Quick draw earns Sulskis title
Poor outing for Indians
Anand in team
Sunil to clash with Uppal in semis
IHF Juniors, Airlines in last eight
Team Bhupathi in quarters
Madhumita Bisht quits
Golf meet
Calcutta Racing/ Estocade wins RWITC Cup
Mumbai Racing/ Cagliari may win main event

 
 
QUICK DRAW EARNS SULSKIS TITLE 
 
 
BY BIPIN SHENOY
 
Calcutta, March 27: 
GM Sarunas Sulskis of Lithuania, who had broken clear of the pack in the sixth round and remained firmly ensconced there, clinched the 13th Goodricke International Open chess title even as the top two seeds, Aleksei Alexandrov of Belarus and Andrei Motylev of Russia finished 12th and 14th, respectively.

Sulskis, with a final tally of 8.5, rounded off his campaign at the Gorky Sadan with a quick draw against Russian GM Alexey Kuzmin in the final round today.

Starting the day with a one-point lead, Sulskis needed just a draw to claim the title, and after a few inane moves against Kuzmin, he quickly did just this. Along with the top honours, he ended up richer by $2700.

India’s GM Krishnan Sasikiran, once again notched up an error-free victory over GM Andrey Shariyazdanov of Russia in 40 moves and finished with a tally of eight points, finishing a clear second — he best performance by an Indian in the 13 years of the tournament’s existence.

Before Sasikiran’s performance in this edition, the highest position reached by an Indian here was third, by Viswanathan Anand in 1992.

Apart from Sasikiran, the only other Indian to make it to the prize-list was GM Dibyendu Barua, who finished joint 14th with Motylev, with a last round win over Wong Zi Jing of Malaysia.

Alexey Kuzmin of Russia pipped Sergei Ovesejevitch of Ukraine, Eshan Ghaem Maghami of Iran, Drazen Sermek of Slovenia and Ruslan Sherbakov of Russia to take the third spot in a five- way tie for the third to seventh places.

After the game, Sulskis told The Telegraph: “ I am delighted to win this tournament. The conditions here are excellent. I tried to play positively in most of the games. Only in the last two rounds I took short draws as it was sufficient to get the title.”

Among the Indians, Sulskis said he was impressed by Sasikiran “who is very good” and Sandipan Chanda “who is very promising”.

Pavel Kostur of Kazakhstan tried in vain to win against Maghami but the latter put up a stubborn defence in a Queen and opposite coloured bishop ending.

Rahul Shetty of Indian Airlines confirmed a 12 game IM norm with a win against the National Boy’s champion S. Kidambi. Shetty now needs to touch the Elo rating of 2400 to get the IM title.

Barua got the better of Wong Zi Jing despite having an equal position for most part of the game in the Najdorf variation of the Sicilian defence. Finally, Barua won a pawn in a queen ending and then marched his king into the opposite camp after which the Malaysian resigned.

Sandipan Chanda’s efforts to win came to a naught against P. Magesh Chandran in a Ruy Lopez opening. The game carried on till the 81st move when both decided to split the point.

S. Satyapragyan who confirmed his maiden IM norm here, held Evgeny Gleizerov of Russia to draw in a hard fought battle.

Results

(11th round)

A Kuzmin (Rus) 7 drew with S Sulskis (Ltu) 8.5; K Sasikiran (Ind) 8 bt A Shariyazdanov (Rus) 6.5; S Ovsejevitsch (Ukr) 7 drew with D Sermek (Slo) 7; Ehsan Ghaem Maghami (Irn) 7 drew with P Kostur (Kaz) 6.5; M Sorokin (Arg) 6.5 drew with A Alexandrov (Blr) 6.5; A Fominyh (Rus) 6.5 drew with A Motylev (Rus) 6.5; R Sherbakov (Rus) 7 bt A Yegiazarian (Arm) 6; Abhijit Kunte (Ind) 6 drew with A Goloshchapov (Ukr) 6.5; E Gleizerov (Rus) 6 drew with S Satyapragyan (Ind) 6; Lanka Ravi (Ind) 6 drew with B Lalic (Eng) 6; D Barua (Ind) 6.5 bt Wong Zi Jing (Mal) 5.5; P Magesh Chandran (Ind) 6 drew with Sandipan Chanda (Ind) 6; K Humpy (Ind) 5.5 drew with J Blauert (Ger) 5.5; R B Ramesh (Ind) 6 bt DK Sharma (Ind) 5; T Bakre (Ind) 6 bt T.S. Ravi (Ind) 5; Enamul Hossain (Ban) 5 lost to G B Prakash (Ind) 6; S Kidambi (Ind) 5 lost to Rahul Shetty (Ind) 6; Sriram Jha (Ind) 5 lost to Al Sayed Mohammad (Qat) 5.5; Vikramjit Singh (Ind) 4.5 lost to Suvrajit Saha (Ind) 5.5; K Visweswaran (Ind) 5.5 bt Yogesh Gore (Ind) 4.5; Saptarishi RoyChowdhury (Ind) 4 lost to Deep Sengupta (Ind) 5; Aarthie Ramaswamy (Ind) 4 drew with Abdulla Al-Rakib (Ban) 4; Rahul Sangma (Ind) 4.5 bt Nisha Mohota (Ind) 3.5; P Konguvel (Ind) 4.5 bt Ghader Pour Shayeste (Irn) 3; P D S Girinath (Ind) 3.5 drew with Swati Ghate (Ind) 3.5; Krishna Thapa (Nep) 2 lost to Saheli Dhar-Barua (Ind) 3.

