Shardul Gagare proceeds to round two of IIFL Wealth Mumbai International Open Chess Tournament

Mumbai: Top seed and triple GM norm-holder Shardul Gagare of Maharashtra got off to a smooth start along with other seeded players in the first round of the IILF Wealth Mumbai International Open Chess Tournament today. Playing with the black pieces on the top board, Gagare replied with French opening for the king pawn opening from Om Kharola. The middle game saw Shardul gain black’s queen for a rook and knight. The ensuing position saw the top seed come up with a series of checks, snaring white rook on the 40th move, forcing Kharola to resign, at the Mount Litera School International in suburban Bandra here.

Other leading seeds, who recorded comfortable wins, included GM-elect Swapnil S Dhopade, International Masters Anup Deshmukh, Stany GA, Nitin S, Himanshu Sharma, Ravi Teja S, Akshat Khamparia and Dinesh Sharma. However, International Master Sharad Tilak did not have a good outing and was held to a draw by Sikka Aan. A total of 112 players, including 14 International Masters and 23 FIDE-titled players, are vying for the top prize in the nine-round Swiss event which offers a prize money of Rs 7.5 lakh, with the champion being awarded Rs 1.5 lakh.

Results (Round 1): Om Kharola lost to Gagare Shardul, Swapnil S. Dhopade beat Selvabarathy T, Aravind Babu L lost to Stany G A, Nitin S. beat Ajinkya Pingale, Dushyant Sharma lost to Himanshu Sharma, Ravi Teja S beat Bhogal Rupesh, Dev Shah lost to Akshat Khamparia, Sharma Dinesh K bt Saumil Nair, Joglekar Abhijit lost to Gusain Himal, Khandelwal Khushi lost to Kulkarni Vikramaditya, Sharad Tilak drew with Aan Sikka.