Chanda closer to norm
Irina Brar clinches crown
E.Bengal eves wallop Bidyut
Chess no more an art: Vladimirov
Mumbai Racing/ Beau Wonder may strike again
Calcutta Racing/ 12 for Thursday’s Command Cup
Track Trials/ Alamito, Soviet Port impress

 
 
CHANDA CLOSER TO NORM 
 
 
BY BIPIN SHENOY
 
Calcutta, Feb. 13: 
City IM Sandipan Chanda inched closer to his second GM norm following a draw against Swiss GM Joseph Gallagher after Round VIII of the Goodricke International Open Chess Tournament today at Gorky Sadan.

Chanda, who retained his second spot with today’s draw, needs another against Kazakhstan’s GM Evgeny Vladimirov in the ninth round tomorrow.

According to chief arbiter R.C. Chatterjee, a draw will be good enough for Chanda as he will play a highly-rated player.

Gallagher maintained his top position with 6.5 points. He is followed by Chanda on six. A pack of eight players including GM Dibyendu Barua is in the third spot on 5.5 points.

The game between Chanda and Gallagher was drawn after an exchange of queens in the Alapin variation of the Sicilian defence in 20 moves. “I followed Gallagher’s advice in his book on opening. But Gallagher later told me a new improvement has been worked out and it is there in the second edition of the book,” Chanda said later.

Maxim Sorokin of Argentina and top seed Andrei Kharlov of Russia preferred to stay close the top with a quick draw.

Barua and national champion Abhijit Kunte split the point after an interesting struggle arising from a Catalan opening. Barua, playing black, introduced a new move Ra6 and sacrificed a pawn on c5 which put him in a good position. Kunte immediately returned the pawn to reach a balanced position.

Nasir Wajih of Railways upset GM Alexie Barsov of Uzbekistan with black pieces and is assured of his maiden nine-game IM norm even if he loses tomorrow.

IM Eshan Ghaem Maghami of Iran won against WGM Subbaraman Vijayalakshmi of India in a controversial game.

Vijayalakshmi claimed a draw by repetition. The arbiters were in a fix as she had written down a set of moves different from Maghami. To make matters worse for her, the demonstration board operators presented a score sheet which tallied the Iranian. A visibly upset Vijayalakshmi decided to appeal against the decision after consulting other top Indian players.

“Maghami was involved in a similar incident against me in Iran. But I was lucky as spectators had seen what had happened and the arbiters had to rule in my favour. If any chess player goes through the game, Vijayalakshmi’s claim will logically look truthful,” IM K. Murugan told The Telegraph later. Vijayalakshmi later decided not to lodge an appeal as circumstantial evidence was against her.

Pentyala Harikrishna drew once again and needs to win all his remaining games against highly-rated players to clinch his final GM norm. Today, he was held by R.B. Ramesh in a Slav defence.

IM Ziaur Rahman of Bangladesh drew against Buenavent Villamayor of Philippines to take his score to 5.5. Zia needs to win at least two games in the last three rounds to seal his second GM norm.

Koneru Humpy of India agreed to a quick draw against IM Tejas Bakre to take her tally to 4 points. Humpy now needs to be paired against a player with an Elo rating of 2432 and draw her game to earn a second WGM norm.

IM Lanka Ravi lost his first game in the meet as he went down to GM Dimitri Reinderman of the Netherlands. With today’s loss, Ravi’s GM norm chances disappeared.

Asian under-12 boys champion Abhijit Gupta of Rajasthan upset IM Oleg Boricsev of Hungary to take his tally to 3 points.

TOP BOARD RESULTS

Joseph Gallagher (6.5) drew Sandipan Chanda (6); Maxim Sorokin (5.5) drew Andrei Kharlov (5.5); Ziaur Rahman (5.5) drew Buenavent Villamayor (5.5); Abhijit Kunte (5) drew Dibyendu Barua (5.5); Evgeny Vladimirov (5.5) bt Victor Mikhalevski (4.5); Lanka Ravi (4.5) lost to Dimitri Reinderman (5.5); P. Harikrishna (5) drew R. B. Ramesh (5); S. Vijayalakshmi (4.5) lost to Ehsan Ghaem Maghami (5.5); Alexei Barsov (4) lost to Nassir Wajih (5); Dimitri Komarov (5) bt C. S. Gokhale (4); Igor Rausis (4.5) drew T. S. Ravi (4.5); G.B. Prakash (5) bt Gurpreetpal Singh (4).

