Pritam Singh of Jharkhand created a major stir when he upset Grandmaster Surya Shekhar Ganguly in the second round of the Tata International Open Chess tournament in Jamshedpur on Tuesday.
It turned out to be a difficult day for many seeded players, who were either shocked or held by lesser-known opponents on the second day of the competition.
Vinod Bhagwat played brilliantly to hold top seed Grandmaster Dmitry Svetushkin of Moldova. That performance was followed by Pritam Singh's victory.
Later, Laltu Chatterjee held British champion Abhijit Kunte.
India's top-ranked player Pendyala Harikrishna, however, managed to win his board against unheralded T J Sureshkumar.
The hero of the second round was undoubtedly Pritam Singh, who came back from a hopeless position to record the biggest victory of his career.
Not a regular player these days, Pritam was obviously not well versed with the main variation of the English opening that he opted for against Ganguly, who played black. The result was a pawn less middle game and an inferior end game for Pritam, who apparently had his fingers crossed.
However, Ganguly erred, blundered and eventually lost a handful of pawns to finally resign when Pritam threatened to queen his passed pawn on the kingside.
There was more good news for local talent, as Abhishek Das, who finished runner-up in last National Under-18 championship, outsmarted former Asian junior bronze medallist K Ratnakaran in a brilliant attacking game with white pieces.
Amongst the Grandmasters, Commonwealth champion Dibyendu Barua had a tough time and in his own words "was very lucky" to beat Hariom Sharma; Bangladesh's Niaz Murshed solved his opening problems pretty easily to crush Debashish Chakraborty, and Uzbek Marat Dzhumaev was in his element against Vipul Subhashi.
The second day of the event has two rounds.
Important results, round 2 (Indians unless specified): Dmitry Svetushkin (Mda, 1.5) drew Vinod Bhagwat (1.5); T J Suresh Kumar (1) lost to P Harikrishna (2); Abhijit Kunte (1.5) drew Laltu Chatterjee (1.5); Pritam Singh (2) beat Surya Shekhar Ganguly (2); Tahir Vakhidov (Uzb, 2) beat Vivek Nambiar (1); Hariom Sharma (1) lost to Dibyendu Barua (2); Saidali Iuldashev (2) beat V S Negi (1); Ziaur Rahman (Ban, 2) beat Soumya Ranjan Mishra (1); K Ramu lost to Sergei Ovsejevitch (Ukr, 2); Marat Dzhumaev (Uzb, 2) beat Vipul Subhashi (1); Manoj Kumar Panigrahi (1) lost to R B Ramesh (2); Debashish Chakraborty (1) lost to Niaz Murshed (Ban, 2); Suvrajit Saha (2) beat Joydev Saha (1); Rahul Shetty (1.5) drew Pranjal Das (1.5); J Malleswar Rao (1) lost to Vishal Sareen (2); V Saravanan (2) beat Kiran Panditrao (1); P Konguvel (2) beat R V Shandilya (1); P Praveen Prasad (1.5) drew Neeraj Kumar Mishra (1.5); Sushil Kumar Sinha (1) lost to Varugeese Koshy (2); R R Laxman (2) beat M R Sangeetha (1); S Arun Prasad (2) beat S Thakurta (1); Abhishek Das (2) beat K Ratnakaran (1).