surprising Jakubowski early in the opening, Grover seized the initiative on the queen side with some wily manoeuvres and won a rook for knight. The rest was easy and Jakubowski resigned when checkmate was imminent.

Following up on a good result, Grover played the Italian opening as white against Bachmann and the Paraguayan was under some pressure in the early stages of the middle game. However the players decided to shake hands in the middle game in approximately level position.

The tournament being participated by 555 players including more than 80 Grandmasters has a total prize pool of 30000 Euros.

Important and Indian results round 4 (Indians unless specified): Igor Kovalenko (Lat, 4) beat Alexander Kovchan (Ukr, 3); Vladimir Onischuk (UKr, 4) beat Federico Perez Ponsa (Arg, 3); Sahaj Grover (3.5) drew with Axel Bachmann (Par, 3.5); Erwin L?Ami (Ned, 3.5) beat Julen Luis Arizmendi Martinez (Esp, 2.5); Renier Cazquez Igarza (Esp, 3.5) beat Erik Blomqvist (Swe, 2.5); Gao Rui (Chn, 3) drew with Sandipan Chanda (3); Kamil Dragun (Pol, 3.5) beat Razyan Preotu (Can, 2.5); M R Venkatesh (2) lost to Tigran Gharamian (Fra, 3); Jose Rafael Sequera Paolini (Ven, 2) lost to Abhijeet Gupta (3); Vidit Santosh Gujrathi (3) beat V Vishnu Prasanna (2); Mark Berkovich (Isr, 2) lost to S Arun Prasad (3); Slavisa Peric (Srb, 2) lost to G N Gopal (2.5); S Kidambi (2.5) beat Guillaume Goettelmann (Fra, 1.5)

Round 3: Kevin Spraggett (Can, 2) lost to Igor Kovalenko (Lat, 3); Andrey Vovk (Ukr, 2.5) drew with Vladislav Nevednichy (Rou, 2.5); Nikola Djukic (Mne, 2) lost to Vladimir Onischuk (3); Axel Bachmann (Par, 3) beat Andrey Rychagov (Rus, 2); Milan Pacher (Svk, 2) lost to Alexander Kovchan (Ukr, 3); Krzysztof Jakubowski (Pol, 2) lost to Sahaj Grover (3); Sandipan Chanda (2.5) drew with Dennis Wagner (Ger, 2.5); Abhijeet Gupta (2) drew with Axel Smith (Swe, 2); Meelis Kanep (Est, 2) drew with Vidit Santosh Gujrathi (3); V Vishnu Prasanna (2) drew with Vlad-Cristian Jianu (Rou, 2); G N Gopal (1.5) drew with Theodor Kenneskog (Swe, 1.5); S Arun Prasad (2) beat Ashiku Franc (Alb, 1); Evgeniya Doluhanova (Ukr, 1) lost to M R Venkatesh; Dimitar Marholev (Bul, 1.5) drew with S Kidambi.  

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