Tuesday, June 24, 1997 DECCAN HERALD

Progressive score system settles tie
Shivanand Pai emerges triumphant

By Our Sports Reporter
Shivanand Pai was declared the winner of the State Open Chess tournament today at the State Youth Centre after the progressive score system was applied to resolve the tie between him and J Manjunath, both scoring 7.5 points after the completion of the final ninth round.

 There was a five way tie for the third to seventh position between R Ravindran, Sitharamachar, Srikrishna Udupa, V S Hiremath and R Ramachandran all having totalled seven points. N Pramod, Jonathan Utarid and D V Venkataraman tied for the eighth to tenth position, aggregating 6.5 points.

 The atmosphere was tense on both the top tables with each player needing a win to top the tournament. The top board encounter fizzled out into a draw with the players fighting every inch of the way. On the second table however Pai prevailed over Pramod in a hard fought game to assure himself of the first place.

 The spate of upsets continued into the final round where top seeded B V Prakash battling cold and cough blundered against Srikrishna Udupa while Ramprasad lost to fourteen-year-old R Ramachandran. Ten-year-old R Sunil shocked N R Raghuraman while seven-year-old M Suraj scored a creditable 5.5 points.

 P S Pai maintained his positional advantage throughout his game against N Pramod in a Caro Kann advanced variation. The middle game was fluid with numerous continuations but Pai eliminated all counter threats by forcing the exchange of queens to reach a favourable rook and Knight ending.

 Pramod failed to defend accurately and went down tamely in the ending after 34 moves. ''The top board draw spurred me to reach a decisive result. Pramod is tactically sharp and I blunted his tactical strokes by forcing the exchange of Queens`` said a beaming Pai.

 J Manjunath`s penchant for sharp openings was once again evident as he adopted the Alekhine defence to counter Sitharamachar`s king pawn opening. Manjunath mishandled the opening to lose a vital central pawn in exchange for the wing pawn but rallied back superbly to win a pawn in the middlegame.

 The transposition into the ending where Manjunath had two pawns and a rook as against his opponents single pawn and rook found him struggling to convert the material advantage into a win but stubborn resistance by Sitharamachar, steered the game towards a draw after 45 moves.

 Srikrishna Udupa adopted the Petroff Defence agains B V Prakash to gain an edge from the opening stages. A listless Prakash blundered a bishop on the 21st move to end up losing the point.

 In a two knights defence game between K Devoji and R Ravindran, three pawn sacrifices one after the other hurled at Ravindran were accepted without hesistance. Devoji`s premature attack was refuted by Ravindran who had the centre well controlled and to precipitate things Devoji further lost a bishop for no compensation and resigned.

 R Ramachandran adopted the dynamic Scheelman gambit against Ramprasad`s king pawn push. Attacking vigorously on the kingside Ramachandran had an extra piece for two pawns and furthur won a piece to clinch the game in his favour.

 9th round results: 1.K Sitharamachar (7) drew J Manjunath (7.5); 2.P S Pai (7.5) bt N Pramod (6.5); 3.B V Prakash (6) lost to Srikrishna Udupa (7); 4.K Devoji (6) lost to R Ravindran (7); 5.V S Hiremath (7) w/o by Sydney Lewis (6); 6.Ramprasad (5.5) lost to R Ramachandran (7) ; 7.V Anand (5.5) lost to Jonathan Utarid (6.5); 8.D V Venkataraman (6.5) lost to Vasuki (5.5); 9.M Raju (5) w/o M V Shastry (6); 10.R Sunil (6) bt N R Raghuraman (5);11.Arvind Shastry(6) bt Akshay Patel (5); 12.Eshwar Bhat (6) bt S M Dikshit (5); 13.Parveez Abdullah (6) bt Anant V (5); 14.N Pradeep (6) bt G Kannan (5); 15. N Garadi (6) w/o R Upadhyaya (5).

 Top Ten Placings (All ties were resolved using the progressive score system) - 1. P Shivanand Pai (7.5); 2.J Manjunath (7.5); 3.R Ravindran (7); 4.Sitharamachar (7); 5.Srikrishna Udupa (7); 6.V S Hiremath(7); 7.R Ramachandran(7); 8.N Pramod (6.5); 9.J M Utarid(6.5); 10.D V Venkataraman (6.5).

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