Bagan scrape past ITI
Tollygunge seek change in fortunes
New Fide time control sparks row
Vinod, Manisha top seeds
Golconda Derby/ Appeaser beats The Proletarian in close finish

Calcutta, Jan. 28: 

Defending champions Mohun Bagan rode a second-half R.C. Prakash strike to seal victory over ITI in their National Football League exchange at Rabindra Sarobar Stadium today.

With absolute chaos and muddle in the middle in the first half, Mohun Bagan appeared freakish and largely off guard in proving their worth for the title. Their strikers seemed to be sluggish, if not complacent and the defence in search of cohesion.

Such lack of urgency, when it semed that uneasy lies the head that wears the crown, Bagan produced a resurgence with the change of side.

In the 18th minute after the breather, a Bagan attack from left flank was illegally intercepted a few yards from the penalty box. A gentle but measured free-kick by Jose Ramirez Barreto across the dreaded area found a moving Amouri De Silva, who, however, headed the ball off the target.

Rennedy Singh, lying in ambush, followed the ball as it was going towards the first post. He turned back, took time and finally released it for Prakash, who bulged it in from close range.

The much-needed goal was, however, a product of a subtle and timely tactical move by coach Subrata Bhattacharya.

The Brazilian, having been policed to capitulation by ITI markers in the first half, started operating on a withdrawn position. While such delicacy in Barreto�s style of play gave him enough space to roam about, it also allowed Prakash and Rennedy make their runs freely down the flanks. Besides, James Singh replaced Basudeb Mondal in the meantime.

All this led to a flurry of attacks and it came down to a show of Bagan strikers about who could squander on how many chances.

Within three minutes after the goal, Rennedy beat an offside trap and flew a cross over to Barreto. The Brazilian centre inside the penalty box made R.P. Singh a little late to react.

Bagan, fresh from their success in the Rovers Cup early this month, could have extended the lead, had Prakash not missed a sitter.

With five minutes to go, Barreto again came in action, forwarding a through to James. The latter, instead of making a contact to the ball himself, cleverly pushed it in front of Prakash. The lanky striker�s shot, however, failed to reach the desired end, as ITI custodian Balaji stretched full to his left to save further discomposure for his team.

The Bangalore-based outfit, who beat East Bengal at their home ground, came closest to neutralise the scoreline in the 68th minute of the match.

A Hameed Ratia�s incisive through to Keneth Ogwa caught the entire Bagan defence napping as the latter forged ahead. Ogwa, however, could not keep pace with the ball, even if he had only custodian Rajat Ghosh Dastidar to beat.


MOHUN BAGAN: Rajat Ghosh Dastidar; Dulal Biswas, Amouri Da Silva, Hussain Mustafi, Lolendra Singh; Basudeb Mandol (James Singh, 59m), R.P. Singh, Debjit Ghosh, Rennedy Singh (Amar Ganguly, 81m); Jose Ramirez Barreto, R.C. Prakash.

ITI: Balaji; Shafeeq, Majid Am Odda, Feroz (Nasir Jamal, 82m), Rishi Kapoor; Peter (Karunakar Raj, 80m), Yusuf Mohammed, Dhanesh, Rawat, Hameed Ratia, Keneth Ogwa.

Referee: Riaz-ul Haq.


Calcutta, Jan. 28: 
An encounter of tactics and strategies are on the cards when Tollygunge Agragami will play home Mahindra United of Mumbai in a crucial National Football League exchange at Rabindra Sarobar Stadium tomorrow.

With both teams being aware that a win is a must, but further slip down the point table means another nail on their coffin in the tournament, the match is expected to highlight a intense battle of attrition.

Banking on home advantages, Tollygunge Agragami hope for a reverse in fortune when they will take on a depleted Mahindra United

The local outfit, still nowhere near their exploits last year, has already been struck by two back to back defeats.

They kicked off the meet with a resounding 0-2 defeat to East Bengal, followed by their 1-2 loss to Mohun Bagan.

�The league is yet to be over and many things may take shape� was what Tollygunge coach Amal Dutta said today. �We need full point and accordingly plan our strategy tomorrow,� he said.

Dutta�s words could easily be understood in the light of his team�s sense of urgency to stay back in contention. The simple logic is that any further setback tomorrow will prove for Agragami, who finished a modest eighth in the league last year, too costly.

That also means certain changes in the styles of Tollygunge�s play � a likely stress on the attack may see further reinforcement in the zone to be manned by Sasthi Duley, Mohammed Qaiser and Abdulateef Seriki.

Abayomi Felix may also play a different role tomorrow as his job is specially cut out for perfecting a missing link between midfield and attacking front. Dutta, however, did not reveal anything about the playing eleven.

Mahindra, on the other hand, have lost once and drew another NFL tie and are much in similar conditions as those of their opponents. But coach Sabbir Ali�s bid to claim full points might be affected by that fact that the Mumbai outfit will take to the field without five of their key players, down with injuries.

The equation in tomorrow�s match will, therefore, rest on caution as well as a clear consideration for carrying the day.


Calcutta, Jan. 28: 
The New Fide time control has sparked a new row in the chess world with the federations of Germany and The Netherlands protesting the reduced time control.

In a bid to popularise the game, the board of Fide, in its meeting on December 26, had passed the new time control for all Fide events starting from January 1, 2001.

Under the new time control, the first 40 moves will have to be made in 75 minutes and the rest of the moves in a mere 15. A time increment of 30 seconds per move will be added to each player�s clock. The new rules will require the Fischer or the electronic clock.

In a press release, the German federation�s president, Egon Ditt, has questioned the authority of the Fide board to take such a decision.

