Chess: Unfancied Sri Lankan Ranindu Liyanage upsets Indian Grand Master D. Gukesh

Ranindu Liyanage

Chess: Unfancied Sri Lankan Ranindu Liyanage upsets Indian Grand Master D. Gukesh

New Delhi, March 23, 2022

In a major upset, India’s youngest ever Grand Master D Gukesh was stunned into submission by unheralded Ranindu Liyanage of Sri Lanka in the second round of the 19th Delhi International Open Chess Tournament here today.

On a day when second seed Pavel Ponkratov of Russia, third seed and defending champion Abhijeet Gupta and fourth seed Neuris Delgado Ramirez of Paraguay were held to draws by lesser-rated opponents, top seed Arjun Erigaisi recorded his second straight win at the expense of seasoned Grandmaster P Karthikeyan.

For Gukesh, it was a day he would like to forget as nothing worked right. Playing the black side of a French defense, the Indian held a comfortable position but it was not easy to convert into a full point. As the pieces changed hands at regular intervals, Gukesh found the going tough as he kept looking for an elusive victory.

Liyanage kept himself in the game by keeping the position quiet for a long time and later launched an offensive through a rook invasion on the seventh rank in the rook and minor piece endgame.

The Sri Lankan got a dangerous passed pawn on the queen side that netted him a full piece and it was all over soon.

Abhijeet Gupta was held to a draw by former National Women’s champion Padmini Rout. Rout had to part with a piece for a couple of pawns out of a London system game as black but her never-say-die approach paid off handsomely in the end.

Gupta missed one chance at a crucial juncture and did not get any clear opportunity thereafter despite the extra material. The game was drawn when Gupta decided he could no longer make any headways.

The Delhi open is being played under FIDE’s Swiss rules and there are eight rounds still remaining in the Rs 25 lakh prize money tournament.

Important Results Round 2 (Indians unless otherwise stated):

IM Anuj Shrivatri (1.5) drew with GM Neuris Delgado Ramirez of Paraguay (1.5); GM Sethuraman S P (2) beat Utasab Chatterjee (1); FM Liyanage Ranindu Dilshan of Sri Lanka (2) beat GM Gukesh D (1); GM Lalith Babu M R (2) beat IM Sai Agni Jeevitesh J (1);

IM Ratnakaran K (1) lost to GM Visakh N R (2); GM Deepan Chakkravarthy (1.5) drew with FM Rohith Krishna S (1.5); Dhanjay S (1) lost to GM Iniyan P (1.5); GM Masoud Modadeghpour of Iran (2) beat IM Somak Palit (1);

WGM Divya Deshmukh (1) lost to GM Mitrabha Guha (1); GM Arjun Kalyan (1.5) drew with IM Dinesh Sharma (1.5); FM Aaryan Varshney(1.5) drew with GM Harsha Bharathakoti (1.5); GM Adham Fawzy of Egypt (2) beat Rohit S (1); Bharat Kumar Reddy Poluri (1) lost to GM Karthik Venkataraman (2); IM Raahul V S (1) lost to FM Seyed Kian Poormosavi of Iran (2);

NNN

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