Gopichand battles into third round
Guru sees revival of chess in Orissa
Pack of 12 leads field
Roktim on top after 6th round
Mysore Racing/ Golden Throne romps home

 
 
GOPICHAND BATTLES INTO THIRD ROUND 
 
 
FROM SANJAY SHARMA
 
Seville, June 6: 
Indian ace Pullela Gopichand moved into the third round of the world badminton championships with a three-game win over Kevin Han of the US today.

The All England champion was made to work hard by the left-hander at the San Pablo Stadium and needed more than an hour to prevail 15-6, 11-15, 15-7.

The American champion, an expatriate Chinese, is six-foot-four and made perfect use of every inch of his towering frame to test the Indian till the end. The battle was tense and there were nervous faces in the Indian camp.

“It was difficult to pass him at the baseline and he was also very fast in moving to the net. The problem as far as I was concerned was that the shuttles used were a bit fast. All through the Sudirman Cup and the early rounds, the shuttles were okay.

“I tried to change the speed but the opponent did not let me,” said Gopichand after beating the world No. 20. He was trying to cool his limbs by rubbing ice on his leg muscles.

Prakash Padukone offered some tactical advice after watching the battle on Court 7. “I feel Gopi should have used a bit more variation on the net, specially since Han read his strokes and moved upto the net very fast.”

Gopichand was down 0-5 in the first game and it took him four serves to get even at 5-5. Though he raced away after that to win the game 15-6, it was a fight all the way through.

In the second game, Han used his long reach and smashed powerfully to keep Gopi on the defensive all the time and was 8-1 up within three minutes before Gopi could stage a fightback.

But with the Indian serving low, Han got the chance to attack early. This complicated things for Gopi and Han was soon leading 12-2 and then 13-4.

Change in strategy

A change in strategy at this stage, with the Indian sending the bird more often towards the baseline, helped him claw back to 9-13 but it was too late as Han collected the odd points to win the game 15-11.

“I was not able to keep control on the net and he took advantage of that. But I realised that I will have to change my strategy and keep him away from the net so that the game opens up,” Gopi said during the break. A wise but late move it turned out to be.

In the decider, however, Gopi gained from this strategy and kept the tall American away from the net. He also found better length on his tosses and led 6-3 and changed at 8-5. Han, by this time, was tired and tried to finish off rallies early. He virtually gave up when Gopi reached 12-7.

“I had a real chance. I talked it over with my coaches and we decided the right tactics would be to rattle Gopi a bit on the net, since he is strong there. I have a good smash in any case and I used it whenever possible. But in the end his patience paid off and also, Gopi started to play with more confidence,” Han said.

Permadi up next for Indian ace

Gopichand now plays former world No. 2 Fung Permadi, the 33-year-old from Chinese Taipei who defeated Bertrand Galle of France 15-9, 15-2. Second-seeded Dane Peter Gade Christensen hammered his way past the hapless Martin Hagberg of Sweden 15-7, 15-1, the match lasting only 22 minutes.

Gopi should not face problems against Permadi since the Taipei player is not playing as fast as he used to till early last year. But then, Gopi will also have to watch whether Fung troubles him at the net. Also, Fung is more experienced.

The Indian pair of Sanave Thomas and V. Diju lost in the second round of men’s doubles to Wang Wei and Cheng Rui of China 6-15 , 5-15.

World No. 1 Hashim ousted

The biggest upset of the show was the ouster of world No. 1 Hashim M. Roslin of Malaysia who went down to Tam Kai Chuen of Hong Kong 17-15, 15-5 in a late match.

Earlier the current Olympic champion Ji Xin Peng of China was also knocked out. He lost in the second round to Hong Kong’s Agus Haryanto 12-15, 15-11, 4-15.

No. 7 Marlneve Mainaky of Indonesia beat Polsan Boonsak of Thailand 15-5, 10-15, 15-11.

In a major upset, Sweden’s Marina Andrievskaya, the 4th seed, was bundled out of women’s singles by Liu Zhen of Singapore 6-11, 11-2, 11-8.

   

 
 
GURU SEES REVIVAL OF CHESS IN ORISSA 
 
 
BY SUJIT BHAR
 
Bhubaneswar, June 6: 
A sprightly 87-year-old strode into the gymnasium-cum-indoor hall at Shahid Nagar in Bhubaneswar on Monday. To a visitor that should have looked a trifle unusual, considering it was the venue of the opening ceremony of The Telegraph Schools’ Chess Championship. But there was joy and respect in local eyes. That said it all.