�We shall not tolerate the violation of the statutes. We have to remind the Fide board that only the General Assembly, the body composed of delegates of national federations, has unlimited authority to decide, and the board has to stay within the framework of the decisions of the General Assembly.�

Echoing similar sentiments The Netherlands federation has stated that only the General Assembly which is to meet in the autumn of 2002 in Bled, Slovenia, can take such a decision.

In India, the implementation of new time control is likely to create problems for organisers as the Fischer clock costs around Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000.

Acquiring 100 such clocks can turn out to be expensive for most organisers. Moreover, the traditional chess clocks will be rendered defunct as it has no facility for time increment.

Even the strongest Asian Swiss tournament, the Goodricke Open which begins from February 6, is likely to be conducted with traditional clocks, though with reduced time control.

Grandmaster Dibyendu Barua considers the new time control a mixed blessing.

�The new time control will prove to be a boon for chess organisers as they can squeeze in two rounds in a day. This will effectively reduce tournament expenses and will bring in new sponsors,� he told The Telegraph yesterday.

�With new time control the game will be more spectator friendly. But the game will lose its originality. Players will have to depend more and more on the computer and home preparation will play a vital role in such games.

�With shorter time control players will be unwilling to take risks and will be unwilling to go for combinations which require time to calculate. The quality of the game is bound to suffer.�


Calcutta, Jan. 28: 
Top seed Vinod Sridhar of Tamil Nadu will take on qualifier and statemate R. Narendran in men�s singles as the opening round of the senior national grasscourt tennis meet starts at South Club tomorrow.

In women�s singles, No. 1 Manisha Malhotra of Maharashtra meets qualifier Samrita Sekhar. Sixth seed Radhika Tulpule, also from Maharashtra, will clash with Bengal�s Reedhina Parekh.

In men�s singles, Harshit Sharma, Anand Radhakrishnan (both from Bengal), Kamala Kannan (TN) and Shivang Mishra (Delhi) have been given wild cards. Radhika Mandke, Janaki Krishnamoorthy (both Maharashtra), Ragini Vimal and Priyanka Parekh (both Bengal) have bagged the wild cards in women�s section.


Golconda, Jan. 28: 
Always known for raising his jockeyship by a notch or two in classy events, Aslam Kader, added one more to his kitty of classics when he guided Appeaser to half-a-length victory over The Proletarian in the 2,400m The Hindu Golconda Derby Stakes in Hyderabad on Sunday. Rashid Byramji trained the Twist And Turn-Anelita four-year-old gelding.


(With inter-state dividends)

1. Rosy Run Plate, Div-I 1,200m: (5-7-6) Sher-E-Babbar (Ganesh) 1; Victory Gallop 2; Shining Bright 3. Won by: 1-3/4; 1/2; (1-16). Tote: Win Rs 61; Place: 18; 21; 21; Quinella: 233; Tanala: 1,973. Fav: Fine Glance (8).

2. Rosy Run Plate, Div-II 1,200m: (8-9-7) Rainbow Style (Hughes) 1; Randomness 2; On The Run 3. Won by: 2-1/4; 1; (1-16.4). Tote: Win Rs 21; Place: 11; 121; 75; Quinella: 899; Tanala: 10,863. Fav: Rainbow Style (8).

3. Squanderer Cup 2,200m: (7-1-3) Strathmore (Shinde) 1; Ascot Leader 2; Pal Of Mine 3. Won by: 1/2; 3/4; (2-25.6). Tote: Win Rs 114; Place: 25; 20; 13; Quinella: 420; Tanala: 2,125. Fav: Pal Of Mine (3).

4. Godolphin Barb Stakes 1,400m: (2-4-1) Best Port (Prakash) 1; Timeline 2; Cannon Baby 3. Won by: 2-1/4; 1/2; (1-28). Tote: Win Rs 35; Place: 16; 33; Quinella: 160; Tanala: 1,268. Fav: Tololing (6).

5. Aristocrat Cup 1,800m: (6-10-9) Amazon Bronze (Ravinder) 1; Teri-Merzi 2; Sugarcane 3. Won by: 5; 2; (1-57.2). Tote: Win Rs 67; Place: 25; 59; 45; Quinella: 930; Tanala: 26,119. Fav: Grass Is Greener (1).

6. R. W. I. T. C. Cup 1,400m: (7-3-2)Oh My (Suresh) 1; Blitz Craig 2; Lady In Lace 3. Won by: 8-1/2; 1-1/2; (1-27.2). Tote: Win Rs 27; Place: 13; 35; 20; Quinella: 251; Tanala: 1,153. Fav: High Point (1).

7. The Hindu Golconda Derby Stakes 2,400m: (1-6-5-8) Appeaser (Kader) 1; The Proletarian (M. Narredu) 2; Soviet Ace (Shroff) 3; Way To The Stars (Rajendra) 4. Won by: 1/2; 2-1/2; 3/4; (2-35.2). Tote: Win Rs 30; Place: 14; 32; 21; Quinella: 206; Tanala: 1,265. Fav: Appeaser (1).

8. Deccan Prince Cup, Div-I 1,400m: (4-5-1) He Looks Like Grundy (Lynch) 1; Auric Royal 2; Venus Star 3. Won by: 1-1/2; 2; (1-29). Tote: Win Rs 61; Place: 24; 31; 21; Quinella: 300; Tanala: 2,561. Fav: Balance Of Power (3).

9. Deccan Prince Cup, Div-II 1,400m: (6-7-4) Janus (Shinde) 1; Sun Beam 2; Silent Spirit 3. Won by: 3-1/4; 1/2; (1-29.6). Tote: Win Rs 29; Place: 15; 30; 22; Quinella: 160; Tanala: 790. Fav: Janus (6).

Jackpot: Rs 5,887; (C) Rs 1,077.

Treble: (i) Rs 3,042; (ii) Rs 419.

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