Jamshedpur, Sept 14: The Tata Steel Asian Chess Championship 2023 continued its thrilling journey marked by intense matches and exciting outcomes.
The ceremonial first move on the sixth day of the championship was done by Farzan Heerjee, former chief (Protocol and Sports), Tata Steel and Vice-President, Indian Golf Union.
In the open category, the top boards witnessed fierce competition. On Board 1, International Master Grebnev Aleksey faced off against FIDE Master Ayush Sharma.
The game began with a Queen’s Gambit, followed by Ayush countering with the Nimzo Indian defence.
After 32 moves and several exchanges, the Indian FIDE Master secured a draw by solidifying his position, leaving Aleksey with no opportunities for a breakthrough.
Board 2 featured an impressive victory by International Master Rohith Krishna S, who defeated Ritvik Krishnan with the white pieces. Starting with the Queen’s Gambit, Ritvik opted for the Semi-Tarrasch exchange variation but miscalculated a variation in the middle game, ultimately leading to a difficult endgame position. Rohith capitalized on this advantage, resulting in Ritvik’s resignation at the 52nd move.
On Board 3, Aswath S engaged in a strategic battle against Indonesian player Gilbert Elroy, with both players employing the Queen’s Gambit declined variation.
Aswath S skillfully manoeuvred his pieces during the middle game, rendering the black pieces ineffective. On move 27, realizing his disadvantage, Gilbert Elroy resigned. In a surprising upset on Board 4, the higher-rated Srihari L R lost to his Indian counterpart Sambit Panda. Srihari initiated with the Queen’s Gambit, and Sambit replied with the Old Indian defence, ultimately sacrificing his Queen for a Rook and a Bishop on the 21st move. Sambit then skillfully played with minor pieces to secure victory in 31 moves.
In the Girls Category on Board 1, Mrittika Mallick and Tejaswini played a defensive King’s Pawn opening and Sicilian defence game, with Tejaswini seizing the initiative in the middle game. Tejaswini claimed victory through a beautiful tactical combination after 39 moves. Board 2 saw Bristy continuing her excellent form, achieving her fourth consecutive win by defeating Shubhi Gupta with the white pieces. On Board 3, the top seed Nurgali made a strong comeback, defeating Keerti Reddy with the black pieces.
After round 7 in the Girls Category, Tejaswini maintained her sole lead on the leaderboard alongside Bristy Mukherjee, both scoring 6 points jointly. Nurgali and Bommini shared the 2nd position with 5.5 points each, while Mrittika and Mrudul were tied for the 3rd place, each with 5 points.
In the open section, the top seed Grebnev Aleksey, Rohith and Aswath shared the first place with 5.5 points each. Sambit, Srihari L, Srihari, Ayush, and Manish shared the 2nd spot with five points each.
The Tata Steel Asian Chess Championship 2023 continues to showcase talents and fierce competition, promising more thrilling matches in the days to come.