Sulskis marches ahead
Bopanna takes fresh guard
Tata Steel down CC&FC
Win for Bagan
Mumbai Racing/ The Avenger wins Gold Trophy
Calcutta Racing/ 11 for Wednesday’s RWITC Cup

Calcutta, March 24: 
GM Sarunas Sulskis of Lithuania continued to lead, with seven points, after the eighth round of the Goodricke International Open chess tournament at Gorky Sadan today.

Sulskis extended his lead to 1.5 points with a smart win over Russian GM Evgeny Gleizerov in the Tarrasch variation of the French Defence in 30 moves. He stands a strong chance of clinching the title.

He is followed by four players — K. Sasikiran, Arsen Yegiazarian, Sergei Ovsejevitsch and Ehsan Ghaem Maghami — on 5.5 points each. Indian GM Sasikiran drew a minor-piece ending against GM Alexey Kuzmin which arose from a Slav Defence. The game lasted 57 moves.

Maxim Sorokin of Argentina, who was sharing the second spot with Sasikiran after Round 7, lost to Arsen Yegiazarian of Armenia in a Petroff Defence. Sorokin blundered in the endgame and allowed Yegiazarian a passed pawn on the seventh rank, which proved decisive.

Iranian GM Maghami jumped up the ladder by upsetting top seed Alexie Aleksandrov in a tense game. Maghami had a queen and a bishop against the two rooks of Aleksandrov in the endgame and used them well to force a win.

City IM Sandipan Chanda held second seed Alexander Motylev of Russia to a creditable draw in the Dragon variation of the Sicilian Defence in 26 moves.

Local GM Dibyendu Barua had little difficulty in getting the better of IM Joerg Blauert of Germany in a knight ending. Barua had an extra outside passed pawn, which tilted the balance in his favour.

S. Satyapragyan achieved his maiden IM norm with a quick draw against GM Abhijit Kunte in 17 moves in a Siclian Defence. After the seventh round, Satyapragyan needed one point from two games, but the draw against a higher-rated player earned him the norm.

On the fifth board, GM Andrey Shariyazdanov of Russia drew in just 11 moves against GM Pavel Kostur of Kazakhstan in a Nimzo Indian Defence. Both are on five points.

Koneru Humpy lost yet again, this time to P. Mahesh Chandran, in a Catalan Opening in 41 moves.

Nisha Mohota, who needed a win for her maiden WGM norm, went down to IM Tejas Bakre in a Nimzo Indian Defence in 79 moves. Former world under-12 champion Deep Sengupta held former national champion P. Konguvel in a Sicilian Defence.


S. Sulskis (Ltu,7) bt E Gleizerov (Rus, 4.5); A. Kuzmin (Rus, 5) drew K. Sasikiran (Ind, 5.5); A. Yegiazarian (Arm, 5.5) bt M. Sorokin (Arg, 5); Ehsan Ghaem Maghami (Irn, 5.5) bt A. Aleksandrov (Blr, 4.5); A. Shariyazdanov (Rus, 5) drew P. Kostur (Kaz, 5); A. Goloshchapov (Ukr, 5) drew A. Fominyh (Rus, 5); S. Ovsejevitsch (Ukr, 5.5) bt R. Sherbakov (Rus, 4.5); Abhijit Kunte (Ind, 4.5) drew S. Satyapragyan (Ind, 5); Sandipan Chanda (Ind, 4.5) drew A. Motylev (Rus, 4.5); D. Sermek (Slo, 5) bt Y. Gore (Ind, 4); B. Lalic (Eng, 4.5) drew Wong Zi Jing (Mal, 4.5); J. Blauert (Ger, 4) lost to D. Barua (Ind, 5); K. Humpy (Ind, 3.5) lost to P. Mahesh Chandran (Ind, 4.5); T.S. Ravi (Ind, 4.5) bt R.B. Ramesh (Ind, 3.5); N. Mohota (Ind, 3.5) lost to T. Bakre (Ind, 4.5); G.B. Prakash (Ind, 4) drew Sriram Jha (Ind, 4); R. Shetty (Ind, 4.5) bt E. Hossain (Ban, 3); Al Syed Mohamad (Qat, 4) bt K. Visweswaran (Ind, 3) Swati Ghate (Ind, 3) lost to Lanka Ravi (Ind, 4); Suvrajit Saha (Ind, 3.5) drew V. Saravanan (Ind, 3.5); Deep Sengupta (Ind, 3.5) drew P. Konguvel (Ind, 3); Abdulla Al-Rakib (Ban, 3) drew D.K. Sharma (Ind, 3); S. Kidambi (Ind, 3.5) bt Somak Palit (Ind, 2.5); V.S. Singh (Ind, 3.5) bt Aarthie Ramaswamy (Ind, 2); S.R. Chowdhury (Ind, 3) bt S. Dhar Barua (Ind, 2); P.D.S. Girinath (Ind, 2.5) bt K.B. Thapa (Nep, 2); G.P. Shayeste (Irn, 2) drew R. Sangma (Ind, 2).