Jyotirindra Mohan Joardar is regarded as the father of chess in Orissa. And with good reason. He started the first chess club there, and helped the sport grow with the first formal chess body being set up as well.

With the advent of The Telegraph Schools’ Chess Championship, Jo-ardar feels it might as well be time for the resurgence of chess in this culturally rich state. With an ageing Joardar having moved out of circulation, the momentum was lost and the sport has been in a poor way.

“I came to Cuttack with my father way back in 1919 and have stayed on in this state,” said Joardar. “My guru was Khitish Chandra Mitra, and in 1941-42 I set up the Ruy Lopez Club in Cuttack. We ran that club till 1947.”

Joardar’s club was the first chess initiative in Orissa. Though Lt Raghunath Das of the Pioneer Force set up the Bamra Chess Board (another club, in Bamra, a princely state) with the state’s Lat Saheb (a title conferred by the British rulers) A.K. Deb as secretary in 1941-42, that was “more of a privately held club with little access for lesser mortals,” Joardar explained.

There was great intellectual activity at the Ruy Lopez Club, and the sport received great acceptance. “So much so that in 1949 Khitishbabu set up the Orissa State Chess Association with V. Ramanathan, an ICS, as president,” said Joardar.

“It was a great association,” he said. “Now that The Telegraph Schools’ Chess Championship is here I hope the popularity of the sport will be back on top again.”

Joardar strode off, the spring in his step still prominent.

The product

If one considers the enthusiasm The Telegraph Schools’ Chess Championship has been received with in Bhubaneswar and if the rise to heights of local star S. Satya-pragyan is any indicator, the sport surely has a future in Bhubaneswar.

Satyapragyan (19) shone in the ranks through the Telegraph Schools’ Chess Championship in Calcutta in 1992 and kept up the good work till he finished runner-up the next year.

Today, with one IM norm in his pocket, he finds it tough to make it to meets where he can pick up more rating points for his second and third norms. A rating of 2391 is also rather on the weak side.

“There are hardly any rating meets in India except the national and the Goodricke International in Calcutta,” said Satyapragyan, now slogging his way with the help of an Indian Airlines stipend. “The need for a computer also is acute.

“If this Telegraph Chess meet had come to Orissa when I was in my formative years, it would have seen me and several of my contemporaries in top bracket by today,” he lamented.

   

 
 
PACK OF 12 LEADS FIELD 
 
 
FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
 
Bhubaneswar, June 6: 
A pack of 12 led the field after the fourth round of The Telegraph Schools’ Chess Championship today. The leaders have four points each.

The top 11 players have so far maintained a clean slate, with the 12th being forced to a draw. Four players follow the top bunch on 3.5 points each and the day’s only casualty was 16th seed Sanket Sagar Das in the third round.

On the 14th board, Das played the Ruy Lopez Opening against Amrit Pritam Jena who converted it into open defence. Das blundered his knight on e5 which helped Jena clinch the issue in 17 moves.

Top seed Byomkesh Nayak, with white, beat Amarjyoti Mahasuara in 44 moves in a Queen’s Gambit Declined. In the tenth move, Mahasuara made a pawn blunder but refused to give up. Byomkesh was at a two-rook-one-knight position, but black held a strong bishop.

It looked like a good game on the cards, till, in the 25th move, when black made another pawn blunder on the queen-side. The rest was easy for Byomkesh.

Second seed Piyush Roy beat Swayams Mishra, while third seed Nishikant Mishra got the better of Abhisekh Mohanty. Fifth seed Kiran Manisha Mohanty proved too good for Sheikh Rizwan Shiraz.

By the end of the morning’s third round 26 players were ahead with the perfect three points, followed by seven players on 2.5 points each.

Byomkesh, with black, adopted the French Defence and the game went along the lines of exchange variation. In the middlegame Byomkesh created a double pawn on white’s pawn formation on f file and exploited it to the hilt. White made an error on d4 which proved costly.

The meet is being co-sponsored by Smithkline Beecham, the makers of the health drink Horlicks.

   

 
 
ROKTIM ON TOP AFTER 6TH ROUND 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, June 6: 
Roktim Bandopadhyay (5.5) moved into sole lead, beating Swapan Mitra (4), in the sixth round of the eighth state selection trial chess meet at Salt Lake Stadium today.

