E. Bengal have the edge
Mary Ann upsets Yashpal Sonwani
Tollygunge taste defeat
Crystal deserves another chance
Cristopher gallops to glory

Calcutta, July 28 
As the Indian team sweats it out in the English summer, the stage is set for yet another big match in local football. It�s Mohun Bagan versus East Bengal tomorrow � and there�s nothing else that attracts more attention.

After the 0-1 defeat to their arch-rivals in the McDowell Cup final, Mohun Bagan need a win to prove a point. East Bengal are equally desperate.

�People said the referee won us the match. Now we have got another opportunity to prove that we don�t require such help,� East Bengal captain Carlton Chapman said after the workout this afternoon.

The question doing the rounds on the eve of the match is how Mohun Bagan will manage with their vulnerable defence. Coach Subrata Bhattacharya, though, is not losing sleep. �My defence is in no way inferior to any other team�s and I don�t think there�s much to improve,� he commented.

Mohun Bagan will be boosted by the return of Sammy Omollo, who is likely to play the sweeper. But fans would be hoping the Kenyan is in better form than what he was in when he left for home last season.

That Mohun Bagan will have big-match debutant Rajat Ghosh Dastidar under the bar will add to their supporters� anxieties.

The lack of distribution in the three-man midfield has bothered Mohun Bagan, leading to the huge dependance on Jose Ramirez Barreto.

The Brazilian will have to bear a heavy load � of scoring as well as creating chances, in spite of the fact that he is given very little space to operate from.

The man who could have boosted the midfield and acted as playmaker, Jayanta Sen, has been hopelessly out of form and is not likely to start even tomorrow.

Subrata�s opposite number Syed Nayeemuddin needs to make no excuses for his defence. In the seven matches this season so far, East Bengal have shown that their defence can be rated among the very best.

Nayeem, in his typically reserved way, said: �We are ready for everything. Our defence and midfield are our strengths, and irrespective of who the opponents are we�ll play our game.�

Ukrainian recruit Andriy Malchevsky is still out due to injury, though he was present at the morning practice. The forward-line will be spearheaded by Dipendu Biswas with Srikanta Dutta as his probable partner.

Dipendu, who withstood much controversy at the start of the season, has been something of a revelation this season and East Bengal will expect him to provide the magic touch tomorrow as well.

East Bengal will miss Abayomi Isiaka as he has not been feeling well. According to the coach, the Nigerian has �fever and a lack of appetite.�

In a nutshell, the game may well turn out to be a duel between Barreto and Jackson Egygpong. The well-built Ghanaian has led the East Bengal defence ably and could again be a huge stumbling block for Mohun Bagan.

Going by form, East Bengal have a slight edge. But as they say, in the game of football there�s no result till the final whistle is blown.    

Calcutta, July 28 
Saptarshi Roy of Dum Dum Kishore Bharati extended his lead by 1 point at the end of the 9th round of Fide-rated The Telegraph Schools� Chess Championship at Alekhine Chess Club, Gorky Sadan today.

The highlight of the day�s play, however, was Mary Ann Gomes� upset victory over National sub-Junior No.2 Yashpal Singh Sonwani of Bhilai. Mary, now is in the joint third spot with seven others on seven points.

Saptarshi�s patience paid dividends as he drew from a drawn position after a long struggle in Rook and pawn endgame which extended up the 62nd move.

Saptarshi is followed by Sayantan Dutta of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Fort William on 7.5 points.

Saptarshi, playing Black, adopted his favourite Centre Counter defence against former National U-10 champion Rahul Sangma of Bihar and was hard put to find a winning line as the game was heading towards a draw. Rahul misplayed the Rook and pawn endgame and ended up losing the game.

Mary Ann, playing White opted for a little played line in the Sicilian defence which later transposed into an opening similar to the King�s Indian defence. Mary won the exchange on the 36th move and then played accurately to net the full point.