Calcutta, March 24: 
Rohan Bopanna faces Nipun Gupta in the first round of the senior national grasscourt tennis meet, beginning at the South Club tomorrow.

Bopanna claimed his maiden international title at the ITF Futures meet in Delhi yesterday.

However, a Davis Cup regular is what the 22-year old from Maharashtra, top seed here, aspires to be. “I look forward to win this nationals… It can be a morale-booster before the Davis Cup tie versus New Zealand,” he said.

Interestingly, Saurav Panja, who beat Vinod Sewa in the final of the Central Excise Open yesterday, has again been drawn with the same opponent in Round I.

In the ladies’ singles, top seed Radhika Tulpule will take on Bengal’s Pooja Mitra while the Excise Open winner Ragini Vimal faces second seed Sonal Phadke. Reedhina Parekh, another Bengal hope, has been drawn with sixth seed Archana Venkatraman in the opening round.

BTTA action

The Bengal Table Tennis Association (BTTA), acting on a directive from the national federation has started granting affiliation to district units. Earlier, clubs were the constituent units of the state body. Following this, South Calcutta, North Calcutta, Central Calcutta and East Calcutta have been granted affiliation. The BTTA constitution will be amended by May 31 to expedite the process.


Calcutta, March 24: 
Tata Steel, propelled by a Vijay Topno hattrick, posted a 5-2 win over CC&FC while CESC edged past FCI after a late Cristopher Thomas strike in the second round of the Beighton Cup today.

The local team scored first when Sunil Kumar converted a penalty corner in the 28th minute. Topno, however, equalised three minutes later. Topno again struck in the 37th and 42nd minutes to complete his hattrick.

Arvind Kumar then sounded the boards in the 47th and 58th minutes to take the match away from CC&FC. Pritam Mistry’s goal, two minutes from time, was not enough to prevent the home team’s exit from the meet.

At the Mohun Bagan ground, local league champions CESC muffed up several chances before finding the target in the 38th minute. Thomas collected a Gurjit Singh pass from the right near the D and netted in.


Calcutta, March 24: 
In today’s matches in the A.N.Ghosh Memorial Trophy, Netaji Subhas Institute beat Eastern Railway by virtue of losing fewer wickets while Mohun Bagan pipped Kalighat Club by a wicket, after they were awarded 23 penalty runs.


East Bengal 264/3 (Ajay Verma 96, Nikhil Haldipur 78). Wari AC 133 (Avijit Bose 57; Verma 3/31, Shib Sagar Singh 3/30). East Bengal won by 131 runs.

Kalighat 232/6 (Md. Ziauddin 66; Shib Sankar Paul 3/47, Devang Gandhi 3/39). Mohun Bagan 238/9 (including 23 penalty runs) (Laxmi Ratan Shukla 66, Nazar Khan 39 n.o.). Bagan won by 1 wkt.