Final Placings

1. S Sulskis (Ltu) 8.5 points, 2. K Sasikiran (Ind) 8; 3-7: A Kuzmin (Rus), S Ovsejevitsch (Ukr), Ghaem Maghami Ehsan (Irn), D Sermek (Slo) and R Sherbakov (Rus) 7, 8-15: A Shariyazdanov, A Fominyh (both Rus), A Goloshchapov (Ukr), P Kostur (Kaz), A Alexandrov (Blr), M Sorokin (Arg), A Motylev (Rus) and D Barua (Ind) 6.5.

   

 
 
POOR OUTING FOR INDIANS 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, March 27: 
Widely acknowledged as a happy hunting ground for Indian players, the harvest wasn’t quite rich for the hosts at the 13th Goodricke International Open, which concluded today. The event, which provided the Indians with norms and titles rather generously over the last few years, had just two IM norms to offer this time and by and large, there wasn’t much to write home about.

The sole bright patch was a mature show by GM Krishnan Sasikiran, who finished a creditable second and the biggest disappointment was a way-below-par performance by Koneru Humpy. Other GM title and norm aspirants like G.B. Prakash, R.B. Ramesh, Sandipan Chanda, Tejas Bakre all returned empty-handed. So was the case for those aiming for WGM norms like Aarthie Ramaswamy, Nisha Mohota and Saheli Dhar Barua.

Speaking to The Telegraph, almost all players blamed it on the tight schedule the Indians have been subjected to in the recent past. Almost all players, just a couple of years back, used to rue the lack of tournaments of such stature in India. Right from GM Dibyendu Barua to the promising Chanda and Humpy, all spoke about the “hectic schedule” which took them through three tournaments — close on the heels of each other — Asian Open in Bikaner, a rating meet in Raipur and the Goodricke Open.

“We had less than a day to get ready for this one after returning from Raipur. The strength of the field was ideal but there was no time to prepare. I think the tight programme led to the average show by the Indians,” said Barua. Chanda spoke on the same lines.

“Had this been the first on line, maybe Indians would have done well here,” opined Sasikiran. “I think quite a few of the players were a bit tired. I myself was,” he said. He said at no stage did he think of winning the title here and concentrated solely on maintaining his rating and push it up, if possible.

Humpy, who came to town with hopes of becoming the youngest woman ever to seal the men’s GM title, performed well below her Elo rating standards. “I was under pressure. The focus on me from the media was too much which prevented me from concentrating properly. This is not an excuse but a reason of my failure here,” said the 15-year-old.

However, in a field with an average Elo rating of 2380, it should have been a profitable outing for Indians and it was the right kind of opposition to enhance their credentials.

   

 
 
ANAND IN TEAM 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, March 27: 
In a surprising move, the All India Chess Federation today named Viswanathan Anand as captain of the Indian men’s team for the Chess Olympiad to be held in Slovenia in October.

Anand’s last appearance in the Olympiad was in 1992, in Manila, and he had announced that he would not take part in the meet unless the format was changed. AICF secretary, P.T. Ummer Koya, however, said that Anand has been informed, though his confirmation is awaited.

Krishnan Sasikiran, P. Harikrishna, Dibyendu Barua, Surya Sekhar Ganguly and Abhijit Kunte are the other members of the team. The women’s team will be picked after the National A meet in Lucknow in May.

