Shirish Patil leads in National 'B' blind chess tourney

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Mumbai, Oct 25 (UNI) Maharashtra's Shirish Patil beat Ashwin Macwana of Gujarat to take the sole lead after seven rounds with 6.5 points at the national B chess championhships for the blind, organised by the All India Chess Federation for the Blind at the Andheri Sports Complex here today.

Shrish Patil started with the queen pawn opening, to which Ashwin mixed up the move order and ended up losing in 44 moves.

The 11-year-old prodigy Darpan Inani from Gujarat (5) had to fight a lot to earn a draw with Satara's Amit Deshpande, who turned out to be a surprise package. To Amit's king pawn opening, Darpan opted to answer with Sicilian defence. Both played a positional game and drew after 35 moves.

Amit Deshpande and Atul Kakde from Satara have made it to the top without any kind of coaching. Both the boys from Satara are partially blind have learnt the nuances of chess all by themselves.

On table number 2 Sarbeshwar Sahu from Orissa (5) forced a draw with Asian champion Gaurav Gadodia (5). Similarly Shaibu T of Kerela (4.5) added half a point to his tally after a draw with Rajesh Rajput of Gujarat (4.5).

The tournament is being played in the Swiss league format of 9 rounds, with 2 rounds being played each day. The last round will start tomorrow at 9 am and the top ten players will be selected for the national A championships.

More than 100 players from 16 states have gathered here to test their skills and gain qualification for the national A tournaments which will give them entry to Team India.

The top 10 players from here will qualify for the National A tournament scheduled for Dec/Jan. Here, they will fight it out with the current top 4 players of the country. A women's team will also be selected from the National B tournament.

UNI

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