Jha beats Ramesh in National chess meet

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Andhra's P D S Girinath beat R B Ramesh in the eighth round of 42nd National 'B' Chess championship in Vijayawada on Tuesday.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:04 IST
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Andhra Pradesh's P D S Girinath sprang a major upset by defeating top seeded Grandmaster R B Ramesh of Petroleum Sports Promotion Board in the eighth round of 42nd National 'B' Chess championship in Vijayawada today. Internationl Master Sriram Jha outwitted IM Poobesh Anand of Tamil Nadu and joined overnight leader B S Sivanandan of Karnataka at the top of the tables on 7 points. Sivanandan had earlier drawn his eighth round game against M R Venkatesh. As things stand in this 326-player qualification event for the National 'A' championship, Jha and Sivanandan are just 2.5 points away from the magic figure of 9.5 that is the qualifying mark for the premier event. Five players -- M Srinivasa Rao, Woman Grandmaster in waiting Dronavalli Harika, Girinath, Abhijit Gupta of Rajasthan and Venkatesh -- have 6.5 points each in their kitty and they are followed by a pack of 20 players including WGM S Vijayalakshmi who all have 6 points apiece. Five more rounds still remain to be played in the championship. Easy win For Ramesh, it simply was a bad day at office as he failed to nurture a seemingly superior position with his white pieces against Girinath who went for a side variation of the Ruy Lopez. Sacrificing pieces for some attack, Ramesh overlooked an intermezzo that cost him a full rook and Girinath made no mistakes thereafter and romped home in 45 moves. Jha with black pieces was in his element against Anand who was up against the Slav defence. It took some time for Jha to get in the grove but once his pieces started posing problems for white, Anand crumbled quickly and ended up getting his queen trapped. The rest was easy for the former champion as he wrapped the issue in 45 moves. On the top board, the duel between Sivanandan and Venkatesh did not have much flame as the former played it safe with his white pieces once a transposition in to Scotch opening with colour reversed was reached. Quick exchanges led to a level endgame with Bishops of opposite colours and no one was against the drawn result. With players taking a safer route there were not many decisive games in this round. In fact the top fifteen boards had just 5 decisive games, indicating that the qualification i prime in the minds of the players. Meanwhile, amongst the stalwarts, double GM norm holder D V Prasad suffered another setback at the hands of Puneet Jaiswa l of Jharkhand. The loss at this juncture means that Prasad on 4.5, is sitting on the edge of the sword now with just 4.5 points. (PTI)