It was announced that Spain-based GM Valery Salov will coach the men’s team and Kazakh GM Evgeny Vladimirov will be in charge of the women’s squad. Vladimirov will conduct a month-long camp for the men in May.

R.B. Ramesh will be called to the camp if Anand doesn’t turn up and the former world champion is unlikely to attend it.

The AICF also turned down a proposal from the players to change the format of the National A championship. Officials argued that the current one encourages stiff competition, which has helped the players sharpen their skills.

It was announced that Hyderabad will host the chess World Cup in October. The last edition of the meet was held in China and won by Anand. The AICF will also bid for the world rapid meet, which, if granted, will be held in Mumbai in July. Kasparov is the reigning rapid champion.

The AICF will also bid for the world championship which has already been assigned to England. But Koya said India will press for it in the Fide steering committee meeting in Dubai next month. A special annual grant of Rs 10,000 for each of the north-east states as well as Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar, and Jammu and Kashmir was also announced. It also said that all state associations will be provided with computers and digital clocks.

   

 
 
SUNIL TO CLASH WITH UPPAL IN SEMIS 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, March 27: 
A resurgent Sunil Kumar reached the semi-finals of the senior national grasscourt tennis championships at South Club today.

After losing the first set 2-6 to seventh seed Kamala Kannan, the left-hander prevailed 6-4, 6-3 in the next two. Sunil had scalped top seed Rohan Bopanna yesterday. Sunil will clash with last year’s runner-up, the unseeded Vishal Uppal, in the semis. Uppal ousted third seed Rishi Sridhar after dropping the opening set.

No. 6 Manoj Mahadevan and second seed Nitin Kirtane were the others to make the last four.

The top four women all made it to the semi-finals, though top seed Radhika Tulpule was made to battle hard. She saw off No. 5 seed Shruti Dhawan 6-1, 2-6, 6-3.

Second seed Sonal Phadke and No. 3 Sai Jayalakshmi won in straight sets. Fourth seed Sheethal Goutham was taken the distance by No. 7 Liza Pereira. Sheethal won 6-3, 2-6, 6-4.

All men’s matches went to the wire with Manoj Mahadevan making the most stunning comeback. He recovered from a 3-5 deficit in the final set before ousting Vijay Kannan.

Mahadevan broke back in the ninth game but was again under pressure in the tenth as he trailed 15-40. But he stayed cool and fought off the break-points to force a tie-breaker which he took 7-5.

Youngster Vishal Punna fought hard against Nitin but committed two double-faults in the final game to surrender the match.

Saurav Panja kept the city’s challenge alive by reaching the doubles semi-finals with Nitin. The second seeds overcame Anjan Viplav and Punna 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) today.

RESULTS

MEN’S SINGLES — Sunil Kumar bt Kamala Kannan (7) 2-6, 6-4, 6-3; Vishal Uppal bt Vinod Sridhar (3) 4-6, 6-1, 6-3; Manoj Mahadevan (6) bt Vijay Kannan (4) 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7-5); Nitin Kirtane (2) bt Vishal Punna (8) 3-6, 6-2, 6-4; MEN’S DOUBLES — Rohan Bopanna/V. Kannan (1) bt Avishek Tamhane/Vivek Jhaveri 6-3, 6-4; Mahadevan/Amod Wakalkar bt Vasudev Reddy/V. Sridhar 6-4, 6-4; Saurav Panja/Kirtane (2) bt Anjan Viplav/Punna 6-4, 7-6 (7-5); Sunil/Uppal bt Rishi Sridhar/K. Kannan 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. WOMEN’S SINGLES — Radhika Tulpule (1) bt Shruti Dhawan (5) 6-1, 2-6, 6-3; Sheethal Goutham (4) bt Liza Pereira (7) 6-3, 2-6, 6-4; Sai Jayalakshmi (3) bt Radhika Mandke (8) 6-2, 6-0; Sonal Phadke (2) bt Archana Venkatraman (6) 6-4, 6-2. WOMEN’S DOUBLES — R. Tulpule/Sai (1) bt Ragini Vimal/Priyanka Parekh 6-1, 6-2; Shruti/R. Mandke (4) bt S.K. Tara/Janhavi Sunderrajan 5-0, conceded; Sonal/Ankita Bhambri (3) bt Alice Joy/Vandana Murali 6-3, 6-0; Liza/Sheethal (2) bt Reedhina Parekh/Archana 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.

