Gopal stuns Ganguly but latter remains in lead

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Chennai, Feb 12 (UNI) G N Gopal of Kerala, representing Petroleum Sports Board, stunned the leader and defending champion Surya Shekhar Ganguly of Indian Oil forcing to resign in the tenth round of the Velammal National A here today.

Ganguly deviated from the regular French defence and both castled on the queen side. Going for a hunt to capture the unguarded a2 pawn, Ganguly's queen was almost trapped and to come out of the shackles, he had to forego a bishop. Gopal dominated by forcing a queen exchange on the 30th move.

Ganguly tried to march the a- pawn to eighth rank, but he was thwarted by Gopal's bishop, leading to the resignation by the former on the 40th move. Ganguly, however, remained in the lead with 7.5 points.

Like Ganguly, M S Thejkumar of Karnataka was undefeated until the ninth round. He also ended on the losing side today, but the loss was unfortunate. In a position of vantage against M R Venkatesh, Thejkumar could not race with the clock and lost on time. Similarly, former national champion Dibyendu Barua of West Bengal also did not meet the requirement of making 40 moves in the stipulated time and had to lose the game against the Tamil Nadu player S. Arun Prasad, playing for PSPB.

In a contest between two Grand Masters, Abhijit Kunte of PSPB, who has several national titles to his credit, made short work of Neelotpal Das, the Kolkata player from PSPB in 33 moves. Neelotpal made a long side castling, but Kunte launched a heavy attack on the castled side.

Neelotpal gave up his queen for two rooks, but was of no use.

Kunte won in 33 moves.

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