HAVING PLAYED very little on the international circuit in a career spanning 5-6 years, Vishnu Prasanna is now getting the international recognition.
The 18-year-old from Chennai explains, "I thought I was not strong enough. I have gained a lot of confidence and since the start of this year, I have started playing international tournaments."
His mind is clear and that was evident when he squeezed out a fine victory over third seed Sayed Javad Alavi of Iran in the third round of the LIC Asian Junior Chess Championship at the Goregaon Sports Club here on Saturday.
Prasanna, in only his second international tournament at the Asian Junior Chess Championship here, made light of a 178-point advantage for his opponent and maintained a cent percent score from three rounds.
Although players start playing in tournaments from the age of 10 these days, the self-taught Prasanna has no regrets for playing international events late. He has gained enough confidence and feels he can make his mark soon.
The spate of upsets continued as T Purushothaman of Guntur, who shocked top seed GM Parimarjan Negi on Friday, made another giant kill on Saturday. He stunned fifth seed S.P Sethuraman of Tamil Nadu with black pieces.
Snehal Bhosale outwitted ninth seed Aditya Udeshi of Mumbai while in the girls' section, Kruttika Nadig of Pune trapped second seed Kiran Manisha Mohanty in a well-prepared plan to add to the woes of the seeded players.
Boys' fourth seed Deep Sengupta, however, got a lucky break as he recovered from an inferior position to eke out a draw against lower-rated P Karthikeyan.
Among other results, top seed Negi bounced back by beating Nikhil Kamat, B Adhiban beat Bitan Banerjee while Thane boy Rakesh Kulkarni's fine run came to an end as he went down to S Nitin.
Kulkarni's first round victim, Ashwin Jayaram won his game as did Delhi's Sahaj Grover. Surprisingly, 11 out of the 26 boards saw players with black pieces winning.
Three players - Prasanna, Purushothaman and Bhosale -- were sharing the lead in the boys' section with three points from three games. Five players -- GM Negi, Karthikeyan, IM Sengupta, Nitin and Adhiban - were sharing the second spot, half-a-point behind. In girls' section, WIM Mary Ann Gomes was in sole lead with 3 points followed by Atousa Pourkashiyan of Iran, Nadig of Pune, and Padmini Rout of Orissa with 2.5 points.
Prasanna makes his move
But the highlight of the round was Prasanna's fine victory over Iran's Alavi, a former world U-10 champion. Prasanna, a B.Com 2nd year student from Loyola, the same college that Viswanathan Anand attended, failed to get any advantage from the opening but capitalised on some mistakes by his opponent to unleash a strong attack that got him full point. In order to wrest back the initiative, Alavi went for a risky plan and sacrificed two pieces for one of his opponent. The resultant material and positional advantage gave Prasanna a chance to outwit his opponent.
Round 3(Indians unless stated):
Boys: Syed Javad Alavi (2 - Iran) lost to Vishnu Prasanna (3); P Karthikeyan (2.5) drew with Deep Sengupta (2.5); S P Sethuraman (2) lost to T Purushothaman (3); Aditya Udeshi (2) lost to Snehal Bhosale (3); M Shyam Sundar (2.5) drew with M R Lalith Babu (2.5); Rakesh Kulkarni (2) lost to S Nitin (2.5); Bitan Banerjee (1.5) lost to B Adhiban (2.5); Parimarjan Negi (2) bt Nikhil Kamat (1); Abhishek Kelkar (1) lost to Ashwin Jayaram (2); Shreyas K Shah (1.5) drew with Akshat Khamparia (1.5).
Girls: soumya Swaminathan (2) lost to Mary Ann gomes (3); Atousa Pourkashiyan (2.5 - Iran) bt P Priya (1.5); Kruttika Nadig (2.5) bt Kiran Manisha Mohanty (1.5); Padmini Rout (2.5) bt Mitali madhukar Patil (1.5); P Sivasankari (1) lost to S Harini (1); Shamima Akter Liza (2 - BAN) bt P Uthra (1); J Mohana Priya (1) lost to Pon N Krithika (1.5); Tara Rahimi (1.5 - Iran) bt Sonakshi Rathore (0); YG Sriharika (0.5) drew with Bhakti Juikar (0.5).