BENGAL PLAYERS

Jayant Gokhale (3.5) drew Surya Sekhar Ganguly (3.5); Joanna Dworakowska (4) bt Neelotpal Das (3); Saheli Dhar Barua (3) lost to Shanker Roy (3.5); Galianina Ryjanova (3.5) bt Arghyadip Das (2.5); P. Konguvel (3.5) bt Saptarshi Roy (2.5); Saheli Nath (1.5) bt Harkamal Singh Sandhu (1.5).    

 
 
IRINA BRAR CLINCHES CROWN 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Feb. 13: 
Irina Brar today won the Biloo Sethi Trophy, finishing with a two-day gross of 150 points in the 84th all-India ladies’ amateur golf championship at Royal Calcutta Golf Club.

Irina was followed to the runner-up spot by Parnita Garewal who had a two-day gross of 153.

The AVM Trophy went to R. Punwani (two-day gross of 178), followed by M. Halwasiya (180). P. Indumati was also on 180, but Halwasiya won on sterling back nine performance.

D. Kapur, with 191, won the DT Salver, and S. Vakaria followed up at 199.

Parnita also had to her credit the longest drive of the day, when she cleared 202 yards on the tenth hole.

Vandana Agarwal was the most accurate, on the second, landing just five feet six inches from the pin on the second hole. That too was the best for the day.

Premier golf in Patna

Patna will be in the limelight from Thursday when the Patna Golf Club hosts the four-day ProGolf 2001 East India Open. As usual, the Pro-Am will precede the main meet by a day, according to information received here.

A full field of 72 professionals and four amateurs will vie for honours in the Rs 5 lakh prize money meet. The winner is set to get Rs 81,000 and the runner-up Rs 56,000. This is the 16th leg of the Wills Sport Indian Golf Tour.

The top three on the Indian Tour Order of Merit — Shiv Prakash, Mukesh Kumar and Vijay Kumar — will line up for tee-off Thursday, along with Firoz Ali and Rafiq Ali from Calcutta, among others.

   

 
 
E.BENGAL EVES WALLOP BIDYUT 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Feb. 13: 
East Bengal today followed up Mohun Bagan’s fine opening tie yesterday in the IFA women’s soccer league with a 7-0 whipping of Bidyut Sporting in their opening match.

The victory was the main handiwork of Sujata Kar, who scored five goals including a hattrick. Sharmila Sapui and Swapna Kumari scored the other goals.

The other match of the day was also high-scoring, with Nabajanma Sangha beating Kasba Samannay 6-0. The goals were shared between Julie Bose, Jhuma Bose, Madhumita Das, Ruma Ghosh, Barnali Mitra and Swapna Ghosh.

BHA league

Chhotonagpur Recreation Club today beat Baranagore sporting 3-1 in their BHA league first division group B match.

Ajit Burah scored a brace, while B.M. Dung Dung scored the other for the winners. For Baranagore Prafulla Tirkey scored the consolation goal.

In the other match of the day Punjab SC beat Belgachia United 2-0.

Jagdip Singh started the scoring off a penalty stroke, while Ajit Singh rounded off the tally.

CAB knockout

Tapan Memorial today beat Aryan by six wickets in a pre-quarter final match of the CAB senior division knockout meet.

Aryan packed up for 143, wickets being shared, two-apeice, by Arup Bhattacharya, Joydeep Mukherjee, J. Paul, and Rajib Dutta.

Tapan Memorial ticked off 144 in 28.2 overs, Somdeb Saha scoring an unbeaten 60 and Ranabir Nath hitting 43.

Brief scores: Aryan 143 (A Bhattacharya 2/16), J Mukherjee 2/23, J Paul 2/29, R Dutta 2/30). Tapan Memorial 144/4 (S Saha 60 n.o., R Nath 43).

   

 
 
CHESS NO MORE AN ART: VLADIMIROV 
 
 
BY ATREYO MUKHOPADHYAY
 
Calcutta, Feb. 13: 
Evgeny Vladimirov has been associated with chess in several ways. From being Garri Kasparov’s second from 1981-86, he has also assisted Grandmasters Alexi Dreev, Jan Ehlvest to name a few, coached the Spanish and Indian teams for a while and trained some Indian youngsters apart from being a player of considerable repute.

The experience and insight such involvement inculcates becomes all too evident as he presents his views on topics ranging from the future of Indian chess, the standard of the game internationally to his experience of being associated with Kasparov.

The 44-year-old thinks the rapidly growing number of GMs all over the world is not exactly the right index of the standard of the game. He does not like the new time control either, but accepts it since it may help the game become popular.