E. Zone mini, sub-junior meet

The East Zone mini and sub-junior tennis championship will be held at Cosmopolitan Club from Monday to April 6. About 200 players will compete in four categories — boys’ under-16 and 14, girls’ under 16- and 14 — and the meet offers Rs 50,000 in total prize money. Players from Assam and Bihar, apart from Bengal, will take part in the meet.

   

 
 
IHF JUNIORS, AIRLINES IN LAST EIGHT 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, March 27: 
Indian Airlines, IHF Juniors and Army XI qualified for the quarter final league of the 107th Beighton Cup today. The winners of tomorrow’s CRPF-Karnataka XI tie will complete the last-eight line-up.

National champions Indian Airlines outplayed SAIL 5-1 after being locked 1-1 at half-time. Mukesh Kumar’s sixth-minute goal was neutralised by Sushil Tirkey 20 minutes later. After the breather, Virendra Singh, Altafur Rahman, Y.S. Rawat and Bimal Lakra hit the target for Airlines.

Army XI beat Corp of Signals 3-1 with goals from Sushen (2) and Avtar Singh. S.K. Tigga scored for Corp of Signals.

The IHF Juniors beat SRC 3-2 via the tie-breaker after regulation time ended goalless. Vikramjit Singh, Vivek Gupta and S. Doha scored for the IHF Juniors, while Baljit Singh and Satnam Singh found the mark for SRC.

Punjab Police arrive

Title-contenders Punjab Police reached the city today and made their displeasure clear over the uneven surface at the Maidan grounds. World Cuppers Jugraj Singh and Kamalpreet Singh are in the squad. Former India star Pargat Singh is the manager.

QUARTER-FINAL GROUPS

Top half: Punjab & Sind Bank, IHF Juniors, BSF, CRPF/Karnataka XI. Bottom half: Punjab Police, Indian Airlines, Army XI, CISF.

   

 
 
TEAM BHUPATHI IN QUARTERS 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, March 27: 
Mahesh Bhupathi and Brian MacPhie entered the quarter finals of the Miami Masters meet. According to information received here, the seventh seeds ousted Julian Knowle and Michael Kohlmann 7-5, 4-6, 6-1.

Leander Paes and Justin Gimelstob, though, are out of the championship. They were beaten 4-6, 7-5, 6-7 (5-7) by Bob and Mike Bryan in the second round.

   

 
 
MADHUMITA BISHT QUITS 
 
 
FROM A CORRESPONDENT
 
New Delhi, March 27: 
The 38-year-old Madhumita Bisht today announced her retirement, signalling the end of an era.

The eight-time national champion, presently the Indian Railways team’s chief coach and in-charge of the SAI badminton academy in Delhi along with her husband (ex-international Vikram Singh Bisht), said she would now concentrate on coaching.

Madhumita, who started her career on mud courts in Siliguri. became the national sub-junior champion at age 13 in 1977 and represented India in the Asian championships next year.

   

 
 
GOLF MEET 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, March 27: 
The city leg of the Mercedes Trophy golf meet will be held at Tollygunge Club Saturday. Participants will compete in three handicap categories — 0-15, 16-25 and 26-36. Chandigarh will host the second leg (April 6) and Mumbai the third (April 13). The final leg comes off in Delhi on April 27.

   

 
 
CALCUTTA RACING/ ESTOCADE WINS RWITC CUP 
 
 
BY STAR RACER
 
Calcutta, March 27: 
Long in the tooth but fancied strongly to win, Estocade shamed his younger rivals in the RWITC Cup that the John Stephens-trainee won with a degree of comfort. Ridden off the pace by apprentice Md Islam, the nine-year-old zig-zagged his way up in the stretch-run, and through the crowded field, to beat Comedy of Errors on a day that also witnessed long-priced horses taking the centre stage. Outsiders tookover after jockey B. Prakash was unable to fulfil his riding commitments, due to sickness.Earler in the day, Prakash had guided a hot-favourite River Melody to an easy victory before two of his favourites — Bay Dragon and Bird’s Empire — failed him.

RESULTS

1. Romantic Eve Handicap 1,200m: (4-2-3-5) River Melody (Prakash) 1; Sagittarian (Islam) 2; Star Selection (Yasin) 3; Annotate (C. Alford) 4. Won by: 1-3/4; Dist; 1-3/4; (1-12.7). Tote: Win Rs 16; Place: 10; 16; 18; Quinella: 29; Tanala: 172. Fav: River Melody (4). Winner trained by Daniel D.

