Tashkent (Uzbekistan): Indian GM and former world junior champion Abhijeet Gupta was shocked by unheralded Fang Yan of China in the first round of Asian continental Chess Championship.
Playing black in the opening round of Gupta made many unforced errors in the middle game to find himself on the wrong side arising out of a Sicilian defence and was outdoneas the Chinese came up with some fine resources to draw the curtains during yesterday’s encounter.
The highest rated Indian Grandmaster in the fray, B Adhiban however had little difficulties in toppling the defense of Shamsiddin Vakhidov of Uzbekistan.
Adhiban was in his elements in tackling a Queen pawn game with white pieces and his attack came good with pawn sacrifice early in the opening.
Trying to walk his way through, the Uzbek player suffered a severe setback when Adhiban sacrificed a piece and soon it was all over as white pieces dominated the board. The game lasted a mere 20 moves.
Vidit Gujrathi also got off to a flier giving a positional lesson to his lesser known opponent Bakhodir Kholmirzaev.
It was another Queen pawn game of the day wherein the Indian played black and after initial discussions seized the initiative with some deft manoeuvres. The heavy pieces endgame was slightly better for Gujrathi who first knock downed a pawn before wrapping up the game.
GM Surya Shekhar Ganguly was also at his best in crushing Tsogbayar Baterdene of Mongolia. It was a routine Sicilian Najdorf in which Ganguly’s immense experience came in handy for a king side attack. The game was over in just 34 moves.
Amongst the Indian favourites, SP Sethuraman was the other winner with white pieces against Arif Abdul Hafiz of Indonesia. The Queen pawn opening led to a slight better position and Sethuraman was at his technical and tactical best to convert it in to a full point.
In the women’s championship being held simultaneously, Padmini Rout started off steadily with a fine victory over Asian junior girls’ champion Uuriintuya Uurtsaikh of Mongolia.
It was a bit of a setback for former world junior girls’ champion Soumya Swamithan who was held to a draw by Sultana Sharmin Shirin but the biggest upset of this round happened on board one as top seed Sarasadat Khademalsharieh of Iran was shocked by Hoang Thi Thao Bram of Vietnam.
Part of the next world championship cyce in both open and women section, the Asian continental championships have a total prize pool of USD 75000 at stake for the winners apart from a place in next World chess cup. There are eight rounds still remaining in both championships.