A preparatory tie, feel coaches
Round V throws up new leaders
In The City

Calcutta, Aug. 19: 
The chambers are not yet loaded fully and the big guns are already out to fight the battle of honour in the season�s first East Bengal-Mohun Bagan clash Tuesday. Meaningless, under the circumstances, is it to try and fathom the importance of this match, considering these are early days in the season and there isn�t much at stake for all concerned.

But then, the players, officials and fans have always been so passionate about this match. Don�t win a major but beat the arch-rivals. Just about every other sin will go unpunished. In a welcome departure from this tradition, East Bengal and Mohun Bagan have perhaps understood the futility of taking this Calcutta League fixture too seriously.

The acceptance of the National League as the premier tournament in India had contributed to the devaluation of the local leagues. This season, the Asian Games camp, which has taken away five players from East Bengal and four from Mohun Bagan, has further reduced the sheen of the contest involving the two.

�Just a preparatory match, nothing else. Of course, a win is desired, but the loser won�t go home devastated,� the rival coaches felt. Over the last few years, the coaches had been whispering this, but never before did the confession come through in such clear terms.

Both coaches have been saying that they are working on something like a 3-5-2 format. Subhas Bhowmick�s East Bengal and Subrata Bhattacharya�s Mohun Bagan have so far tried to put together a close variation of such a formation, though the execution has not always been encouraging.

Come Tuesday and what may, the coaches say they won�t divert from the plan.

and though both have high hopes of their new foreign recruits, only Mohun Bagan will be able to field their overseas acquisition. While their Liberian medio George Ekeh will play in place of Yousuf Yakubu, East Bengal�s attempts to unleash their Brazilian defender Douglas D�Silva came a cropper.

The club authorities could not finish his registration formalities despite frantic attempts till late in the night.

Yakubu, the defender from Nigeria, has compounded rather than reduced Bhattacharya�s worries over a suspect defence. But the coach didn�t disclose what exactly his plans with Ekeh are for Tuesday�s match, which will be played under lights. Bhowmick, on the other hand, has been mighty pleased with his fresh catch. If he plays at the heart of the defence, Anit Ghosh will move up as defensive screen, which will help Bhowmick plug the gaps in the lower region of the midfield.

Both coaches, however, was quick to point out that formation, strategy and the likes are of least importance in a match featuring these two. �It�s a battle of nerves and the one holding his will come out trumps,� Bhattacharya said. His East Bengal counterpart didn�t differ and perhaps in a bid to reduce the pressure, said his boys will go in as underdogs.

�Many of my players will play the first East Bengal-Mohun Bagan match of their career. You often end up feeling a chill running down your spine in this match,� said Bhowmick, while refuting suggestions that his team has looked better than Mohun Bagan this season.

On the basis of what have been seen this season so far, East Bengal appear superior in midfield movements, while Mohun Bagan seem to be struggling after letting go a number of medios who helped the club win the National League last season. Defence is the area of concern for both teams but East Bengal are expecting a lot from Mike Okoro, who has scored eight goals in five matches.

Their prime concern, like every other club in India these days, is Mohun Bagan�s Jose Ramirez Barreto. The Brazilian attacker doesn�t appear to be in great shape at the moment, and is being troubled by the recurrence of a thigh injury, but he will play. �And when he does, you have to admit his team is the favourite,� Bhowmick summed it up.

There are injury worries in the East Bengal camp as well. Alvito D�Cunha injured his left foot during the morning training session and according to the player, his chances are �fifty-fifty�. The coach, however, felt it was worse than that, though he feels there are a few able replacements.

The teams have played five matches each and East Bengal have a point more than Mohun Bagan�s 12.


Calcutta, Aug. 19: 
Samput Mallick and Debaditta Sinha Biswas emerged joint leaders after the fifth round of The Telegraph School Chess Championship at on Monday. The 11-round Fide rating meet is presented by Horlicks.

The day, however, belonged to Souvik Chakraborty of Narmada High School, who stole the top honours by holding top seed, Joydeep Dutta of Kumar Ashutosh Institution to a draw on the top board. Playing black, Souvik held his own in a double rook and minor piece ending that arose from the Samisch variation of the king�s Indian defence.

Second seed, Debayan Majumder of St. James� lost on time to Samput Mallick of Holy Home. Debayan held the advantage for most part of the game and then went for a combination, which was far from clear. In the process he took up a lot of time and failed to complete his 40 moves within the prescribed limit.

An indisposed Tanmoy Pattanayak of Mitra Institution (Main), who is ranked third, quickly agreed to a draw in a mere 20 moves against Anurag Jaiswal of Children Seminary in a Queen�s pawn opening.

Mary Ann Gomes of Frank Correa Academy had little difficulty in overcoming the challenge of Aniruddha Menon of La Martiniere in a King�s Indian Attack. Mary Ann obtained two bishops for a rook and a pawn after which her rook and two bishops proved too powerful for her opponent.

Debanjan Das of Jadavpur Vidyapith upset Kiran Monisha Mohanty of Bhubaneswar with a kingside attack in a Sicilian defence.

