Mixed luck for Vidarbha masters, Gurukul takes the lead on Day 1 of the online chess league

NAGPUR: Vidarbha teachers had fluctuating fortunes on Day 1 of Indian Chess.Com League .

While the exclusive team format league brought together India's top 50 players from their homes, four young men from the city and the first Grand Master of Vidarbha Swapnil Dhopade He got off to a bad start in his campaign. The nine-round event is played in a quick format.

As expected, Team Gurukul title contenders, a balanced team of national champions and the country's best junior teacher, took a practical lead of 1.5 points. With 16.5 points on his kitty in five rounds, Gurukul leads the pack after they successfully defeated the Super Kids youth 3.5 to 1.5 in the fifth and final round of the day. Until the fourth round, both Gurukul and Super Kids were on par with 12.5 points each.

After Maharashtra's youngest GM, Raunak Sadhwani, became twice a former national champion Murali Karthikeyan , the third youngest teacher in the world to reach 2,600 Elo, Nihal Sarin He was unable to use his opening advantage with the white pieces against India No 7 Aravindh Chithambaram.

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However, Nagpur's WIM Divya Deshmukh found it difficult to play from home and against older opponents as the 14-year-old failed to record a single victory in all five rounds. With the defeat in the fifth round of Raunak, Divya and Nihal, the Super Kids team fell to fourth position.

The Dhopade-led Chess Pathshala with India No. 6 SP Sethuraman, Nagpur Sankalp Gupta youth and Mrudul Dehankar performed poorly on opening day after their employer took the time to adapt to the online system. After losing the initial three rounds, including a loss at the hands of his own student Raunak, Dhopade returned with a victory in the fourth and fifth rounds.

Like Divya, Mrudul also lost all rounds, while Sankalp managed to post a victory and tie a game. The Dhopade-led team is at the bottom with nine points.

With four rounds remaining before the Super-Final of the top two teams on Sunday, there is still an opportunity for the Vidarbha masters to prove themselves.