Friday, May 09, 2003
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By Our Sports Reporter
The contest started off on an ominous note with Shivananda objecting to the Russian placing biscuits packet on the table within four moves into the game. Soon, it was the turn of the Russian to return the favour when Shivananda kept a water bottle.
And for the rest of the contest, there were mild, oral protests keeping the chief arbiter busy. As the players entered the end-game, Fominyh slipped into time pressure and at one stage had just two minutes before the fall of the flag.
That was the time when the Karnataka player had a piece up and when Fominyh walked off from the table, Shivananda was declared winner much to the chagrin of the Russian. But, when he sought the intervention of the arbiter, the appeals committee declared the result as a draw to the satisfaction of both players. The tension was understandable as Fominyh badly needed a win to clinch the title.
The final day also witnessed some of the players protesting against `the lack of adequate lighting in the tournament hall and that it was organised without ensuring the rules and regulations of a FIDE-rated tournament.'
The players also pointed out that there were no basic amenities for the outstation players at the provided accommodation (for which they paid the money to the organisers). And, they also said that arbitration standard was dismal and objected to the nomination of Mr. Karunakar Reddy, who is not an international arbiter.
But, the organisers clearly pointed out that they didn't promise accommodation to the outstation players and had to be shown that in the vicinity of the venue, which is 20km away from the City, it wasn't possible to find a suitable one.
"That was the problem and none of them were aware of the distance from the City. And, we wish to point out that the event being held on a school premises, air-conditioned halls could be provided. When an attempt was made to provide pedestal fans, some of the players forced them to be taken off immediately as they were making too much of noise disturbing the concentration,'' the organisers said.
Regarding the arbiters, the organising secretary, Mr. K.S. Prasad, said that there were four arbiters Karunakar Reddy, T. Gopalan, Venkateshan and I.J. Ganesh and the fact that there were no written protests by any player should bear testimony to the efficient manner in which the event was conducted.
Significantly, IM N. Sudhakar Babu, who was on the appeals committee that was involved in the Fominyh-Shivananda encounter, acknowledged in a chat with The Hindu there were some minor flaws on the organisational front and it could have been averted. "A little bit of care and personal attention was needed in some aspects,'' he said.
But, it was pretty obvious that the organisers should have been extra cautious since it was a FIDE-rated event.
The results: Final round: B.S. Shivananda (9) drew with Alexander Fominyh (9); Vinod Bhagwath (9) bt Suvrajit Saha (8.5); Palith Somak (8) drew with S.R. Chowdhary (8); Arvind Shastry (8) drew with A. Guha Rai (8); J. Ramakrishna (8) drew with M. Srinivas Rao (8); D. Laxman Rao (7.5) lost to Arindam Mukherjee (8); K.N. Gopal (7.5) drew with S. Karedkar (7.5); P.D.S. Girinath (8.5) drew with Pubesh Anand (8.5); K. Ratnakaran (8) bt Naveen Hegde (7.5); G. Dinesh Kumar (7.5) drew with Preetham Sharma (7.5); K. Ramu (7) lost to Himanshu Sharma (8); Nikhilesh Kumar (7.5) drew with Sayanthan Dutta (7.5); M.Y. Raju (7) lost to Rishipal Singh (8); Tonmaya Patnaik (7.5) drew with Sashikanth Patwal (7.5).
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