In other upsets, Sriya Bhattacharya held the ninth seed, Souparno Ghosh of Don Bosco to a draw in 29 moves in a Guico Piano opening and South Point�s Amritesh Ray held the 14th seed, Suchandra Chatterjee in 28 moves in a Reti opening.


Joydeep Dutta (4.5) drew with Souvik Chakraborty (4.5); Samput Mallick (5) beat Debayan Majumdar (4); Sandipan Chatterjee (4) lost to Debaditta S Biswas (5); Sourav Bose (4.5) drew with Suman Basu (4); Tanmoy Pattanayak (4) drew with Anurag Jaiswal (4); Baishakhi Das (4.5) beat Jibanand Singh (3.5); Suddhaswatta Das (3.5) lost to Soumya Thakurta (4.5); Swayams Mishra (3.5) lost to Abinash Das(4.5); Minazuddin Ahmed Sagar ( 4) drew with Kh. Sanjoy Singh(4); Saurav Chakraborti (4) beat Sumit Shaw (3.5); Debanjan Das (4) beat Kiran Monisha Mohanty(3); Manish Sharma (4) beat Samantak Bhadra (3); Arijit Sinha (3.5) drew with Sankar Majumder (3.5); Arpan Sarkar (Sr.) (3.5) drew with Souvick Barick (3.5); Debananda Singh (3.5) drew with Ankan Modak (3.5); Souparno Ghosh (3.5) drew with Sriya Bhattacharya (3.5); Amritesh Ray (3.5) drew with Suchandra Chatterjee (3.5); Aniruddha Menon (3) lost to Mary Ann Gomes(4); Kishoara S Evana (3) lost to Payel Guha (4); Kinjal Basu (3) lost to Trailokya Nanda (4); Subhabrata Das (3) lost to Supriya Maji(4); Ritam Bhaumik (4) beat Tathagata Das(3); N.T. Rama Rao(4) beat Writtick Chatterjee(3); Thampsan Sahoo(4) beat Parag Honny(3); Samrat Ghorai(3.5)drew with Bitan Banerjee(3.5); Soumya Talukdar(4) beat Satish Kumar (3); Diptanu Das (3) lost to Varun Jain (4); Lopamudra Guha (3) lost to Subhas Mondal (4); Rajib Dhar(3.5) beat Anu Gupta (3)


Aug. 19: 

Bombay Gymkhana romp ahead

Bombay Gymkhana scored a thumping 54-0 win over Manipur in the Famous Grouse All India and South Asia rugby championship at CC&FC Monday.

The winners had eight tries and seven conversions. CFC defeated Calcutta Police 30-0, making full use of six tries, three conversions and one penalty.

In another match, Magic Bus beat Tamil Nadu 17-10, the winners capitalising on three tries and one conversion. Tamil Nadu earned two tries.

Easy for Sonali Shibir

Sonali Shibir blanked Howrah Union 3-0 in the first division group A action of the Calcutta Football League Monday. Mohammed Imrozahme scored a brace while Raju Das netted the other goal.

In group B, Aikya Sammilani drew 1-1 with Calcutta Police, Sporting Union overcame Muslim Institute by a solitary goal, United Student and Barisha SC were locked goalless and Anushilani defeated Bally Protiva 1-0.

Suresh leads Day-III field

S. Suresh led the field with an average score of 158.5 points on the third day of the ColorPlus national bowling Open round Monday.

Navin Puri was placed second at 146 followed by Anuj Agarwal at 139.

CSA win

Calcutta Sports Association (CSA) and Rishra Swimming Club won their matches on the inaugural day of the 48th centennial all-Bengal waterpolo meet at Vidyasagar Udyan (College Square) Monday.

Rishra Swimming Club beat PYMA 12-5, Sumitesh Bairagi being the highest scorer with six goals. CSA overcame Central Swimming Club 7-6.

ILSS best

Indian Life Saving Society (ILSS) defeated Rishra Swimming Club 13-8 in the final to emerge champions in the all-Bengal Allen waterpolo meet at Vidyasagar Udyan recently.

Trekking team

A 15-member team, led by Anal Das, left the city Monday for a trekking expedition to Black Peak (20,956 ft) in Garhwal Himalaya, Uttaranchal. The expedition is organised by Howrah District Mountaineers and Trekkers Association.


FOOTBALL: CFL, Super Division: East Bengal vs Mohun Bagan (Salt Lake Stadium, 5 pm).

RUGBY: All India and South Asia meet: YRC vs Orissa (2 pm); Delhi A vs LMOB (3.10 pm); GMP vs Future Hope (4.20 pm); Sergeants Inst. vs Hammers (5.30 pm). Matches at CC&FC.

WATERPOLO: All Bengal centennial meet: ILSS vs Salkia Swimming Association (3 pm); College Square Swimming Club vs YMCA (4 pm). Matches at College Square.

CRICKET: Corporate indoor meet: Tata Steel vs CESC (7.30 pm); Seagrams vs British Deputy High Commission (8.30 pm); TCG vs Pepsico (9.30 pm). Matches at Space Circle.


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