The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sandipan off to winning start

Abu Dhabi: British Open champion Abhijit Kunte suffered a setback as he drew with Yehya Ahmed of Egypt in the inaugural round in the masters section of 13th Abu Dhabi chess festival on Sunday.

P. Harikrishna could also manage just half-a-point, drawing with Egyptian Amin Bassem. IM Chandrashekhar Gokhale survived a difficult position against GM Mchedlishvili Mikhail of Georgia and salvaged a draw.

Sandipan Chanda and Tejas Bakre, however, scored effortless victories. Sandipan was at his attacking best in crushing Mashinskaya Lulia with white pieces, while Tejas used his positional acumen to beat Ahmed Abbas Khouri of UAE.

Sandipan played an attacking game in a Sicilian Defence. Mashinskaya went on a pawn grabbing spree in the opening and exposed her queen. Sandipan outplayed his opponent with a keen tactical game culminating in a sacrificial finish. It took just 25 moves for the Indian to complete victory.

Almost all the boards witnessed stiff competition and in a major upset GM Elmar Magerramov of Azerbaijan lost to Malyshev Vasily of Russia. The Russian made full use of an unusual tactical error by the GM to win a piece.

Magerramov played a brilliant positional game and reached a better position but time pressure led to an unforced error which gave the Russian an upset victory.

Former Asian runner-up GM Saidali Iuldashev of Uzbekistan was also on the receiving end against Lauridsen Jesper of Denmark in another reversal of the day.

Kunte could not dent the solid defence of Yehya Ahmed. The opening was English through transposition where the Indian played black. Ahmed exchanged pieces at regular intervals despite conceding a slightly better position to Kunte.

After some tactics involving the knights manoeuvre, the players arrived at a level queen and minor piece endgame where the draw was agreed to on the 48th move.

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