Abhijit Kunte shocks Ni Hua in Asian opener
Sharjah: Grandmaster and former national champion Abhijeet Kunte scored a crushing victory over fifth seed Ni Hua of China in the first round of 13th Asian Continental chess championship here on Friday.
Kunte, who is fresh from a splendid show at the recently concluded Kolkata International open tournament, got off to a flier thanks to some imaginative display in the opening, and carried it well right till the end of the game at the Sharjah Chess club.
The Catalan opening by the Indian led to a small advantage and some wily manoeuvres by Kunte forced Ni Hua to go on defensive. It was a relentless display by Kunte as he dominated with a passed pawn on a queen side and later took two pawns to the seventh rank to finish the game in 41 moves.
On what turned out to be a generally good day for the Indians, third seed Krishnan Sasikiran started off in style beating Jehongir Vakhidov of Uzbekistan, while other fancied Indians Surya Shekhar Ganguly and Abhijeet Gupta also took off on a positive note at the expense of Amirezza Pourramezanali of Iran and Munkhgal Gombosuren of Mongolia, respectively.
Indian Grandmasters -- B Adhiban, S P Sethuraman, G N Gopal, Deep Sengupta, Vaibhav Suri and Debashish Das -- also ended as the winners while on the flip side, former Asian champion Parimarjan Negi, M R Lalith Babu and Vidit Gujrathi were held to draws.
The nine-round championship, which is a part of the next world championship cycle saw an early upset on the top board too, as Bu Xiangzhi of China had to split the point with compatriot Gao Rui.
In the women`s section being organised simultaneously, highest rated Indian International Master Tania Sachdev defeated Gu Tianlu of China. Tania, was surprised early as some withdrawal led to change of colours just before the round but the Delhi-based did not lose her composure and won a hard-fought game.
Other Indian eves, International Masters Eesha Karavade and Mary Ann Gomes were held to draws, while former world junior girls` champion Soumya Swaminathan and Swathi Ghate ended on the winning side.
Top seeded girl Tan Zhongyi of China suffered a shock defeat against Vietnamese Nguyen Thi Thanh. Second seed Munguntuul Batkhuyag of Mongolia was held to a draw in this section by another Vietnamese Hoang Thi Nhu Y.
Important and Indian results, Round 1 Open (Indians unless specified): Gao Rui (Chn) drew with Bu Xiangzhi (Chn); Rustam Kasimdzhanov (Uzb) beat M Shyam Sundar; Jahongir Vakhidov (Uzb) lost to Krishnan Sasikiran; Yu Yangyi (Chn) beat Pouria Darini (Iri); Abhijit Kunte beat Ni Hua (Chn); Parimarjan Negi drew with V Vishnu Prasanna; Amirezza Pourramezanali (Iri) lost to Surya Shekhar Ganguly; Abhijeet Gupta beat Munkhgal Gombosuren (Mgl); Xu Yinglun (Chn) drew with Vidit Santosh Gujrathi; B Adhiban beat Akshat Khamparia; Nezad Husein Aziz (Qat) drew with M R Lalith Babu; S P Sethuraman beat Fang Yan (Chn); Al-Hadarani Hatim (Yem) lost to G N Gopal; Deep Sengupta beat Raes Abdul Kader (Syr); Temur Igonin (Uzb) lost to Vaibhav Suri; Debashis Das beat Ibrahim Chahrour (Lib).
Women: Nguyen Thi Thanh An (Vie) beat Tan Zhongyi (Chn); Munguntuul Batkhuyag (Mgl) drew with Hoang Thi Nhu Y (Vie); Gu Tianlu (Chn) lost to Tania Sachdev; Eesha Karavade drew with Dorsa Derakhshani (Iri); Hulkar Tohirjonova (Uzb) drew with Mary Ann Gomes; Zhansaya Abdumalik (Kaz) beat Xu Huahua (Chn); Nazrana Khan (Ban) lost to Soumya Swaminathan; Atousa Pourkashiyan (Iri) beat Natalie Fuad Kamel Jamaliah (Jor); Dahdal Lougain (Jor) drew with Pham Le Thao Nguyen (Vie); Gong Qianyun (Sin) beat Anu Bayar (Mgl); Swathi Ghate beat S Njoud (Ksa).