The half-way stage of BMC & LIC sponsored, Mumbai Mayor’s International Chess Tournament here at Goregaon Sports Club witnessed a safety approach by the two overnight leaders, GM Dmitry Kokarev and Pavel Smirnov as they agreed for a draw in just 15 moves.

This allowed GM Nguyen Duc Hoa, Ziaur Rahman & Nartyn Kravstiv who have joined the leaders by scoring a win over GM Pantsulaia Levan, GM Aleksandrov Aleksej and IM P Karthikeyan respectively.  All these players are now on 4½ points. A further group of 11-players are following the leaders with a score of 4 points.

The highlight of day’s play was the victory of Vietnam GM, Nguen Duc Hoa who defeated the defending champion, GM Pantsulaia Levan in just 28 moves from the black side of English opening. The uncharacteristic opening play of GM Levan was quickly punished by Nguyen, who also sacrificed his Queen for two rooks to win effortlessly thereafter.

Also notable was the win of GM Ziaur Rahman from Bangledesh who defeated his opponent GM Aleksandrov who is rated more than 100 points above him in the ELO scale.

On board 5 GM Kravstiv Martyn adopted the Maroczy Bind structure against the Sicilian Defense of IM Karthikeyan and the game went on equal footing till move 45 when a blunder by Karthikeyan allowed Martyn to launch a mating attack who resigned immediately.

Five more rounds remains to be played in this 11 Lakh prize money tournament which is being hosted by Goregaon Sports Club and co-sponsored by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) & the Life Insurance Corporation of India.

The day also witnessed the conclusion of ‘B’ category tournament, which was won by 11-year old player, Sankarsha Shelke from Maharashtra who became richer by Rs.1,00,000. The 2nd and 3rd prize was bagged by Aishwin Daniel of MP and Siddhant Gaikwad of Maharashtra respectively. Both these players were awarded Rs.75,000 and Rs.50,000/- from a total prize pool of Rs.7,70,000/-

The ‘C’ category event for players rated below 1600, which has a prize fund of Rs.5,30,000 will commence tomorrow to make it as one of the biggest prize money tournament in India with a combined prize of Rs.24 Lakhs. 

Key Results of Round 5:

Bo.                    White              Pts.       Result   Pts.                   Black

1           GM       Kokarev D         4½        Drew    4½        GM       Smirnov Pavel

2          GM       Pantsulaia L      3½        Lost to 4½        GM       Nguyen Duc Hoa

3          GM       Rahman Ziaur   4½        Beat     3½        GM       Aleksandrov Aleksej

4          IM       Priyadharshan K.4        Drew    4          GM       Mchedlishvili Mikheil

5          GM       Kravtsiv Martyn 4½      Beat     3½        IM       Karthikeyan P.

6          GM       Sivuk Vitaly      3½        Drew    4          IM       Nitin S.

7          GM       Zubov Alexander 4       Beat     3          IM       Ravi Teja S.

8          GM       Paichadze L      4          Beat     3          WGM   Kulkarni Bhakti

9          IM       Dimakiling O     3          Lost to 4          GM       Debashis Das

10                     Vignesh Nr       3½        Drew    3½        IM       Azaladze Shota

11                     Sanjay N.         3          Lost to 4          GM       Deepan Chakkravarthy J.

12         IM       Sangma Rahul   3          Lost to 4                      M Nubairshah Shaikh

13         IM       Prasanna Rao    3          Lost to 4          IM       Praveen Kumar C.

14         FM       K. Praneeth       3          Lost to 4          GM       Laxman R.R.

15         FM       Raghunandan    3½        Drew    3          GM       Gagunashvili Merab      2½