Mumbai: Vedant Goswami of India caused a mild flutter when he held third seeded Grandmaster Vasilios Kotronias of Greece on the opening day of the Commonwealth Chess championship here Sunday.
The youngster from Rajasthan came up with a deadly counter-attack with Caro Kann defence to neutralise whatever advantage Kotronias had before the latter agreed for a truce in 37 moves.
In the other matches, endgame wizard Ruslan Scherbakov of Russia accounted for International Woman Master Nisha Mohota in a queen-pawn game. From an apparently equal position the Russian GM carved out a thoughtful win in 45 moves while Indian GMs Abhijit Kunte and Pentalya Harikrishna recorded wins against lesser known opponents.
Kunte, along with, Harikrishna, are favoured among Indians to challenge for the title.
Top seed GM Rustom Kasimzanov of Uzbekistan had to use all his experience to overcome IWM S. Meenakshi in 37 moves.
Among other Indians in action, reigning British champion R. B. Ramesh beat his compatriot Nikhilesh Kumar while Ravi Hegde made short work of teenager Raghavi. Neelotpal Das exploited wonder boy Prasanna Rao’s mistake in Stonewall opening to score an easy win.
Neelotpal, the GNCA trainee, is in the middle of a very satisfying season and collecting important rating points. This tournament gives him a good chance to collect more.
N. Neelakantan of India made a few dangerous moves before going down to GM Marat Zumaev of Uzbekistan in a close game while GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly was lucky to escape with a draw against Asian junior champion Tania Sachdev.
R Kasimzanov bt S Meenakshi, K Sasikiran bt D Harika, V Kotronias drew E Valdimirov, P Harikrishna bt S Ghate, E Valdimirov bt A S Nassir, T Vakhidov bt S C Sahu, D Barua bt C J Arvind.