Humpy makes rapid strides
Thais rout FC Kochin
East Bengal in final
Sabeena, Samir best
Pune Racing/ Tobler wins in thrilling finish

Calcutta, Oct. 14: 
Koneru Humpy’s meteoric rise apart, the latest Fide rating list offers little to cheer for most of the leading Indian players.

Almost all Grandmasters or norm-holders have suffered significantly in terms of Elo points and even Viswanathan Anand is no exception (as reported in these columns on Thursday).

GM Abhijit Kunte is the one to suffer most. The plunge to 2479 has cost him a whopping 68 points, while GMs K. Sasikiran and P. Harikrishna have lost 20 points each.

Harikrishna shouldn’t mind too much though, as he succeeded in his primary mission of sealing the GM title despite not playing at his best and reserved a world championship berth as bonus.

Triple GM norm-holder G.B. Prakash, waiting to touch 2500 to complete the title, has lost 29 points to be relegated to 2451. Double norm-holder Sandipan Chanda has slipped to 2404 from 2427.

GM Dibyendu Barua and Surya Sekhar Ganguly are the rare faces among the top players to have made progress and the latter has gained 29 points to move to a very impressive 2493.

None, however, could match Humpy. The newly-crowned world U-20 champion has overtaken many of the top men players to jump to 2484 — by far the best Elo mark touched by any Indian woman ever.

The 14-plus WGM has gained an enormous 97 points and India’s only other WGM — S. Vijayalakshmi — stands far at 2405. Vijayalakshmi, however, has gained eight to move to 2405.

Indian women have done better than their male counterparts and Swati Ghate (2342), Aarthie Ramaswamy (2301) S. Meenakshi (2271) and Nisha Mohota (2262) have all made steady progress.

In the men’s half, Sasikiran and Kunte have continued the slide seen in the earlier list released in July.

Sasikiran, one of the five men to represent India in the world meet in Moscow next month, had become the second Indian after Anand to cross 2600 in January. He has lost points steadily since and stands second among Indians at 2569.

Kunte’s slump is more remarkable. After touching a career-high of 2568 in January, the Pune-based GM came down to 2547 in July and has now been handed to a non-GM tally of 2479. Of course, his title stays, but that’s about what he has right now.

One bright patch in the picture of slide is the progress of Barua and the 35-year-old has once again crept above 2500. After a best of 2555 around 1992, India’s second GM didn’t look as sharp in the pool of youngsters, but seems keen to make amends now.

“My goal is to reach 2600. It’s difficult this year because there aren’t many tournaments and my best move is to play on the European circuit next year,” Barua said. He felt Kunte and Sasikiran’s dip in form may have caused by playing too many tournaments.

Surya has been rewarded for some very consistent showing, which includes a third-place finish in the Asian men’s meet in August.


1.V. Anand (2770). 2. K. Sasikiran (2569). 3. D. Barua (2521). 4. P. Harikrishna (2502). 5. S.S. Ganguly (2493). 6. Koneru Humpy (2484). 7. A. Kunte (2479). 8. R. B. Ramesh (2467). 9. D.V. Prasad (2465). 10. P. Thipsay (2456).


Guwahati, Oct. 14: 
Rajpracha Sports Club of Bangkok moved into the semi-finals of the Bordoloi Trophy beating FC Kochin 4-1 in front of a charged Sunday evening crowd at the Nehru Stadium.

The Bangkok outfit put in a much-improved performance today than they did in their last outing against former champions Assam Regimental Centre (ARC) of Shillong. Hard-working ARC were unfortunate to have missed the semi-finals despite some superlative performances.

Though ARC held Rajpracha to a 3-3 draw, they lost 0-1 to FC Kochin in a closely-fought encounter.

Rajpracha’s striker Piphat Tonkanya scored the first, second and fourth goals while Krit Tanamee netted the third. The Thais were leading 3-1 at half-time.

Tomorrow, strong contenders Mohun Bagan meet Assam Police in the last quarter final league match.


Calcutta, Oct. 14: 
East Bengal today reached the final of the inaugural Under-19 National League, beating JCT 6-5 via the tie-breaker at Howrah Stadium today.

The other semi-final at SAI between India Under-19 and India Under-16 was abandoned due to rain. It will be held tomorrow morning. The final comes off Tuesday.

The East Bengal-JCT match was tied 1-1 after regulation and extra time. East Bengal converted all their shots in the tie-breaker but JCT’s Ashok Kumar’s try was saved by Shibram Dey.

