Seldom does one get to witness a decisive, seven-move miniature contest involving Grandmasters.
In one such rare occurrence, Diptayan Ghosh was the beneficiary of an oversight by Ziaur Rahman. The veteran Bangladeshi resigned the moment he realised he could not save a minor piece within minutes into the seventh round of the Delhi International Open Grandmasters chess tournament in New Delhi.
Though Sunday proved an off-day for Rahman, last year’s runner-up, most title-aspirants stayed in the hunt by treading carefully.
As a result of draws on the top two boards — involving the overnight leaders Debashis Das and Iran’s Masoud Mosadeghpour — and victories for Ghosh, Vietnam’s Tran Tuan Minh and Belarus’ Stupak Kirill, five players shared the lead at six points. Eighteen players, including 11 Indians, follow at 5.5 points. Three more rounds remain.
Among those half-point behind the leaders, Girish Koushik made it by stunning second seeded Russian Alexandr Predke in 58 moves. The Karnataka youngster called the shots in the second half of the game after Predke wisely traded his rook for a bishop. Girish kept up the pressure and finally crafted a fine win.
On the top board, Debashis held top seed Farrukh Amonatov in 45 moves after Masoud drew with sixth seed Ivan Popov in 30 moves. Debashis, looking better till the 30th move, misplayed the position and handed over the advantage to Amonatov. But some accurate defensive moves in the latter stages helped Debashis come out unscathed.
Concurrently, the Category ‘C’ event for those rated under-1499 opened with what could well be a world record number of entries that stood at 1537. The All India Chess Federation is awaiting a nod from the FIDE, the world body, ratifying the record.
Seventh round: Debashis Das (6) drew with Farrukh Amonatov (Tjk, 5.5); Ivan Popov (Rus, 5.5) drew with Masoud Mosadeghpour (Iri, 6); Akesej Aleksandrov (Blr, 5) lost to Tran Tuan Minh (Vie, 6); Ehsan Ghaem Maghami (Iri, 5.5) drew with Abhijeet Gupta (5.5); D. Gukesh (5.5) drew with S. L. Narayanan (5.5); E. Arjun (5.5) drew with N. R. Visakh (5.5); Ziaur Rahman (Ban, 5) lost to Diptayan Ghosh (6); N. R. Vignesh (5.5) drew with Deepan Chakkravarthy (5.5); P. Shyam Nikhil (5) lost to Kirill Stupak (Blr, 6).