In a field with a dose of big names, two relatively smaller ones were sporting the biggest smiles after the first round of the Kolkata Open chess competition on Tuesday. Shiven Khosla and Suvrajit Saha defied ratings to inflict defeats on Grandmasters, while youngster Rahul Sangma held third-seed Ni Hua of China.
Top-seed Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan and No 2 Nigel Short of England posted victories. A few GMs including fourth-seed Vladislav Tkachiev, sixth-seed Evgeny Postny and Parimarjan Negi drew their games, against K Priyadarshan, Akash Thakur and Vikramaditya Kamble, respectively.
Khosla is a 13-year-old from Mumbai who won the Asian U-14 crown in New Delhi last month. Not many gave him a chance against Sundararajan Kidambi, who has 2516. Kidambi had a slight edge with black pieces against Khosla's Ruy Lopez until a blunder on the 17th move spoiled his first game in India after getting the GM title in July.
“Maybe I was a little relaxed against a player rated well below me. I was in a comfortable position and the stage was set for a long game. But despite being under no time pressure, I was a little too hasty and moved the wrong rook. Even before I pressed the clock after that move, I knew I had lost it,” said Kidambi.
It gave Khosla the second victory against a GM in his brief career. “I was there to try my best, determined not to give it up. Once he made that blunder, the game was over,” said Khosla, whose coach GB Joshi held GM Tejas Bakre.
Saha had to wait longer against Uzbek GM Anton Filippov. He was lucky to see Filippov opt for the Queen's Indian Defence which he is well versed with and took advantage of an error in the end game after being almost evenly matched.