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Prasanna holds top seed Epishin in Spain

NEW DELHI: Twelve-year old Prasanna Rao pulled off the biggest upset of the opening round of Badalona International Open chess tournament when he held top seed Russian Vladimir Epishin to a draw at Badalona, Spain, on Wednesday.

This seventh standard student of Mumbai's Vidya Niketan School had lost to Epishin in the second round of the Sitges International Open on his way to a stunning sixth-place finish last month. For Prasanna, rated 2104 and seeded 68th in the field of 132 players, the draw against a Grandmaster with a rating of 2555 is the biggest result of his promising career.

Grandmasters Neelotpal Das, R. B. Ramesh, International Masters S. Kidambi, S. Satyapragyan, P. Konguvel, Woman Grandmaster Aarthie Ramaswamy, Swati Mohota and Sai Meera won to make it a highly satisfying day for the Indian camp.

The results (involving Indians):

First round: Vladimir Epishin (Rus) drew with Prasanna Rao; Neelotpal Das bt Jacky Groz (Fra); Jaoquin Exposito Cabrera (Esp) lost to R.B. Ramesh; S. Kidambi bt Francisco Moratinos (Esp); VinyeRamon Espuny (Esp) lost to S. Satyapragyan; Andres Xavier Colom (Esp) lost to P. Konguvel; Jordi Ferrer Serrabssa (Esp) lost to Aarthie Ramaswamy; Angels Cucarella Montell (Esp) lost to Swati Mohota; Sai Meera bt Josep Lluis Turuguet Lopez (Esp).

Tania holds Russian GM

Woman Grandmaster Tania Sachdev drew with 18th-seeded Russian Grandmaster Nukhi Rashkovsky (2512) to reach five points after nine rounds of the Biel Masters chess tournament in Biel, Switzerland, on Wednesday.

S.P. Sethuraman (4.5 points) went down to Russian International Master Alexander Raetsky (2412) and Woman International Master Kruttika Nadig (4.5) drew with Switzerland's Julien Carron.

With two rounds to go, Poland's Bartosz Socko and Germany's Leonid Kritz shared the lead with seven points.

Barua, Roy lose

Grandmaster Dibyendu Barua lost to sixth seeded Dutch Erik van den Deol in 40 moves to remain at five points after eight rounds of the Dutch Open chess tournament in Dieren on Wednesday.

Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury defeated another Dutchman Ewoud de Groote in 44 moves to join Kolkata-mates Roktim Bandyopadhyay and Saptarshi Roy at 4.5 points.

Saptarshi Roy crashed to a 26-move defeat at the hands of Israel's GM Sergey Erenburg and Bandyopadhya drew with local Joram up den Kelder.

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