Mumbai, Mar 16 (IANS): Kishan Gangolli and Soundarya Kumar Pradhan jointly continued to lead the race with 5.5 points after the 6th round of the AICFB National Chess Championship for the Visually Impaired while Somender BL followed the leaders with 5 points.
Both the leaders won their respective matches in the sixth round and continued their battle for the title.
On the top board, Kishan Gangolli of Karnataka played Queen's Pawn Gambit with white pieces against Sai Krishna S.T. of Tamil Nadu, who was participating in this championship after 10 years. In the opening, Sai Krishna made a mistake and gave up a pawn. Thereafter he tried hard to bounce back. Kishan Gangolli played very carefully after an exchange of queens on the board forced his opponent to surrender.
On the second board, Marimuthu K. of Tamil Nadu opted for the London System opening with white pieces against Soundarya Kumar Pradhan of Odisha. Marimuthu had a better position in the opening while exchanging the pieces. In the middle game, he allowed his opponent to get the attacking position. Thereafter, defending champion Pradhan played very aggressively in a combination of moves and won the piece. On the 37th move, Marumuthu accepted the defeat.
In this championship, the 57-year-old senior-most player Abdul Samad S. of Kerala played Giuoco Piano Opening with white pieces against national women champion Rathi Himanshi of Gujarat. Abdul Samad was playing a safe game but in the middle game, he lost pawns. Himanshi played carefully and smiled with victory on the 43rd move.
A total of 56 players (all visually challenged) have been selected to take part in this prestigious tournament based on their performance at the state and zonal chess tournaments conducted all over India.
There will be a selection of the Indian team of four players for the forthcoming World Individual Chess Championship in October in Greece. Twelve players in the categories of totally blind (B1) and partially blind (B2 & B3) will be selected for the upcoming Asian Para Games that will be held in October in Hangzhou, China.