Indian Chess League: R Praggnanandhaa's Chess Gurukul take early lead on Day 1 of tournament
With 16 points after five rounds, Chess Gurukul is atop the points table. Desi Boys is in second spot with 14.5 points followed by Undercover Agents and Superkids, both with 14 points
Team Chess Gurukul comprising young GM R Praggnanandhaa and national champion Aravindh Chithambaram took the lead on day one of the Indian chess.com League on Friday.
With 16 points after five rounds, Chess Gurukul is atop the points table. Desi Boys is in second spot with 14.5 points followed by Undercover Agents and Superkids, both with 14 points.
Chess Gurukul, captained by noted coach and GM R B Ramesh, rode on impressive performances by Praggnanandhaa and Chithambaram, who both scored four points each.
After a 3-2 win over Chess Gyan in round one, Chess Gurukul had to share honours with Desi Boys in a 2.5-2.5 result as Chithambaram was outwitted by fellow GM Vaibhav Suri.
In other games, Chess Gurukul beat Chess Pathshala 3-2 before thrashing Cheeky Cheetahs 4-1 and Superkids 3.5-1.5.
Young GM D Gukesh, turning out for Five Fighters, picked up three points from his five matches but his team lies in sixth spot with 11.5 points.
Around 25 Indian Grandmasters are taking part in the three-day tournament played on a blitz format.
Among the leading names participating are GMs S P Sethuraman, Nihal Sarin, Karthikeyan Murali, Tania Sachdev and Surya Sekhar Ganguly, apart from Pragnnanandhaa and Gukesh.
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SSP Chawrasia was planning to join fellow Indian pro, Shubhankar Sharma, who is already in the UK and played the Hero Open in Birmingham this week.
Chawrasia had played four events this year before the lockdown and finished tied 22nd, tied 32nd, tied 25th and tied 28th
The coronavirus pandemic has changed that cherished time when players could sit together at a table to decompress from a long game, celebrate a hard-fought win or support each other through a tough defeat.