Tapan Memorial 348/7 (Ranabir Nath 74, Mithun Mazumdar 72). Shyambazar Club 271/7 (Amitabha Roy 72, Parimal Ghosh 65; Sarfaraz Ahmed 4/56). Tapan Memorial won by 77 runs.

Netaji Subhas Institute 255/6 (Aranya Deb Sarkar 58). Eastern Railway 255/9 (Diptendu Mahato 81, Rahul Deb 57; Partha Banerjee 3/51). Match tied but NSI won by virtue of losing less number of wkts.

Victoria-Howrah final

Victoria SC will meet Howrah Union in the second division league championship play-off final.


At Kalighat: Calcutta Police 162 (N. Agarwal 5/31). Victoria SC 165/1 (S. Das 96 n.o.). Victoria SC won by 9 wkts.

At Rajasthan: Bata SC 368/9 (P. Bairagi 103, D. Dutta 97). Howrah Union 371/3 (S.Raina 158, S. Mishra 71 n.o.). Howrah Union won by 7 wkts.


Mumbai, March 24: 
Brilliant ridden by Mark Gallagher, the Nirad Karanjawala-trained The Avenger had the measure of Proud ‘N’ True in the Times of India Racing Media Gold Trophy in Mumbai on Sunday.


(With inter-state dividends)

1. Afshaan Plate 1,600m: (7-2-3) Miss Sunshine (Rupesh) 1; Kraftw-erk 2; Star Power 3. Won by: 2; 2-1/4; (1-39.6). Tote: Win Rs 103; Place: 17; 12; 12; Quinella: 52; Tanala: 423. Fav: Star Power (3).

2. The Asian Age Trophy 1,600m: (2-1-4) Darksideofthemoon (Kharadi) 1; Secret Force 2; Secret Obsession 3. Won by: 3/4; 7; (1-41.2). Tote: Win Rs 17; Place: 14; 19; Quinella: 20; Tanala: 158. Fav: Darksideofthemoon (2).

3. Afternoon Despatch & Courier Trophy 1,200m: (6-3-4) Las Mareas (M. Narredu) 1; Romanza 2; Amber Wine 3. Not run: Avaleur (1). Won by: 6-1/2; SH; (1-12.9). Tote: Win Rs 12; Place: 11; 18; 19; Quinella: 38; Tanala: 151. Fav: Las Mareas (6).

4. The Indian Express Trophy 1,000m: (1-9-6) Gold Berg (J. Chinoy) 1; Reconquista 2; Wordsworth 3. Won by: 1-1/4; 1/2; (1-0.1). Tote: Win Rs 55; Place: 20; 18; 71; Quinella: 87; Tanala: 5,740. Fav: Gold Berg (1).

5. The Times of India Racing Media Gold Trophy 1,400m: (4-3-1) The Avenger (Gallagher) 1; Proud ‘N’ True 2; Lucky Spell 3. Won by: 3/4; 3-1/2; (1-26.1). Tote: Win Rs 39; Place: 17; 13; Quinella: 26; Tanala: 167. Fav: Proud ‘N’ True (3).

6. The Hindu Gold Trophy 1,100m: (8-6-7) La Reine (Kharadi) 1; Island Pearl 2; Jukebox 3. Won by: 1-3/4; 1-3/4; (1-7.6). Tote: Win Rs 23; Place: 12; 18; 27; Quinella: 44; Tanala: 264. Fav: La Reine (8).

7. Cole Trophy 1,200m: (1-9-2) Clever Talk (Bast) 1; Lord of Thunder 2; High Voltage 3. Won by: SH; SH; (1-14.2). Tote: Win Rs 67; Place: 24; 16; 32; Quinella: 127; Tanala: 2,865. Fav: Lord of Thunder (9).

8. Narayandas J. Dave Plate 2,000m: (3-2-1) Applause (Belose) 1; Loving You 2; Mia Senora 3. Won by: 3-3/4; 4-1/4; (2-10.3). Tote: Win Rs 28; Place: 12; 13; 65; Quinella: 31; Tanala: 935. Fav: Applause (3).

