Ganguly survives a scare in Kavala Open

Updated: Jul 26, 2012, 19:37 PM IST

Kavala (Greece): Grandmaster Surya Shekhar Ganguly survived some anxious moments before winning against Ekaterini Fakhiridou of Greece in the first round of Kavala International chess tournament here today.

After winning the just concluded Paleochora tournament, it took time for Ganguly to adjust to a new situation when he was playing a much lower-ranked opposition and even though he was much worse during the course of the game, Ganguly posed sufficient problems to finally romp home victorious.

Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta had no troubles whatsoever in opening his account at the expense of Vladica Andrejic of Serbia in his first round game.

For the records, amongst ten Indians in the fray here, the lone loser in the opener was Niranjan Navalgund and he went down to compatriot Grandmaster S P Sethuraman. Amongst others, only woman Grandmaster Kruttika Nadig conceded a draw to Evgenios Ioannidis of Greece while the rest won at ease.

There were no major surprises and it was a decent day in the office for most of the top seeds. Following the withdrawal of second seed Ivan Saric, Ganguly got promoted as the second seed and Gupta became third seed in the tournament.

For Ganguly, it was a bit difficult in the French defense game as black. The Indian was pushed to the wall following an erroneous plan in the middle game. Fakhiridou was facing an opponent who is more than 400 points above her in ratings and the pressure had the final say as the Greek girl went astray towards the end of first time control. Ganguly won in 44 moves.

Abhijeet Gupta played a nice game as white Vladica Andrejic. It was a Budapest gambit by the Serbian that resulted in early troubles as Abhijeet forcefully won a piece without much compensation. Abhijeet won in a mere 27 moves.

Double Grandmaster norm holder Akshayraj Kore had a fine

start too defeating Evanthia Makka of Greece. Playing the black side of a Sicilian Rossolimo, Kore played true to his uncompromising style and won an exchange after setting a pretty trap.

The resulting middle game was complicated but the Pune based returned the favour to rip apart white`s king side. The game lasted just 22 moves.

Sethuraman dashed the hopes of Navalgund in a King`s Indian defense game where the former played white. Opening the center at the right time, Sethuraman invaded with his knight and triumphed in 28 moves.

The tournament is being played under FIDE`s Swiss rules and there are nine rounds in all. There are just 82 participants in the fray which means that the titled players will start combating each other as early as in the second round.

Important and Indian results round 1 (Indians unless stated): Tigran Petrosian (Arm) beat Tsakiris Haralambos (Gre); Ekaterini Fakhiridou (Gre) lost to Surya Shekhar Ganguly; Abhijeet Gupta beat Vladica Andrejic (Srb); Ioannis Stathopoulos (Gre) lost to Dimitrios Mastrovasilis (Gre); Ioannis Papaioannou (Gre) beat Michelakos Panagiotis (Gre); Sandra Djukic (Srb) lost to Tornike Sanikidze (Geo); Sergey Volkov (Rus) beat Georgios Ketzetzis; S P Sethuraman beat Niranjan Navalgund; Dimitrios Papakonstantinou (Gre) lost to Ashwin Jayaram; Neelotpal Das beat Alexandros Rigopoulos-Tsigkos (Gre); Evanthia Makka (Gre) lost to Akshayraj Kore; Charalambos Skoulakis (Gre) lost to S Nitin; Maria Manelidou (Gre) lost to G A Stany; Evgenios Ioannidis (Gre) drew with Kruttika Nadig