Nagpur: Unheralded C.J. Arvind of the Aaron Chess Academy held top seed Grandmaster Koneru Humpy to a draw in the third round of the Hindustan Petroleum National B chess championship here on Friday.
On the second board, last year’s British Open champion R.B. Ramesh of Petroluem Sports Control Board made short work of Bihar’s Manish Kumar to join a pack of 15 players with a maximum of three points from three rounds.
Among them are double GM-norm holder G.B. Prakash, IM V. Saravanan, IM T.S. Ravi, IM P. Konguvel, M.R. Venkatesh, Arjun Tiwari, D.P. Singh, Poobesh Anand, Swapan Mitra, Vinod Bhagwat, Pratik Shriwas, N. Srinivas Rao, G.B. Joshi and Anand Awadhia.
Five from Bengal — Somak Palit, Suvrajit Saha, Sayantan Dutta, Roktim Bandopadhyay and Argyadip Das — are among those placed second with 2.5 points apiece.
Second seed Sriram Jha of LIC, who was forced to split points in the second round, bounced back to come back to joint second.
Arvind, a financial management student and a regular at B chess, played white and opted for a queen pawn opening and the game transposed to a Torre attack.
In the early middle game, Arvind had better development and space advantage as Humpy opted to keep her king in the centre.
With both the black bishops on the starting blocks, Arvind offered a knight sacrifice on the 18th move, which exposed the black king.
However, the former world girls’ champion was equal to the challenge and defended accurately to force exchange of queens to reach the double-edged endgame.
Arvind loosened the grip slowly by blundering an exchange but still had enough compensation to force a draw in the knight versus rook ending after all the pawns were swapped off the board. (PTI)