The fifth round of the Mumbai Mayor’s Cup International Chess tournament played here today at the Chetana College belonged to the visiting Grandmasters.
Three of the overseas players — Nikolai Chadaev of Russia, Ziaur Rahman of Bangladesh and John Paul Gomez of Philippines — scored their fifth wins on the trot to jointly lead the bunch with five points each.
Nine players trail the leader by half a point.
Two rounds of this 335-player Swiss League event, conducted by Venus Chess Academy and co sponsored by LIC, were scheduled for the day and quite a few encounters ended in quick, short draws with players wanting to conserve their energy.
Attila Czebe of Hungary was the only GM casualty, losing to local lad Rakesh Kulkarni, much to the delight of the watching audience. Untitled Atul Dahale defeated Hungarian IM Anita Gara.
Attila opted for the Centre Counter gambit against Kulkarni and the players castled rather early on opposite flanks, Kulkarni on kingside and Attila on queen side.
There was a heavy trade of pieces, almost in a rush and this gave the bishop pair advantage to Kulkarni who won an exchange on the 20th turn and nursed this advantage to victory after 55 moves.
“I thought Attila held an edge in opening but once I gained the exchange, the winning part was easy,” said the 19-year-old.
On the top board, Debashis Das and Andrei Devaitkin split points after 21 moves of a Slav defence where the queens were exchanged very early.