Negi makes a good start in Asian opener

Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam): Indian Grandmaster and former national champion Parimarjan Negi got off to a flier defeating Wan Yunguo of China in the first round of the Asian individual chess championship here. Negi was at his technical best from the white side of a King pawn game wherein Yunguo went for the French defense and faced the Advance variation by the Indian.

Negi exchanged pieces at will in the middle game and knocked down a couple of pawns before forcing matters in the ensuing rook and pawns endgame. Grandmaster B Adhiban and International Masters Vidit Gujarathi and M R Venkatesh also coasted to victories over lesser-ranked players but National Champion Abhijeet Gupta had to concede a half point against compatriot Deepan Chakkravarthy in mere 30 moves.

International Master N Srinath was the other Indian who had a good result when he held his Chennai-citymate S P Sethuraman to a draw, while G N Gopal was the lone Indian to go down when he was outwitted by Gao Rui of China. Top seeded and local hero Le Quang Liem was shocked by Chinese Xiu Deshun, while third seed Ni Hua of China went down to Liu Qingnan, also of China in big upsets of the opener. In the women`s championship, highest rated Indian Tania Sachdev was in for a rude shock at the hands of Nguyen Thi Mai Hung of Vietnam.

B Pratyusha achieved a draw with higher ranked compatriot Padmini Rout to put herself on course for a woman Grandmaster norm, while Eesha Karavade and Nisha Mohota started their campaign in fine style defeating Vo Thi Kim Phung of Vietnam and Enkhtuul Altanulzii of Mongolia respectively. The Asian continental championship is qualification event for the next world championship cycle with top five finishers assured a berth in the next world chess cup to be held in 2013. Amongst the Women, the champion will directly qualify for the next world women`s cup.

Important and Indian results round 1 open (Indians unless stated): Le Quang Liem (vie) lost to Xiu Deshun (Chn); Ni Hua (Chn) lost to Liu Qingnan (Chn); Deepan Chakkravarthy drew with Abhijeet Gupta; Parimarjan Negi beat Wan Yunguo (Chn); Gao Rui (Chn) beat G N Gopal; B Adhiban beat Wahono Awam (Ina); Narayanan Srinath drew with S P Sethuraman; Vidit Gujrathi beat Le Quang Long (Vie); M R Venkatesh beat Rudin Hamdani (Ina).

Women: Zhao Xue (Chn) beat Zhai Mo (Chn); Le Kieu Thien Kim (Vie) lost to Munguntuul Batkhuyag (Mgl); Tan Zhongyi (Chn) beat Hoang Thi Nhu Y (Vie); Nguyen Thi Mai Hung (Vie) beat Tania Sachdev; Pham Le Thao Nguyen (Vie) beat Yanjindulam Dulamsuren (Mgl); Kiran Manisha Mohanty drew with Mary Ann Gomes; Eesha Karavade beat Vo Thi Kim Phung (Vie); Padmini Rout drew with B Pratyusha; Nisha Mohota beat Enkhtuul Altanulzii (Mgl); Virda Rizka Aulia (Ina) beat Swathi Ghate.