Earlier, East Bengal took the lead in the 12th minute through Abdul Rauf Khan. JCT replied in the final seconds when Gurmukh Singh scored from a penalty. It was awarded after medio Lakhan Singh handled the ball inside the penalty box.


Calcutta, Oct. 14: 
Delhi’s Samir Jain and Sabeena Saleem of Chennai emerged men’s and women’s champions in the ColorPlus national bowling championships in Mumbai today.

According to information received here, Samir defeated Mohal Lal 1667-1551 while Sabeena got the better of Anuradha Sarda 856-828.

Samir and Sabeena will represent India at the AMF World Cup to be held at Pattaya, Thailand from November 4-11.

Title for Kothari

Defending champion Manoj Kothari retained his title when he beat Mohammed Asim 1187-1172 in the final of the state billiards championship at Bengal Rowing Club today.

Both players will represent Bengal in the nationals in Ahmedabad.


Pune, Oct. 14: 
In an exciting-finish involving Tobler and Spirited Effort, the former from trainer Vinayak’s yard, won the 2,000m Nanoli Stud Pune Derby in Pune on Sunday. Ridden forcefully by Malesh Narredu, the Rebouding Thrill-Hot Chocolate three-year-old gelding successfully survived a strong challenge from B. Prakash’s ride and also an objection by the rider lodged on the grounds of interference in the stretch-run.


(With inter-state dividends)

1. Sir Sultan Chinoy Trophy 2,400m: (3-5-4) Count Dracula (M. Narredu) 1; Suratha 2; Saytarra 3. Won by: Nk; 4-1/4; (2-38.6). Tote: Win Rs 51; Place: 21; 12; Quinella: 35; Tanala: 200. Fav: Suratha (5).

2. Mysore Race Club Trophy 2,400m: (6-1-2) Crown Dream (Aaron) 1; Loretta 2; Miss Sunshine 3. Won by: 6; 3/4; (2-39.9). Tote: Win Rs 115; Place: 32; 33; Quinella: 587; Tanala: 2,960. Fav: Paradise Dancer (3).

3. Prudential Champ Trophy 1,400m: (2-7-5) Auchinblae (Shroff) 1; Opener 2; Monte Carlo Magic 3. Won by: Hd; 1; (1-27.5). Tote: Win Rs 41; Place: 19; 26; 13; Quinella: 310; Tanala: 1,408. Fav: Monte Carlo Magic (5).

4. Pune City Sprint Trophy 1,200m: (8-4-7) Champagne Gold (Kharadi) 1; Prince Nicholas 2; Ally Mcbeal 3. Not run: Master Honey (3). Won by: Nk; 2-1/4; (1-10.6). Tote: Win Rs 96; Place: 23; 17; 16; Quinella: 186; Tanala: 1,267. Fav: Ally Mcbeal (7).

5. Pune Police Commissioner’s Trophy 1,400m: (5-9-4) Angara (Shroff) 1; Roll of Dice 2; Palazzio 3. Won by: SH; 4-3/4; (1-26). Tote: Win Rs 33; Place: 14; 13; 14; Quinella: 48; Tanala: 135. Fav: Palazzio (4).

6. Nanoli Stud Pune Derby 2,000m: (9-7-3-2) Tobler (M. Narredu) 1; Spirited Effort (Prakash) 2; Kraft (Shroff) 3; Judge Jules (Appu) 4. Won by: SH; Dist; SH; (2-7.7). Tote: Win Rs 37; Place: 15; 46; 44; Quinella: 331; Tanala: 6,873. Fav: Tobler (9). (Note: The winner survived objection lodged by the rider of the second placed horse).

7. Mac Bruce Plate 1,000m: (2-6-1) Princess Gabriella (Sandeep) 1; Eternal Embrace 2; Wild Wind 3. Won by: 7; 6-1/2; (1-1.5). Tote: Win Rs 24; Place: 12; 17; 18; Quinella: 38; Tanala: 159. Fav: Princess Gabriella (2).

8. Ashwamedha Plate 1,600m: (1-8-9) Never Surrender (Rajinder) 1; Winning Melody 2; Odyssey 3. Not run: The Gladiator (3) & Sanquirico (4). Won by: 4; 3/4; (1-42). Tote: Win Rs 26; Place: 13; 12; 25; Quinella: 26; Tanala: 204. Fav: Never Surrender (1).

Jackpot: Rs 5,505; (C) Rs 478.

Treble: (i) Rs 3,098; (ii) Rs 1,235; (iii) Rs 219.


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