On the second board, Sayantan got the better of Somak Palit of Mitra Institution, Bhowanipur in the English Attack of the Sicilian Defence. The English Attack is the current rage of the top GMs including World No. 1 Garri Kasparov.

Sayantan who has put in a lot of hard work in this opening reaped the fruits of his labour as Somak could not find an adequate defence to Sayantan�s numerous threats.

Rohan Shandilya of Jamshedpur drew against Gulam Mustafa Bhuiyan of Bangladesh in the swindle of the day. Gulam was clearly winning in a Rook and pawn ending as he was two pawns up. But Gulam set up a stalemate position whereupon Rohan drew by sacrificing his Rook.

Joydeep Dutta lost on time against National U-12 Boys� champion Deep Sengupta in 28 moves in a Samisch variation of the King�s Indian defence.

Nilabh Upadhyay of Sun Rise School, Howrah, drew against Pratip Sengupta of S-E Rly English Medium School, Chakradharpur in 24 moves in a Reti Opening.

Rajib Dhar of Guwahati went down to Puneet Jaiswal of Keshav Academy in a Sicilian defence.


Rahul Sangma (7) lost to Saptarshi Roy (8.5), Sayanta Dutta (7.5) bt Somak Palit(7), Rohan V Shandilya (7) drew with Golam M.Bhuiyan (7), Joydeep Dutta (6) lost to Deep Sengupta (7), Nilabh Upadhyay (6.5) drew with Pratik Sengupta(6.5), Mary Ann Gomes (7) bt Yashpal Singh Sonwani (6), Rajib Dhar (6) lost to Puneet Jaiswal(7), Ejaz Hussain (7) bt Gurumayum Inao Sharma(6), Arpan Sarkar (6) lost to Ayan Lahiri(7), Samput Mallick (6.5) drew with Suman Basu (6.5), Sourabh Das (5.5) lost to Yambem Dhanbir Singh(6.5), Swagatam Sengupta(6.5) bt Nayeem Arefin (5.5), Rahul Ghose (5.5) lost to Lairenjam Mahesh Singh (6.5), Syed Rownak Ehsan (6.5) bt Arin Kumar Biswas (5.5), Pritam Banerjee (6.5) bt Tanmoy Pattanayak(5.5), Dhruba Manna (6.5) bt Paramita Ghosh (5.5), Abhishek Das (6.5) bt Sashank Singh (5.5), Sourav Bose (6) bt Souvik Chakraborty (5.5), Nazir Saleheen (6) bt C.R.G.Krishna (5), Deepayan Chakraborti(5) lost to Gaurav Jyoti Baidya (6), Souparno Ghosh (5.5) drew with Santu Mandal (5.5), Abhijit Kar (5) lost to Mufidul Islam Khan (6), Sayantan De (5) lost to Akash Kusum (6), Sayantan Dalal (5) lost to Moirangthem Shanta(6), Abhinaba Ghosh(5) lost to Sayan Sarkar (6).

Due to unavoidable circumstances the prize distribution ceremony of the Fide-rated The Telegraph Schools� Chess championship will be held on August 1 instead of July 31. The venue remains Birla Sabhaghar. Former India captain Bishan Singh Bedi will give away the prizes, 4.45 pm onwards.    

Calcutta, July 28 
Tollygunge Agragami recorded their first loss of the season when they went down 0-2 to BNR in a CFL Super Division match at Rabindra Sarobar today.

In a match marked by missed opportunities, the first half ended goalless with both sides squandering the few chances they created. Tollygunge made their first substitution towards the end of the half when Biman Mondol replaced Laltu Das. This provided some momentum to their game as Biman made a few penetrating runs down the left flank � however fruitless the end result was.

The second half saw much more action, both goals coming in this session. In the 80th minute, a Partho Mitra essay found Tulsi Rao, who was BNR�s only substitution, inside the box. Rao placed it in past the custodian.

