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Thipsay stuns Gopal

Rakesh Rao

NEW DELHI: Pravin Thipsay is busy turning the clock back. Once again, it was vintage stuff from the tenacious 51-year-old as he pulled off the biggest upset of the 48th National Premier chess championship by checkmating top seed G. N. Gopal in the ninth round at the K. R. Mangalam World School here on Saturday.

Thipsay's 41-move triumph also gave him a share of the lead with second seed Parimarjan Negi. The 17-year-old Negi settled for a draw with reigning champion B. Adhiban after facing a stubborn defence.

With four rounds to go, Thipsay and Negi — the country's oldest and the youngest Grandmasters — have 6.5 points each. Trailing the leaders by half a point are, Adhiban, M. R. Lalith Babu and S. Arun Prasad.

Besides Thipsay, others who won against the less-experienced were, Lalith, Arun, Abhijit Kunte, Deepan Chakravarthy and R. R. Laxman.

Deepan Chakkravarthy, R. R. Laxman and M. R. Venkatesh were the only players to win with white pieces on the top-10 boards.

The results: Ninth round: Parimarjan Negi (6.5) dew with B. Adhiban (6); G.N. Gopal (5.5) lost to Pravin Thipsay (6.5); Vidit Gujarathi (5.5) lost to M.R. Lalith Babu (6); S. Kidambi (5.5) drew with Tejas Bakre (5.5); S.P. Sethuraman (4.5) lost to S. Arun Prasad (6): Debashis Das (4.5) lost to Abhijit Kunte (5.5); Neelotpal Das (5) drew with G.A. Stany (5); Deepan Chakkravarthy (5.5) bt Shyam Sundar (4.5); R.R. Laxman (5.5) bt Shyam Nikhil (4.5); M. R. Venkatesh (5.5) bt M.S. Thejkumar (4.5); Rahul Sangma (4) lost to Deep Sengupta (5); N. Sudhakar Babu (4.5) drew with P. Konguvel (4.5); Vaibhav Suri (4.5) drew with Navin Kanna (4.5); Prathamesh Mokal (5) bt Saptarshi Roy (4); D.P. Singh (4.5) bt P. Karthikeyan (3.5); G.B. Joshi (3.5) lost to Vikramaditya Kamble (4.5); J. Ramakrishna (3.5) lost to Soumya Swaminathan (4.5); Dinesh Sharma (3.5) drew with Arjun Tiwari (3.5); V.A.V. Rajesh (4) bt Padmini Rout (3); Suvrajit Saha (3.5) bt Akash Thakur (3); Shashikant Kutwal (2) drew with Vishnu Prasanna (3); O.T. Anilkumar (1.5) lost to Vinay Kumar Matta (3.5).

10th round pairings: Thipsay-Negi; Arun-Adhiban; Lalith-Deepan; Gopal-Laxman; Vidit-Bakre; Kunte-Kidambi .

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