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Ganguly, Chanda share point

By P. K. Ajith Kumar

VISAKHAPATNAM, DEC. 14. Surya Shekhar Ganguly, the top seed and defending champion, and Sandipan Chanda are still way ahead of their rivals after 14 rounds in the 42nd National `A' chess championship at the Waltair Club.

On Tuesday, the two friends from Kolkata settled for a draw. It wasn't a friendly match. Both were willing to fight, but neither was ready to take the risk. They have 10 points apiece, but Chanda has played one game more.

Abhijit Kunte, who was held to a draw by Suvrajit Saha, is in the second place with 8.5, followed by Neelotpal Das, who got a bye today, on eight.

Seven of the day's nine games were drawn. And one of the day's two winners was Koneru Humpy, much to the delight of her local fans. She had little difficulty in getting the better of debutant Abhijeet Gupta.

There seems to be no end to Rahul Shetty's miseries. His latest loss came at the hands of M.R. Venkatesh. What he hasn't lost is his sense of humour. "These people are ruthless," he said the other day, referring to his tormentors. "They absolutely have no mercy."

Dibyendu Barua isn't exactly having a great tournament either. The former champion was held to a draw in 58 moves of French Winawer by Deepan

Chakravarthy, who looked quite pleased after getting a hard-earned half-a-point.

Ganguly, who employed Two Knights Defence, and Chanda signed the peace treaty after 22 moves. Chanda had the bishop-pair advantage, but that was compensated by his own light-square weakness. "There was nothing much to play in the final position. Both of us needed to take risks if we wanted to try anything," said Chanda.

Humpy won in 36 moves from the white side of a Slav Defence with a potent queen-side attack. Kunte and Saha drew after 45 moves of Catalan Opening.

The resutls (14th round): Sandipan Chanda 10 drew with Surya Shekhar Ganguly 10; M.R. Venkatesh 8 bt Rahul Shetty 1.5; Koneru Humpy 7.5 bt Abhijeet Gupta 4; Abhijit Kunte 8.5 drew with Suvrajit Saha 6; Saptarshi Roy Choudhury 7.5 drew with Tejas Bakre 7.5; Prathamesh Mokal 4 drew with Sriram Jha 5.5; Dronavalli Harika 4 drew with Sundarrajan Kidambi 7.5; Roktim Bandyopadhyay 7 drew with P. Konguvel 6.5; Deepan Chakravarthy 6.5 drew with Dibyendu Barua 6.5; Neelotpal Das 8 bye.

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