15 GMs among 70 in fray
Harikrishna eyes final GM norm
Samrat upsets 16th seed
Safi powers Kalighat to win

Calcutta, Feb. 5: 
The 12th edition of the Goodricke International Open Chess Tournament begins at Gorky Sadan tomorrow with a field of 70 featuring no real big names.

Russian GM Andrei Kharlov, with a Elo rating of 2639, is the highest rated player among 15 GMs, three WGMs and 25 IMs.

There are just three players rated above 2600 and none of the two Indians to have crossed that mark � Viswanathan Anand and Krishnan Sasikiran � are here this time.

Karlov, 32, was the joint European champion last year and won the European Cup in 1996. He was the world under-26 champion in 1991.

Organisers said the absence of stars and Super GMs will not devalue the meet as the presence of several GMs will help aspiring players collect GM and IM norms.

Kazakh GM Evgeny Vladimirov, with 2612, has the second best Elo rating and he was a member of Garri Kasparov�s team earlier. Macedonia�s Toni Najdoski (2601), who has done a Ph.D in Chess Science, is the only other player with a rating above 2600.

This year�s event will follow the new Fide (the world governing body) rules regarding duration of matches and players will get 90 minutes for the first 40 moves and 30 minutes for the rest. Organisers said this is perhaps the first tournament to follow the new time rule.

There will, however, be no Fischer Clock � based on which the new duration rule was conceived. But organisers said Fide has approved the use of normal clocks since Fischer Clocks are not easily available.

Abhijit Kunte, who completed his GM title here last year, is the highest rated Indian player at 2568. He is followed by IM Pentyala Harikrishna (2514) and GM Dibyendu Barua (2494). India�s only WGM, S. Vijayalakshmi (2416), will also be around along with the talented Koneru Humpy (2299). Veteran Indian GM Pravin Thipsay, however, has chosen to skip the meet this year.

The other player to watch is young Iranian IM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami. The 18-year-old has a rating of 2504 which is more than GMs Barua, Alexei Barsov (2500) and Victor Mikhalevski (2500).

The meet is crucial for at least two Indians � Harikrishna and G.B. Prakash � both of whom are on two GM norms and another here will help them seal the title.

It will also be another test for promising local players like Surya Shekhar Ganguly (2456), Sandipan Chanda (2431), Neelotpal Das (2423) and Arghyadip Das (2246) who are yet to fulfil the promise they showed at an early age. Chanda, who collected his maiden GM norm here last year, has not quite performed at that level afterwards though he did come close to the second norm in Ubeda, Spain, recently.

Among others in fray are reigning The Telegraph Schools� Chess Championship champion Saptarshi Roy (2236) and world under-12 champion Deep Sengupta (2141).


(ratings in parentheses)

Andrei Kharlov (Rus, 2639), Evgeny Vladimirov (Kaz, 2612), Toni Najdoski (Mac, 2601), Tomasz Markowski (Pol, 2595), Abhijit Kunte (Ind, 2568), Villamayor Bong (Phil, 2560), Dmitri Komarov (Ukr, 2540), Dimitri Reinderman (Hol, 2539), Maxim Sorokin (Arg, 2538), Miezis Normunds (Lat, 2532), Igor Rausis (Lat, 2525), Joseph Gallagher (Swi, 2519), Alexei Barsov (Uzb, 2500), Victor Mikhalevski (Isr, 2500), Dibyendu Barua (Ind, 2494).    

Calcutta, Feb. 5: 
The Goodricke International Open Chess Tournament has always been a big event for Indians since they rarely get a chance to secure GM norms in meets held in the country. It�s no different this year.

Looking forward to the 12th edition of the meet beginning tomorrow is a youngster from Andhra Pradesh � Pentyala Harikrishna.

With two GM norms already under his belt, the former world under-10 champion stands a good chance of becoming the country�s sixth Grandmaster here though the new time rule has put him under a bit of pressure.

�I�ve to calculate fast to avoid being under time pressure since the duration of matches have been truncated. Also, I�ve had little time to prepare as I�ve been travelling a lot,� Harikrishna told The Telegraph today.

�The last event I played (Corus B category in Holland where he got his second GM norm last month) was played under the earlier rule so I really don�t know how I�ll fare here.�

Harikrishna, who will be 15 in May, has been in very good nick since the previous Goodricke meet and collected an impressive 160 Elo rating points after that. He was a member of the six-man Indian team in the Chess Olympiad in Istanbul where he got his maiden GM norm.

The Viswanathan Anand fan is a bit apprehensive now since most of the players here are unknown to him. �Also, unlike the round-robin format, here you don�t know whom you are going to play next,� he pointed out.

Even then, he thinks he has a good chance if he plays his normal game. �I�ve to take one match at a time and not think about the norm. It�ll be there, at the back of my mind, but I should concentrate more on the game,� said Harikrishna, who is sponsored by Wipro.


Calcutta, Feb. 5: 
Unseeded local boy Samrat Ghosh caused the biggest upset on the opening day of the Double Diamond ITF junior tennis championships today.

