Moscow: Grandmaster B Adhiban got off to a flier beating higher seed Markus Ragger of Austria in the first round of the `A` group of Aeroflot International chess tournament here.
Adhiban was a class act with his white pieces as he went for his trusted variation in the Slav defense and cruised home in a tactical battle against Ragger who is around 100 points more in Elo rating.
It turned out to be a mixed start for the higher ranked Indians in one of the strongest open tournaments of the world.
National Champion Abhijeet Gupta also scored a fine technical win against Russian Grandmaster Aleksei Pridorozhni while Parimajan Negi and Krishnan Sasikiran were held to draws by lower ranked opponents - Daniel Alsina Leal of Spain and Yaroslav Zherebukh of Ukraine respectively.
G N Gopal went down fighting against Sergei Zhigalko of Belarus while similar fates were in store for final GM norm aspirant M R Venkatesh and M Shyam Sundar.
On the brighter side, Vidit Gujrathi came out with sound positional chess to hold former world champion Alexander Khalifman of Russia to a creditable draw, while S P Sethuraman also did well to hold Ildar Khairullin of Russia. Amongst other Indians in the fray, Sandipan Chanda was held to a draw by young Russian Daniil Dubov, while D Harika opened her account after signing peace with Gadir Guseinov of Azerbaijan.
In the `B` group being played simultaneously, S Nitin recorded the biggest upset accounting for Grandmaster Dorian Rogozenco of Romania. Another higher ranked GM, Artashes Minasian of Armenia, also found the going tough and lost to Akshayraj Kore while national women`s champion Mary Ann Gomes was in her elements as she beat Pogos Nakhapetiane of Russia.
Double GM norm holder Sahaj Grover, the highest rated Indian in the fray in this section, however did not get the desired start as he misplayed a winning endgame and was held to a draw by Chinese girl Huang Qian.
Indian Results round 1 group `A` (Indians unless specified): Yaroslav Zherebukh (Ukr) drew with Krishnan Sasikiran; Sergei Zhigalko (Blr) beat G N Gopal; B Adhiban beat Markus Ragger (Aut); Abhijeet Gupta beat Aleksei Pridorozhni (Rus); Parimarjan Negi drew with Daniel Alsina Leal (Esp); S P Sethuraman drew with Ildar Khairullin (Rus); D Harika drew with Gadir Guseinov (Aze); Vidit Gujrathi drew with Alexander Khalifman (Rus); Yu Yangyi (Chn) beat M R Venkatesh; Daniil Dubov (Rus) drew with Sandipan Chanda; M Shyam Sundar lost to Ivan Salgado Lopez (Esp).
Group `B`: S Nitin beat Dorian Rogozenco (Rou); Alexey Kislinsky (Cze) drew with Debashis Das; Sahaj Grover drew with Huang Qian (Chn); Wang Jue drew with S Arun Prasad; Artashes Minasian (Arm) lost to Akshayraj Kore; Swayams Mishra lost toAlexei Iljushin (Rus); Stanislav Bogdanovich (Ukr) beat Padmini Rout; Mary Ann Gomes beat Pogos Nakhapetiane (Rus); Bogdan Belyakov (Rus) lost to Tejas Bakre; Diptayan Ghosh drew with Vladimir Dobrov (Rus); Deepan Chakkravarthy beat Klementy Sychev (Rus); M R Lalith Babu beat Eesha Karavade; Alexander Filipenko (Rus) lost to P Shyam Nikil; Ekaterina Atalik (Tur) lost to Ankit Rajpara; Sundararajan Kidambi beat Wei Yi (Chn); Nisha Mohota lost to Aleksandr Karpatchev (Rus); S L Narayanan drew with Andrey Stukopin (Rus); Jouri Goriatchkin (Rus) lost to Vaibhav Suri; Soumya Swaminathan lost to Oleg Badmatsyrenov (Rus); Shardul Gagare lost to Nikita Matinian (Rus); B Pratyusha beat Deysi Cori (Per);
Group `C`: Gilsomar Silva Barbalho (Bra) lost to Bhakti Kulkarni; M Mahalakshmi lost to Ralf Schnabel (Ger); Srija Seshadri lost to Aravindh Chithambaram; G Lasyadrew with David Paravyan (Rus); Niklesh Jain beat Alexandra Nikolaeva (Rus); Madhurima Shekhar lost to Qu Yanqiao (Chn); Ashot Avetisyan (Arm) drew with Harshal Shahi; Javday Absoliamov (Rus) lost to Akash Iyer; Xu, Yi (Chn) beat Meenu Priya; Ravdanlkhum Amgalanbaatar (Mgl) beat U Ashwini; P V Nandhidhaa beat Sergey Komov (Rus); Vasily Vasilyev (Rus) beat Anshuman Singh; Efim Altshuler (Isr) lost to K G Chaithanyaa; Gil Santos Barbalho (Bra) lost to R Bharathi; Ramiro Cabrera Pando (Arg) drew with Michelle Catherina; R Ganesh beat Alexandr Sevastijanov (Rus).