Jackpot: Rs 5,249; (C) Rs 778.

Treble: (i) Rs 254; (ii) Rs 178; (iii) Rs 365.


Calcutta, March 24: 
The RWITC Cup with 11 runners takes the top slot in the penultimate race-fixture on Wednesday. First race at 1.05 pm:


1. Romantic Eve Handicap 1,200m (Cl IV, Cl V eligible, 3-y-o only. Rt 00-50) 1.05 pm: Moon Mission 60; Sagittarian 53; Star Selection 52.5; River Melody 52; Annotate 50.5; Sweet Paintedlady 47; Moon Quest 47.

2. King’s Counsel Handicap 1,400m (Cl V; Rt 00-28) 1.35 pm: Bay Dragon 60; Blessed Spirit 59.5; Aklovic 59; Ever So Loyal 59; Tsaynen Blue 57.5; Heaven’s Blessing 56.5; Dictate 55.5; Kyalami 52.5.

3. Prince Blossom Handicap, Div-I, 1,200m (Cl III; Rt 44-72) 2.15 pm: Sergeant Slipper 60; Winning Hand 59.5; Bird’s Empire 58; Russian Czar 57; Regal Rocket 56; Grecian Prince 54; Calabash 53.5; Secret Adversary 53.5; Common Spirit 52.

4. Bookmakers’ Association Cup 1,400m (Cl IV; Rt 22-50) 2.50 pm: Rich Dominion 60; Sencai 59.5; Leading Conquest 58.5; Soviet Dance 57; Black Mane 55.5; Rheinheart 55.5; Adeline 55; Cosmic Flash 55; Impressive Prince 54; Adorer 53.5; Global Harmony 48.5.

5. Prince Blossom Handicap, Div-II, 1,200m (Cl III; Rt 44-72) 3.25 pm: Peace Envoy 60; Tajik 59.5; Gallant Romeo 58.5; Sovereign Bullet 58; Alborada 55; Lively Project 54.5; Magnifico 53.5; Ace of Spades 53; Schumacher 50.5.

6. RWITC Cup 1,400m (Cl I; Rt 88 over) 4 pm: Anolini 60; Earl Grey 59; Comedy of Errors 58; Dancing Dreams 56; Ballet Master 55.5; Clarice Cliff 55; Secret Blessing’s 54.5; Gold Buck 52.5; Argolis 51; Estocade 51; Amusing 51.

7. Wansfell Handicap 1,100m (Cl IV, 5-y-o & over; Rt 22-50) 4.35 pm: Flying Scot 60; Starina 59.5; Auctioneer 58; Tequila Shot 57.5; Software 56.5; Brave Venture 56; Wandering Warrior 55.5; Constantine 55; Storm Centre 55; New Fortune 53.5; Simply Dashing 53; Bold Apparel 52; Jayaashva 52.

Jackpot: 3; 4; 5; 6 & 7.

Treble: (i) 2; 3; & 4; (ii) 5; 6 & 7.

Today’s track trials, sand track

1,000m: Bay Dragon (Asghar) in 1-12s; (400m) 28s. Easy. Secret Adversary (Gurang) in 1-12s; (400m) 27s. Easy. Simply Dashing (Yasin) and Bold Apparel (Gurang) in 1-5s; (400m) 25s. Former was a distance better.

800m: Star Selection (A. P. Singh) and Lively Project (Asghar) in 53s; (400m) 25s. They were level. Rich Dominion (V. Jaiswal) and Grecian Prince (Salam) in 53s; (400m) 24s. They were level and they moved well. Keep The Faith (Brij S.) in 56s; (400m) 24s. Easy. Brave Venture (Yasin) in 52s; (400m) 23s. Good. Moon Mission (Salam) and River Melody (Yasin) in 51s; (400m) 26s. Former was a length better. Sergeant Slipper (Yasin) in 57s; (400m) 28s. Fit.

600m: Common Spirit (Salam) in 42s; (400m) 28s.


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