Samrat entered the second round defeating 16th seed Damir Zhylkybeyev of Kazakhstan 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 6-1 in an one-hour 30-minute duel at the DKS today. In an evenly contested first set, Damir broke Samrat in the very first game only to be broken back in the next one. Damir, down 0-40, managed to save two break points before relenting.

The next two games went with serves. Down 2-3, Samrat broke Damir to level scores and then kept his serve. In the ninth game, Samrat was broken once again. In the 12th, Damir failed to keep his serve at 6-5. Samrat completely outplayed Damir in the tiebreak.

In the second set, Damir broke Samrat in the fourth and tenth games while losing serve only once. Samrat outplayed Damir in the deciding set. He managed to keep all his service games while breaking Damir thrice.

Sixteen players, including the top 15 seeds, got first round byes after their opponents failed to turn up.

Another local boy, Saurav Sukul (575) lost to much lower ranked Chgateri Tejeshwar (726) 6-3, 3-6, 2-6 in a tussle whixh lasted over two hours. Saurav was largely to be blamed for his defeat as he returned an unimpressive 16 double faults against Tejeshwar�s six.

Saurav had started well, racing to a 3-0 lead in the first set but Tejeshwar took the next three games on-the-trot to level at 3-3. Saurav then clawed back to break Tejeshwar twice more and take the opener 6-3.

Another six breaks were traded on the next set. Saurav started on a disastrous note serving three double faults on the very first game and failed to recover.

In the third set, Tejeshwar managed to save four break points. Though Saurav broke him in the third game, Tejeshwar took the next five straight games to wrap up the match.

RESULTS � Samrat Ghosh (Ind) bt D. Zhylkybeyev (Kaz) 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 6-1; Karan Rastogi (Ind) bt S.N. Amrit (Ind) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3; Rishi Behl (Ind) bt S. Ramanthan (Ind) 6-3, 6-2; Chandrasekar (Ind) bt Avigyan Mitra (Ind) 6-0, 6-1; C. Tejeshwar (Ind) bt Saurav Sukul (Ind) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2; Nikesh Singh (Ind) bt I. Kr Mahajan (Ind) 3-6, 7-6 (7-2), 7-5; Saengsuwarn (Tha) bt V.S. Prasanth (Ind) 6-2, 6-3; J.D. Seow (Mas) bt N. Mohinta (Ind) 6-0, 6-2; V. Menon (Ind) bt S. Mahadevan (Ind) 6-4, 6-2; P. Vikas (Ind) bt Varun Oberoi (Ind) 6-4, 6-1; Manoj Sewa (Ind) bt Wai Kin Khoong (Mas) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3; S. Varman (Ind) bt S. Burman (Ind) 6-0, 6-0; A. Karunakaran (Ind) bt Indradeep Mitra 2-6, 6-4, 6-1; John Siefke (US) bt Dhruv Kumar (Ind) 6-4, 2-6, 6-2; Rewant Dutta (Ind) bt Jiunn Chung Yan (Mas) 6-2, 6-3; Sabyasachi Bose (Ind) bt Rijit Chatterjee (Ind) 6-1, 6-0.


Calcutta, Feb. 5: 
Safi Ahmed�s hurricane 133 not out powered Kalighat to an eight-wicket win over Aikya Sammilani in a CAB senior division league tie today.

The Kalighat captain struck seven sixes and 18 fours from 89 balls as his team surpassed Aikya�s 222 in just 36.5 overs.


Aikya Sammilani 222. Kalighat 225/2 (S. Ahmed 133 n.o., M. Roy 48). Kalighat won by 8 wkts.

Port Trust 160. Young Bengal 161/6 (S. Banerjee 66 n.o.). Young Bengal won by 4 wkts.

Taltala Institute 322. Netaji Subhas Institute 324/5 (A.J. Bhattacharya 102, B. Bose 63 n.o., M. Chakraborty 54, A. Mukherjee 44). NSI won by 5 wkts.

City AC 336. Shibpur Institute 166 (A. Jahangir 59; S. Roy 4/34, A. Hussain 3/62). City won by 170 runs.

Wari 310/6 decl. (P. Dutta 101 n.o., M. Mondal 77, S. Chakraborty 74). Mohunlal 24/0. Match to continue.

Anandabazar Patrika Sports Club 255 (T. Sarangi 59, S. Das 41, P. Mukherjee 5/73). Match to continue.

Prasanta best

Prasanta Das of Bengal was declared Grand Winner in the Oyama Cup seventh all-India Kyokushin karate meet which concluded yesterday.


MEN: (Kumite, above 61 kg): 1. Ankur Dey (Ben); 2. A. Rajendra (Man); 3. Sapan Mondal (Ben). Below 61 kg: 1. Prasanta Das (Ben); 2. Ram Mallik (Ben); 3. Mohammed Mehebub Ali (Ben). WOMEN: (Kata, above 18 years): 1. Sumati Pattanayak (Ben); 2. K. Sharvani (Del); 3. Padmashree Sarkar (Ben). Below 18 years: 1. Vandana Kumari (Bih); 2. Rakhi Sonkar (Ben); 3. Rima Kumari (Bih).    

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