“The density of competition has gone up in recent years but the quality of the game has suffered. Chess is no more an art, it’s now like any other sport,” he said during a chat with The Telegraph after his round at the Goodricke International Open match yesterday.

“Also, there has been an inflation in the number of GMs in recent years and the Elo rating does not reflect the true strength of players. My own rating has gone up to 2612, but I don’t think I have changed as a player since I was rated below 2600,” said the candid Vladimirov, Kazakhstan’s only GM rated above 2600.

He thinks chess in Kazakhstan has been hit hard by the 1991 split as government sponsorship has dwindled to nought. There are some private sponsors, but there is no guarantee how long they will patronise the game.

Vladimirov’s tryst with Kasparov during which he dethroned Anatoly Karpov as world champion in 1985 is interesting. While he respects the player in Kasparov, he doesn’t hold the man in very high esteem. He has his reasons, being accused of “selling analysis” after Kasparov suffered three consecutive defeats.

“Kasparov is accustomed to believing that he can’t make mistakes. So, every time he makes one, he thinks somebody must be guilty,” remarked Vladimirov. “As a player, he is a genius, may be the best in history, but as a man, he is completely unbearable,” he added after a pause.

Conversation had to move to a comparison between Kasparov and Viswanathan Anand, and for the first time, Vladimirov avoided making a judgement. Reminding of the presence of one more player called Vladimir Kramnik in the debate over the true champion, Vladimirov said it’s difficult to single out any one.

“The three are quite similar and we need some kind of a competition to determine who’s the best. But such a tournament may never materialise as long as Kasparov continues to stay away from the Fide fold,” was all he had to say in this regard.

About Indian chess, Vladimirov seems to be quite optimistic, saying the game here is developing quickly. “The public interest is good, sponsors are forthcoming and recent results, like in the Chess Olympiad, show that the level is going up,” he observed.

“The young players may not always produce excellent results but they are good players, better than youngsters of other countries. The new generation of Indian players will be very strong, among the top,” he said. He spoke highly of GM Krishnan Sasikiran apart from mentioning Surya Sekhar Ganguly, Sandipan Chanda and WGM S. Vijayalakshmi.

Vladimirov seems to have high hopes about Pentyala Harikrishna, whom he coached personally after being approached by Wipro. “For somebody so young Harikrishna’s positional strength is completely unusual and he understands chess very deeply. He has a brilliant aptitude.”

However, he hastened to add that all the attention the 14-plus is getting may affect him adversely. “It may be damaging at times but I hope he is prudent enough to handle this.”

Vladimirov, who also holds a Masters degree in journalism and worked as chess writer for newspapers back home, thinks the new time control may not bring out the best from players. “It has to be seen whether it does the game long-term goods,” Vladimirov concluded.

   

 
 
MUMBAI RACING/ BEAU WONDER MAY STRIKE AGAIN 
 
 
BY HONKY DORY
 
Mumbai, Feb. 13: 
Although hard-pressed to win over 1,200m, the Dallas Todywalla-trained Beau Wonder is expected strike again over the extended trip of the 1,400m Elegance Trophy at the Mumbai races on Wednesday. Richard Hughes partners the Duja-B. M. Wonder filly.

SELECTIONS

3 pm: Cats Concert 1. Adam’s Touch 2. Code Of Courage 3.
3.30 pm: Rumaan 1. Zuhaak 2. Blazing Flame 3.
4 pm: Days Of Thunder 1. Golden Glitter 2. Shahpari 3.
4.30 pm: National Velvet 1. Reflecting 2. Great Emperor 3.
5 pm: Beau Wonder 1. Miss Sunshine 2. Wordsworth 3.
5.30 pm: Stolichnaya 1. Zenana 2. Safarando 3.
6 pm: Aylesfield 1. Hiccups 2. Piabo 3.

Day’s Best: Aylesfield

Double: Cats Concert & Beau Wonder
   

 
 
CALCUTTA RACING/ 12 FOR THURSDAY’S COMMAND CUP 
 
 
BY OUR TURF CORRESPONDENT
 
Calcutta, Feb.13: 
There are twelve horses in the line-up for the 1,400m Eastern Command Cup, Thursday’s main event. First race starts at 1.25 pm.

ACCEPTANCES

1. Gridiron Handicap 1,100m (Cl IV; Rt. 22-50) 1.25 pm: Storm Trooper 60.5; Master Bold 60; Diplomatic Gesture 54.5; Software 49; Flinders 48.5.

