Victorious Negi back in front
Rakesh Rao
Tuesday, Dec 21, 2010

Gopal stays in title contention after win against M.R. Venkatesh
Vaibhav Suri gets past M.S. Thejkumar

NEW DELHI: In a tense battle of teens, Parimarjan Negi came up with an awe-inspiring bishop-sacrifice and went on to floor M.R. Lalith Babu, following a calculated assault in the 11th round of the 48th National Premier chess championship here on Monday.

The second seeded Grandmaster from Bharat Petroleum now leads the table with eight points, half a point ahead of fellow overnight leader Pravin Thipsay and top seed G.N. Gopal. Six players, including Lalith, follow with seven points. With two rounds to go, it is still anybody’s race.

While Thipsay and S. Arun Prasad were preparing to sign truce following an equal battle in 39 moves, Negi was plotting the downfall of an unsuspecting Lalith. Though Negi had more attacking options on Lalith’s castled king, he chose to make it dramatic.

Negi gave up his bishop while holding the chances of forcing a draw through perpetual checks. He won a crucial central-pawn and kept up the pressure with his active queen.

With Lalith’s queen, rook and bishop away from the king, Negi pushed his central pawn to the seventh rank and threatened checkmate.
Lalith realised the futility of continuing the battle with a rook for a queen and surrendered in 39 moves.

Gopal stayed in title contention following a second successive victory. Playing with black pieces, he punished his BPCL colleague M.R. Venkatesh.

Full story here.

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