Top seed Grandmaster Farrukh Amonatov of Tajikistan defeated overnight sole leader Murali Karthikeyan to emerge as the new leader after the end of the seventh round of 15th Parsvnath Delhi International chess tournament on Friday.
Amonatov showed immense discipline and skill to beat Karthikeyan who was clearly not in the best of his form for the first time in the tournament. Having won the first six, Karthikeyan could have almost sealed the title with a seventh victory but today was clearly not his day.
It was an irregular set up in the Sicilian defense that Amonatov chose as white and got the initiative after the Indian played a bit passive. The middle game saw queens changing hands quickly but the ensuing endgame gave a tangible advantage to the highest rated player. Karthikeyan lost a pawn and did not get a chance to recover. The game lasted 55 moves.
Amonatov took his tally to 6.5 points out of a possible seven and is now a half point ahead of Karthikeyan, Grandmaster Diptayan Ghosh and GM Vitaly Sivuk of Ukraine. Diptayan playeda fine game to beat N R Visakh while Sivuk got the better of compatriot Valeriy Neverov.
Niranjan Navalgund almost ensured himself an International Master norm after holding International Master Swayams Mishra to a draw. Navalgund took his tally to a very impressive 5.5 points and his International Master norm looks a near certainty now. However the budding writer also has a fair chance for a Grandmaster norm and that’s what he will be aiming for in the next two rounds.
Among the local favourites, Grandmaster Sahaj Grover came back in reckoning after a loss in the previous round defeating Sidhant Mohapatra. Grover also moved to 5.5 points and will need a good finish in the last three remaining rounds.
The Delhi International is part of a huge festival and the final event is called the ‘C’ category. The record books have been set again as the event has participation of over 1100 players in the ‘C’ category. Buoyed by the huge response, Bharat Singh Chauhan, the president of Delhi Chess Association, has announced a total prize fund of Rs 7777777 for next year’s event. This year the prize fund is over Rs 51 lakhs.
Important Results of Round 7 (Indians unless specified): Farrukh Amonatov (Tjk, 6.5) beat Murali Karthikeyan (6); Diptayan Ghosh (6) beat N R Visakh (5.5); Vitaly Sivuk (Ukr, 6) beat Valeriy Neverov (Ukr, 5); Nguyen Huynh Minh Huy (Vie, 5.5) drew with Adam Horvath (Hun, 5.5); Niranjan Navalgund (5.5) drew with Swayams Mishra (5.5); Alberto David (Ita, 5.5) beat S Nitin (5); Sayantan Das (4.5) lost to S L Narayanan (5.5); Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury (5) drew with Adam Tukhaev (Ukr, 5); Andrei Deviatkin (Rus, 5) drew with Rakesh Kumar Jena (5); Atilla Czebe (Hun, 5.5) beat Erigaisi Arjun (4.5); Sahaj Grover (5.5) beat Sidhant Mohapatra (4.5); Marat Dzhumaev (Uzb, 5.5) beat Rahul Sangma (4.5); Niaz Murshed (Ban, 5.5) beat Masango Spencer (Zim, 4.5); Anup Deshmukh (4.5) lost to Saptarshi Roy (5.5); Pranav Shetty (5) drew with S Ravi Teja (5).