World carrom winner, Nishantha Fernando’s supremacy in the domestic ground came to an end when he suffered a shock 25-21, 25-24 defeat at the hands of NTN Hilmi in the men’s singles quarter-final match of the 45th national carrom contest held at the Sri Lanka Carrom Federation control center in Maharagama yesterday.
The early beat of Sri Lanka’s third best player Mohamed Sherifdeen (11-25, 25-16, 21-14) to Charith Madushanka in the pre-quarter finals hinted of an outlandish Saturday and Fernando’s loss in the quarter-finals made it a day for the underdogs. Nine times national winner Chamil Cooray is now the firm favourite to win the title as he ease his way into the semi-finals with a satisfied victory (25-18, 25-13) over Ajith Chandrasena.
Dimal Senaratne came in facade of Prameda Mendis (25-12, 25-13) and Brindley Wickramasinghe beat Charith Madushanka 25-14, 25-14 to book his semi-final spot. Meanwhile in the women’s section Joseph Roshitha, Yasika Rahubadde, Madushika Kanchanamala and Chalani Lakmali practiced for the semi-finals. The semi-final and final matches will be played at the same place today.
The 11th publication of the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess celebration is only nine days away and it promises to be as important and thrilling as the earlier ten. Incidentally, if you are still hopeful to play in the Masters.you’re too late! It’s reached greatest ability.
With ten tournaments now played, the Gibraltar celebration already has a bit of the past at the back it and maybe it’s time to believe a few stats and records. For example, let’s look at the most inspiring win in terms of score and rating presentation: that goes to Ukrainian super-GM Vasily Ivanchuk in 2011, when he ran up an astonishing 9/10 score and was only 32 rating points shy of 3000. That’s right a TPR of 2968! As for the player with the most Gibraltar victories: that honour goes to England’s Nigel Short, who shared first with Vassilios Kotronias at the opening contest in 2003, came back to win outright in 2004, and won last year’s contest after a play-off with Women’s World winner Hou Yifan. That’s three first places in only five visits to the Rock.
Those seem like the most vital stats and the good news is that Ivanchuk and Short (picture above) are back to do battle in 2013. Nigel Short could believe himself more than a little unlucky not to have won a fourth Gibraltar title in 2011 when he scored 8/10 for a rating show of 2883: good sufficient in almost any other year but not when Hurricane Chucky is blowing through the Straits of Gibraltar! The sight of Chucky and Nigel cutting a swathe through the rest of the field that year is not one that those of us who witness it will forget. Nigel’s comfort came in 2012 when he managed to finish level with Hou Yifan after the Chinese women’s world winner had recorded one of the premium presentations by a female player in chess history, and then used his vast knowledge to overcome er in the play-off.
Nigel enjoys playing in Gibraltar and he remains one of the most frightening Swiss System specialists in the world, but in rating terms he is only eighth in the pecking order at the 2013 Tradewise Gibraltar Masters. Between number one Ivanchuk and number eight Short are some more big-name players. Like Nigel, Gata Kamsky is a former world contest finalist and he has played in Gibraltar before though he has still to win the title. 25-year-old Polish GM Radoslaw Wojtaszek is third in rating order on 2723. Radoslaw is perhaps not as well known as he might be but this might almost be purposeful: he is one of Anand’s regular helpers at world contest matches. He is making his first manifestation at Gibraltar.
Two wins and three draws in the first half of the twice round robin occasion have kept Ukrainian GM Anton Korobov in the lead, half a point ahead of Evgeny Alekseev with two wins and a loss, and a point in front of Radoslav Wojtaszek and Parimarjan Negi, both at 50%. The games are all thrilling and hard-fought. We bring you a report after round five, with games and videos.
GM Anton Korobov of Ukraine shot in to sole lead beat top seed Radoslav Wojtaszek of Poland in the fourth round of AICF-AAI Chess Cup. Aided by the victory Korobov took his tally to three points out of a credible four and the Ukrainian now enjoys a full point lead over Wojtaszek, Evgeny Alekseev of Russia, Parimarjan Negi and Abhijeet Gupta who all have two points each.
On another good-looking day the other two games ended in hard fought draws. Krishnan Sasikiran yet again could not capitalize on what appeared to be a huge benefit, while Parimarjan Negi also missed some chances to let Abhijeet Gupta off the hook.
Korobov acknowledge he was not happy with his place out of the Petrosian System in the Queen’s Indian Defense. Playing white the Ukrainian winner was on the doubtful right from move 15, and it was only a blunder by the Polish GM that gave him attractive chances. Soon after the first time control Korobov spotted a planned chance and went on to win a pawn. The process afterward looked easy the way Korobov played it.
Sasikiran employed the Catalan opening and the players followed hypothetical lines that give white a miniscule benefit. Alekseev however fought well in the middle game to keep the balance but a mistaken plan left the Russian to suffer for a long time. Sasikiran should have won with correct play, but in the second time control the Indian missed chances and Alekseev steady with some inventive play.
City girl Mary Ann Gomes became only the third player in last 10 years to keep hold of the National women’s leader chess title when she success in Jalgaon on Saturday. The competition was much tougher this time with almost all leading players of the country taking part in the meet, Mary Ann told TOI after returning home on Monday.
Players like Bhakti Kulkarni, Eesha Karavade, Soumya Swaminathan and others played very good chess and the lead kept altering hands after almost every round. In that admiration, it was quite an enjoyable opposition this time, she said.
Despite being half-a-point behind three players who together shared the lead going into the final round, the 23-year-old city girl won the title beating statemate Nisha Mohta with white pieces in the 11 th round.
I just intense on my game against Nisha who was playing very well. Even after I won, I was not sure about the title as the other matches were still going on. I was pleased when I got to know the leaders had drawn their matches, Mary Ann, who has an Elo rating of 2384, said.
The Woman Grandmaster said she badly wanted to win the title as it would have certain her spot in the next edition of the World Chess Championship. I am delighted to have made the cut. It will be my maiden outside in the WCC. It is a great honour and a big challenge, she said.
Mary Ann did not do well in last month’s National Premier Meet in the city where she was the only female contributor, but it was a good preparation for National Women’s meet. The Kolkata meet had a very strong field and I played top Grandmasters. And though I did not do too well, it was a good training for the contest in Jalgaon where I again faced a strong tackle in every match, she said.
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Sri Lanka who will host the 6th World Carrom Championship 2012 at Galadari Hotel, Colombo has selected two teams with the intend of defending their title in October. Accordingly the men’s team will be go ahead by national champion Nishantha Fernando while Joseph Roshita has been selected as the women’s team captain.
The team comprises of Chamil Cooray, Mohamed Sherifdeen, Dimal Senaratne and Ajith Chandrasoma while Madushika Kanchanamala, Yashika Rahubadda, Chalani Lakmali and Arosha Wickremasinghe will describe Sri Lanka in the women’s team. Among the contribute countries for the 6th World Carrom Championship 2012 are hosts Sri Lanka, India, UK, Spain, Malaysia, Italy, Sweden, Japan, Maldives, Germany, Netherlands, Korea, Pakistan, France, Poland, Singapore, Switzerland, USA, Dubai, Nepal, Bangladesh, Czech Republic, Canada and Poland.
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