2. Sacristan II Handicap 1,100m (V; Rt. 00-28) 2.05 pm: Bhuthnath 61; Rule With Honour 59.5; All Jade 59; Floral Path 59; Alflora 58.5; Abstone Queen 57; Ghunghat 54.5; Pistol Star 53; Magic Ring 49.

3. Brown Wolf Handicap 1,200m (Cl V;5-y-o & over Rt. 00-28) 2.35 pm: Sky Hawk 60; Go With The Wind 56.5; Armila 53.5; Remember Me 53; Arizona Star 49.

4. Eastern Command Cup 1,400m (Cl II; Rt. 66-94) 3.10 pm: Quickdraw McGraw 60; Gold Buck 59.5; Addab 57.5; Best In Show 57.5; Auctioneer 57; Lovely Prospect 56.5; Double Bull 55.5; Lockers Park 55.5; Solo Act 55; Earl Grey 54.5; Classic Pursuit 53.5; Set Aside 53.5.

5. Lt. Gen. Jameel Mahmood Memorial Trophy 1,600m (Cl IV; Cl V; eligible, Rt. 00-50) 3.40 pm: Wandering Warrior 60; American 58.5; Arco Europa 58; Consul’s Secret 53; Scavenger’s Son 52.5; Supreme Desire 52.5; Ballard Lady 52; Anntari 50.

6. Astounding Handicap 1,100m (Cl III; Rt. 44-72) 4.15 pm: Amarante 60; Crimson King 55; Starina 54.5; Ardon 54; High Life 54; Pure Energy 54; Scarlet Raider 53.5; Citadel 53; Sovereign Bullet 52.5.

Jackpot: 2; 3; 4; 5 & 6.

Treble: (i) 1; 2 & 3; (ii) 4; 5 & 6.
   

 
 
TRACK TRIALS/ ALAMITO, SOVIET PORT IMPRESS 
 
 
BY OUR TURF CORRESPONDENT
 
Calcutta, Feb. 13: 
Alamito, Soviet Port and Set Aside were impressive in today’s work outs.

Outer sand track

2,000m: Colonial (Khalander) and Acaress (Rb) in 2-38s; (400m) 29s. Former 6 ls better.

1,400m: Alternator (C. Alford) in 1-45s; (400m) 32s. Easying up in the last part. Alegria (C. Alford) in 1- 44s; (400m) 33s. Easy.

1,200m: Madame X (Rb) in 1-29s; (400m) 30s. Alamito (C. Alford) and Aileron (Islam) in 1-27s; (400m) 28s. Former was far better. Soviet Port (Rabani) in 1-26s; (400m) 27s. Good. Prince Obolensky (Yadav) in 1-35s; (400m) 33s. Cancun (Rb) in 1-32s; (400m) 31s. Finders Keepers (M. Reuben) in 1-35s; (400m) 29s.

1,000m: Chivalrous (Brij) in 1-18s; (400m) 28s.

800m: Glass Slipper (Yadav) in 57s; (400m) 28s. Easy. Bhuthnath (Brij) in 58s; (400m) 30s. Tajik (Khalander) in 56s; (400m) 29s. Fit and well. Set Aside (Khalander) in 54s; (400m) 26s. Handy. Flinders (M. Reuben) in 57s; (400m) 29s. Scavenger’s Son (Paswan) in 57s; (400m) 29s.

600m: Alflora (A. P. Singh) in 41s; (400m) 26s. Good.

Sand track

1,400m: Lovely Prospect (A. Imran) and Double Bull (Gurang) 1-36s; (400m) 25s. Former was easily a length better.

1,200m: Stately Don (Brij) in 1-21s; (400m) 30s. Moved well.

1,000m: Best In Show (Brij) and Anokato (A. Imran) in 1-11s; (400m) 28s. They were level and were easy.

800m: Sadaf (A. Imran) in 52s; (400m) 25s. Easy. Scarler Raider (Som S.) in 55s; (400m) 28s. Abstone Queen (Brij) and Ballard Lady (Tamang) in 54s; (400m) 25s. They were hand as they levelled. Sky Hawk (G. Singh) in 58s; (400m) 28s. All Jade (Locke) in 55s; (400m) 28s. Solo Act (Rb) in 53s; (400m) 27s. Handy. Global Harmony (G. Singh) in 54s; (400m) 26s. Moved well. Ghunghat (Nasruddin) in 1-1s; (400m) 29s.

On Sunday sand track

1,200m: Jayaashva (Khalander) in 1-22s; (400m) 27s. Easy.    
 

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