Saturday, Dec 07, 2002
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By Raghunandan Gokhale
IM Ravi Hegde(Union Bank)who overtook his Union Bank colleague IM Sharad Tilak for the lead after the eighth round, crashed to a defeat against Sriram Jha in the ninth. With just two more rounds to go, the race for the first prize is getting hotter and hotter.
Ravi Hegde, who had captivated the spectators with his fire brand play in the earlier rounds failed to produce the same magic against Sriram in King's Indian Defence. Sriram launched Samisch Attack and forced Ravi to give up two pieces for a rook. Thereafter it was just a matter of time before Ravi saw the writing on the wall and resigned.
B.S.Shivanand, the Karnataka tactician met his match in IM Dinesh Kumar Sharma in the eighth round. Shivanand's Modern Defence was breached by the LIC stalwart in Classical system and thus the Karnataka player suffered his maiden defeat of the tournament.
IM Sharad Tilak has been unable to brake his string of draws. Mumbai champion Vikramaditya Kamble tried hard to breach Sharad's Sicilian Defence as he had done in the final round of the Mumbai Championship couple of month's back. However Sharad kept his head cool and drew the game.
Top seeded IM Roktim Bandopadhyay moved up with a fighting win over Railwayman Shashikant Kutwal in King's Indian Defence.
Defending champion Ramkrishna Kashelkar , who conceded half a point in the first round due to his exams, has come back within a striking distance of the leaders when he outwitted former National "B" Champion R.Balasubramanium(ICF) in Modern Defence.
Important results: Ninth round: Sriram Jha (7.5) bt Ravi Hegde (7) ; Dinesh Kumar Sharma (7.5) bt B. S. Sivanandan (6.5); Vikramaditya Kamble (7) drew with Sharad Tilak (7) ; Roktim Bandopadhyay (7) bt Shashikant Kutwal (6) ; Ramkrishna Kashelkar (7) bt R. Balasubramanium (6) ; Kantilal Dave (6.5) drew with Sudhakar Babu (6.5) ; Anupama Gokhale (6.5) drew with Anup Deshmukh (6.5); R. R. Laxman (6.5) drew with Pradip Ghosh (6.5) ; Suvrajit Saha (6.5) bt N. Jyotilal (5.5) ; N. Neelakantan (5.5) lost to Pankaj Joshi (6.5) ; M. B. Muralidharan (6]) drew with P. V. Girish (6) ; P. Sreekumar (6.5) bt C. J. Arvind (5.5).
Eighth round: Sharad Tilak (6.5) drew with Sriram Jha (6.5) ; Ravi Hegde (7) bt R. R. Laxman (6) ; Anup Deshmukh (6) drew with Roktim Bandopadhyay (6); Himanshu Sharma (5.5) lost to Dinesh Kumar Sharma (6.5) ; Sudhakar Babu (6) drew with Ramkrishna Kashelkar (6) ; B. S. Sivanandan (6.5) bt M. B. Muralidharan (5.5) ; Vikramaditya Kamble (6.5) bt Amardeep Bartakke (5.5) ; R. Balasubramanium (6) bt P. Sreekumar (5.5); Ravishankar D. (5.5) drew with Suvrajit Saha (5.5); Pankaj Joshi (5.5) drew with Shantanu Lahiri (5.5).
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