Roktim is followed by Kunal Chatterjee (5), Anirban Guha Roy (5) and Pradip Ghosh (5). Chatterjee today beat Dilip Das (4), while Guha Roy drew Bibhash Bhowmick (4.5). Ghosh beat S.K. Mukherjee (4). The top four from this eight-round event will represent Bengal in the National B meet.

Amal Dutta collapses

Tollygunge Agragami coach Amal Dutta collapsed after practice at Rabindra Sarobar Stadium this morning. He was taken to a nearby medical centre where tests revealed certain irregularities in his blood pressure.

An ECG was also done which didn’t show anything alarming. The 70-year-old was advised a few days’ rest but he said he will resume practice tomorrow.

“It was perhaps because of conducting training for over three hours in this heat,” he said.

Reza for Md. Sporting

Tollygunge Agragami’s Ali Reza today signed in favour of Mohammedan Sporting in the inter-club transfers.

Mohammedan Sporting also retained Alauddin Rehman, Shakil Akhtar and Ashoke Mallik. George Telegraph recruited five players.

   

 
 
MYSORE RACING/ GOLDEN THRONE ROMPS HOME 
 
 
BY TITAN BOY
 
Mysore, June 6: 
Ridden by Afsar, Golden Throne romped home with the Bol Publication Cup in Mysore on Wednesday. Samar Singh trained the Gold Discovery-Chanukkah filly.

RESULTS

(With inter-state dividends)

1. Alakananda Plate 1,100m: (6-5-11) Sound Profit (Shukla) 1; Dad’s Joy 2; Starry Splendour 3. Not run: Cliff Side (1) & Dream Come True (10). Won by: 7; SH; (1-8). Tote: Win Rs 50; Place: 15; 21; 58; Quinella: 196; Tanana: 15,690 (C.o). Fav: Portalino (2).

2. Birthday Girl Plate, Div-II 1,400m: (10-8-5) Sizzling Stamper (C. Krishnan) 1; Red Dash 2; Young Lust 3. Not run: Fast Vision (1). Won by: 1-3/4; 2-3/4; (1-31). Tote: Win Rs 39; Place: 18; 65; 34; Quinella: 719; Tanala: 9,976. Fav: Aethion (2).

3. Birthday Girl Plate, Div-I 1,400m: (9-4-6) Grey Bull (Amit) 1; Black Flower 2; Deion 3. Not run: Bessie (11). Won by: 3/4; 2-1/2; (1-31.6). Tote: Win Rs 20; Place: 13; 25; 24; Quinella: 129; Tanala: 973. Fav: Grey Bull (9).

4. Ramanagar Plate 1,200m: (5-10-6) Devonlock (Mrs Storai) 1; Bank Of Promise 2; Kass 3. Won by: 3; 3-3/4; (1-13.9). Tote: Win Rs 50; Place: 18; 22; 22; Quinella: 153; Tanala: 1,285. Fav: Bank Of Promise (10).

5. Ganjam Plate, Div-I 1,200m: (6-5-7) Red Red Wine (R. Yadav) 1; Gracious Rohit 2; Phroah 3. Not run: Aznu (4). Won by: 1; 1/2; (1-16.2). Tote: Win Rs 433; Place: 75; 17; 15; Quinella: 475; Tanala: 7,050. Fav: Owen (1).

6. Bol Publication Cup 1,100m (7-5-3) Golden Throne (Afsar) 1; Chandana 2; School For Scandal 3. Won by: 6-1/4; 6-1/4; (1-9.7). Tote: Win Rs 16; Place: 11; 15; 11; Quinella: 50; Tanala: 69. Fav: Golden Throne (7).

7. Ganjam Plate, Div-II 1,200m: (1-3-4)Surge Of Power (Appu) 1; Medwin 2; Turn My Luck 3. Won by: 2-3/4; 1-3/4; (1-16). Tote: Win Rs 15; Place: 13; 26; 19; Quinella: 99; Tanala: 291. Fav: Surge Of Power (1).

8. Sargur Plate 1,400m: (9-3-7) Tattoo (Prithviraj) 1; Sinister Minister 2; Greek Lady 3. Won by: 3-1/4; 4-1/2; (1-28.8). Tote: Win Rs 86; Place: 27; 15; 15; Quinella: 103; Tanala: 1,177. Fav: Sinister Minister (3).

Jackpot: Rs 10,716; (C) Rs 1,037.

Treble: (i) Rs 833; (ii) Rs 307.
   
 

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