From then, BNR was the dominant side, with Tollygunge�s chances getting fewer by the minute. The veteran defender Satyabrata Bhowmick brought down Shubhasish Chakraborty, resulting in a freekick for BNR.

Kamal Ghosh took the freekick and Chakraborty capitalised with a blinding header.

Tollygunge got a chance to salvage some pride in the dying moments when Abdulateef Seriki took a freekick which Sumit Choudhury, the BNR custodian, saved.

Tollygunge could have scored at least a goal but for the opposition goalkeeper who had a successful day. But in the end, Tollygunge deserved to be beaten by an even bigger margin. BNR now have six points from five matches while Tollygunge on 10 from five.

CPT win

Calcutta Port Trust defeated Rajasthan 2-0 in the first division group A match of the Calcutta football league today. Santanu Chakraborty and Sanjit Saha were the scorers.

In another tie, Sonali Shibir overcame Milan Bithee by a similar margin, the goals coming from Debasish Adhikari and Sujoy Santra. In group B action, Calcutta Police beat Taltala DS by a Feroze Khan goal.

Inter-school foootball

Agarpara Mahajati Vidyapith will meet Rishi Aurobindo High School, Shyamnagar in the final of the Electrosteel North 24-Parganas inter-school football meet.    

Bangalore, July 28 
Far from his best in last two starts, the Darius Byramji-ward, Crystal Moment with Aslam Kader to guide, looks best of the lot to win the J. B. Mallaradhya Memorial Cup tomorrow. Looking improved now, �Crystal� is expected to produce his winter form and score.


2.30 pm: Red Quartz 1. Ispahan 2. Semoran 3.

3 pm: Tina�s Turn 1. Ride With Pride 2. Commitment 3.

3.30 pm: Wandering Warrior 1. Royal Delight 2. Mum�s The Word 3.

4 pm: Crystal Moment 1. All Game 2. Crystal Sky 3.

4.30 pm: Star Fantasy 1. Code Word 2. Midnight Escape 3.

5 pm: Accelerating Star 1. Placid Ark 2. Zouk 3.

5.30 pm: Melodeon 1. Artic Minstrel 2. Appeaser 3.

Day�s Best: Crystal Moment Double: Star Fantasy & Accelerating Star.

Tap wins in Pune


Ridden by S. Bhati, the D. Todywallatrained Signal Tap claimed the Our Select Trophy in Pune on Friday.


(With inter-state dividends)

1. New Hanover Plate 1,600m: (5-2-4) Searching Star (M. Narredu) 1; Flamebird 2; Star Forever 3. Won by: 3/4; Dist; (1-42.7). Tote: Win Rs 20; Place: 14; 48; Quinella: 68; Tanala: 399. Fav: Searching Star (5).

2. Our Select Trophy 1,600m: (4-3-2) Signal Tap (Bhati) 1; Double Impact 2; Thundering Bay 3. Won by: 4-1/2; 3-1/4; (1-40). Tote: Win Rs 20; Place: 12; 13; Quinella: 25; Tanala: 42. Fav: Signal Tap (4).

3. Capucino Plate, Div-I 1,400m: (6-5-1) Seville Star (Aadesh K.) 1; Shubhangini 2; Asprilla 3. Won by: 4; 1/2; (1-27.6). Tote: Win Rs 130; Place: 21; 36; 15; Quinella: 1,535; Tanala: 23,594. Fav: Insatiable (2).

4. Capucino Plate, Div-II 1,400m: (2-3-4) Begonia (Gallagher) 1; Pass The Buck 2; Royal Standard 3. Won by: SH; Nk; (1-28.4). Tote: Win Rs 52; Place: 17; 15; 12; Quinella: 85; Tanala: 406. Fav: Royal Standard (3).

5. Carbon Star Plate 1,000m: (6-1-3) Perfect Placement (Prakash) 1; Cotopaxi 2; Dalsinghar 3. Won by: Nk; 4-1/4; (1-1.8). Tote: Win Rs 26; Place: 12; 11; 13; Quinella: 21; Tanala: 92. Fav: Perfecr Placement (6).

