Indian grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta off to a flier in Poker Masters

Grandmaster and former world junior champion Abhijeet Gupta got off to a good start, crushing Kolbus Dietmar of Germany in the first round of Poker Masters Isle of Man International chess tournament here.

PTI| Last Updated: Oct 05, 2014, 20:05 PM IST
Indian grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta off to a flier in Poker Masters

Isle of Man, UK: Grandmaster and former world junior champion Abhijeet Gupta got off to a good start, crushing Kolbus Dietmar of Germany in the first round of Poker Masters Isle of Man International chess tournament here.

Seeded 10th in a very strong line-up that includes world number 12 Michael Adams of England and number 13 Maxime Vachier Lagrave of France, Gupta played out a chancelss game with his black pieces to show signs of good form in the 18000 pound sterling prize money tournament.

The other Indian in the fray, Grandmaster D Harika also made a good beginning as she got full points against Eddie Luiz Sant Anna of Brazil.

Harika, fresh from her bronze medal performance in the last women's Grand Prix at Sharjah, got the point with black pieces.

The opening day in one of the strongest open tournament in recent UK history was not devoid of upsets as third seeded Grandmaster Laurent Fressinet was held to a draw by Simon Ansell of England.

Fressinet, a member of the 2700 ELO rating club, did not get many chances to convert his slightly superior position in the endgame and seasoned Ansell deserved all credit for pocketing a half point against one of the leading players in the tournament.

Gupta came up with his pet Grunfeld defence to counter the queen pawn opening by Kolbus and the German was out of his book quite early when the Indian decided to give a slightly better position rather than go for a simplified and equal endgame.

The strategy paid off as Kolbus was saddled with the task of handling a complicated position in which Gupta excelled with a timely attack on the white king.

Kolbus lost a pawn while trying to wriggle out of his problem and that was enough for the Indian to transpose to a winning endgame.

"I think he had his chances when I allowed a trick inadvertently, but we both failed to spot it thankfully, it was a nice game for an opening round in the end," Gupta said after the game.

Adams is not a regular customer in open events but that uneasiness did not show in his clean victory against compatriot Mark Fergusson. The English opening gave England's highest ranked player an edge and he nurtured it easily to win in 37 moves.

The event is being played under FIDE's Swiss rules with nine rounds in all. The winner's purse is 6000 pounds sterling.

Important results after round 1: Michael Adams (ENG) beat Mark Ferguson (ENG); Alina L'Ami (ROU) lost to Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA); Laurent Fressinet (FRA) drew with Simon Ansell (ENG); Marcel Peek (NED) lost to Gabriel Sargissian (ARM); Julio Granda Zuniga (PER) beat Gerard Welling (NED); Stephen Mannion (SCO) lost to Sergei Tiviakov (NED); Gawain Jones (ENG) beat Christopher Wallis (AUS); Alan Tate (SCO) lost to David Howell (ENG); Nigel Short (ENG) beat Chris Duncan (ENG); Dietmar Kolbus (GER) lost to Abhijeet Gupta; Sant Anna, Eddie Luiz lost to D Harika.