2. King’s Counsel Handicap 1,400m: (2-1-8-4) Blessed Spirit (I. Chisty) 1; Bay Dragon (Prakash) 2; Kyalami (Brij S.) 3; Ever So Loyal (Islam) 4. Won by: SH; SH; 3-3/4; (1-29.7). Tote: Win Rs 30; Place: 14; 13; 26; Quinella: 27; Tanala: 203. Fav: Bay Dragon (1). Winner trained by Jaiswal. (Note: Originally third, Ever So Loyal was demoted after an objection lodged by rider of the fourth horse).

3. Prince Blossom Handicap, Div-I 1,200m: (8-9-3-6) Secret Adversary (Yasin) 1; Common Spirit (Salam) 2; Bird’s Empire (Prakash) 3; Grecian Prince (Asghar) 4. Won by: 1-1/4; 3/4; 1; (1-14). Tote: Win Rs 136; Place: 32; 74; 10; Quinella: 1,986; Tanala: 7,741. Fav: Bird’s Empire (3). Winner trained by Daniel D.

4. Bookmakers’ Association Cup 1,400m: (2-3-10-6) Sencai (Gowli) 1; Leading Conquest (I. Chisty) 2; Adorer (C. Alford) 3; Rheinheart (Shanker) 4. Won by: 1-1/4; 1-3/4; 1/2; (1-27.8). Tote: Win Rs 70; Place: 21; 21; 15; Quinella: 179; Tanala: 977. Fav: Adorer (10). Winner trained by Javed K.

5. Prince Blossom Handicap, Div-II 1,200m: (3-7-2-4) Gallant Romeo (Asghar) 1; Magnifico (Domingo) 2; Tajik (I. Chisty) 3; Sovereign Bullet (A. P. Singh) 4. Not run: Peace Envoy (1) & Ace of Spades (8). Won by: 2; 1/2; 2-1/2; (1-13.7). Tote: Win Rs 157; Place: 38; 37; 13; Quinella: 1,103; Tanala: 6,871. Fav: Sovereign Bullet (4). Winner trained by Daniel D.

6. RWITC Cup 1,400m: (10-3-7-2) Estocade (Islam) 1; Comedy of Errors (I. Chisty) 2; Secret Blessing’s (Asghar) 3; Earl Grey (Rutherford) 4. Won by: 1-3/4; 1/2; SH; (1-26.8). Tote: Win Rs 33; Place: 15; 22; 51; Quinella: 114; Tanala: 2,338. Fav: Estocade (10). Winner trained by J. Stephens.

7. Wansfell Handicap 1,100m: (5-9-4-2) Software (M. Reuben) 1; Storm Centre (A. P. Singh) 2; Tequila Shot (Shanker) 3; Starina (Domingo) 4. Not run: Jayaashva (13). Won by: 1-3/4; 1-3/4; 1-1/4; (1-6.9). Tote: Win Rs 33; Place: 17; 42; 24; Quinella: 284; Tanala: 1,680. Fav: Simply Dashing (11). Winner trained by J. Stephens.

Jackpot: Rs 2,37,831; (C) Rs 41,970.

Treble: (i) Rs 4,670; (ii) Rs 1,776.
   

 
 
MUMBAI RACING/ CAGLIARI MAY WIN MAIN EVENT 
 
 
BY HONKY DORY
 
Mumbai, March 27: 
Well rested since running third against a tough bunch, the Vinayak-trained Cagliari is fancied to win the Kilshannig Plate in Mumbai on Thursday. Malesh Narredu partners the Alnasr Alwasheek-Enta filly.

SELECTIONS

3 pm: Rashomon 1. Winning Melody 2. Steve Tyler 3.
3.30 pm: Viking Victor 1. Queen Helen 2. Red Musanda 3.
4 pm: Royal Divine 1. Courtesan 2. Harry Potter 3.
4.30 pm: Tio Pepe 1. Cloud Nine 2. Khim 3.
5 pm: Cagliari 1. Actualite 2. Peaceful Paradise 3.
5.30 pm: Multi Millionaire 1. Rumaan 2. Rocks Heart 3.
6 pm: Foreign Connection 1. Bound By Honour 2. Soviet Fire 3.

Day’s Best: Viking Victor

Double: Royal Divine & Tio Pepe
   
 

FRONT PAGE / NATIONAL / EDITORIAL / BUSINESS / THE EAST / SPORTS
ABOUT US /FEEDBACK / ARCHIVE 
 
Maintained by Web Development Company