6. Camargue Plate 1,200m: (7-10-1) Razalin (Rajendra) 1; Cristina 2; Gold Buck 3. Won by: 2-1/2; 5-1/2; (1-11.8). Tote: Win Rs 35; Place: 17; 16; 99; Quinella: 94; Tanala: 2,746. Fav: Zeta Jones (14).

7. La Jawab Plate 1,400m: (10-5-1) Combined Venture (Mahesh) 1; Sulochana 2; Bolt Of Lightning 3. Won by: 5-1/2; 3/4; (1-27.1). Tote: Win Rs 32; Place: 21; 27; 24; Quinella: 100; Tanala: 638. Fav: Sulochana (5).

Jackpot: Rs 13,854; (C) Rs 1,960.

Treble: (i) Rs 2,264; (ii) Rs 337.    

Jockey Cristopher Alford was simply unstoppable last Wednesday, winning five of the six races. It may not be a record but it certainly is something to toast, no matter how and under what circumstances he managed to score.

Auctioneer, in the opener, the 1,400m Happy Scot Handicap, found no takers even at 4�s, though the Vijay Singh-trainee was brilliant in his morning workouts. The money went the Sky Command way who started as a hot-favourite.

More importantly, the five-year-old was being asked to concede 4.5 kg to an upcoming four-year-old. It turned out to be a great advantage for the youngster. The well-bred son of Malvado-Grundy�s Flame made every post of the 1,400m a winning one.

Stablemate Tejeni, put in an inspiring run, coming within a length of the winner in the last 100 m but, by then, the race was already in the safe custody of Auctioneer.

Cristopher�s victory on Aracruz in the next race, the 1,000 m Law Win Handicap, was a mere formality. A handy second till the final turn, the Green Forest-Bauneamon three-year-old filly simply cruised past the leader, Piece Of Cake, leaving the comfortable winner of the opening day On The Bit�s sprinting abilities in doubt.

The nine-length-plus victory and the smart timing of 1 minute 4.2 seconds cut over the scurry by the Bharath Singh-trainee puts her in a select category.

To say that Quizzical was not off in the 1,400 m Goolagong Handicap will be unjust to the champion jockey. The Locked Away-Kool For Kat filly was squeezed for galloping room approaching the distance-post. The filly dropped back, thus losing whatever chances she had of toppling Ballet Master, the favourite. Nevertheless the Richard Alford-trainee returned a shade under a six-length winner and looks good for another victory.

Cristopher was back to his winning ways in the fourth race, the 1,800 m La Gitana Cup. However, his short-head winning effort on the Vijay-trained half-money favourite Sterling Prospect was freely questioned. A long break to the stablemate, Aldebro, who made his own running from the start, and the feeble effort by the champion to catch up with the leader until a threatening challenge came from Citadel in the last 150 m were reasons cited by the section casting doubts on his sincerity. But, then, the Doubting Thomasses were silenced in the following event when the jockey repeated the act by beating Treasure � also a stablemate � in similar fashion to win the 1,400 m Prince Blossom Cup.

In fact, Cristopher�s talent was evident as he guided an underdone Arendal to a neck-victory over Treasure. Aware of the track preparations of the Vijay-ward, Cristopher made sure that the Placerville-So Splendid son was given punishing short sprint only in the stretch. A hard gallop early in the race would certainly have tired the horse. Nursing the 11-4 favourite in the rear till the final turn, he spurred the five-year-old with a finishing effort to take the measure of the leader in the last 75 m.

The victory of Alesund was always on the cards once the well-bred filly had gone down fighting to Software in her debut run early this month. The small-made full sister of Alternator displayed her big heart when she trounced her seven rivals in the Welfare Lady Handicap. She may be expected to win again.    


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