Connect with us


Esipenko puts Ganges Grandmasters in front on Day 8



Andrey Esipenko, far left in yellow, and Bella Khotenashvili on the adjoining table, proved to be the stars for Ganges Grandmasters. Courtesy GCL

The reason behind Ganges Grandmasters’ steady run at the Tech Mahindra Global Chess League came in full display on Day 8 of the inaugural tournament when the balanced side showed depth and strength to nudge out Balan Alaskan Knights 8-7 on a day of two close matches. In a see-saw battle for the top position with SG Alpine Warriors, the win for GG on Thursday evening put the onus back on the former.

In the earlier match of the day, Triveni Continental Kings turned the tables on Chingari Gulf Titans with their first win of the tournament – by a 10-9 margin – in heartbreak timing for their rivals, who also were looking to bounce after their first triumph from two nights ago, and that was against Vishwanathan Anand’s Grandmasters.

The Grandmasters were dominating the league from the outset but then suffered two consecutive defeats, leaving them on 12 match points and in second place. The Knights started the round in the middle of the standings, on six match points. With a two-match winning streak behind them, and playing with white pieces in this match they had to push themselves further.


In a match where both sides held their own for a long time, the positions gradually started to look more favourably for Balan Alaskan Knights, but the team of Ganges Grandmasters were fighting back on all boards.

Anand got into a somewhat uncomfortable situation on board one against Ian Nepomniachtchi. The two-time candidate for world champion managed to create two free pawns on the queenside but then came a pawn exchange where White ended a pawn up. Still, it was even and in the end, the honours were split.

Hou Yifan and Tan Zhongyi drew their game, and so did Teimour Radjabov and Leinier Dominguez. In the duel of prodigies, Andrey Esipenko of GG gained more initiative and had a rook for a knight against Raunak Sadhwani. Esipenko created a passed pawn on the queenside. In time trouble, Sadhwani could not keep on holding and the game went to team Ganges.

However, Nodirbek Abdusattorov struck one back for the Knights in a sharp game against the usually reliable Richard Rapport. The former ended with two pawns up and secured three important points for BAK.

For the second time in the day, the outcome of the match depended on the final table left. BAK’s Nino Batsiashvili took the early initiative against her compatriot from Georgia, Bella Khotenashvili. In the end game, Khotenashvili had an extra pawn after the exchanges but both could not force the momentum to go each’s way.


Chingari Gulf Titans (w) vs Triveni Continental Kings (9-10)

The Titans had sparked a revival by beating the formidable Ganges Grandmasters on Tuesday. They had two quick wins on the board with Black through Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Nihal Sarin, and it looked ominous for the Kings as Alexandra Kosteniuk of Titans drew with Kateryna Lagno. And then came the fightback.

“We knew we had to go all out. We are very low on game points so there is no option but to win all our games and see how it plays out,” said the Kings’ icon player Levon Aronian, who beat his counterpart Jan-Krzyztof Duda.

Then Wei Yi brought the Kings within striking distance with his win against Daniil Dubov. After a mistake in the early stages of the middlegame by Dubov, Yi got the initiative and ended up with as many as four free pawns on the queenside, and won the game.

At 7-9, all eyes from the Kings camp fell on substitute Sarasadat Khademalsharieh. Better known as Sara Khadem, she was playing her second game of the tournament as a late replacement for Nana Dzagnidze, who had to withdraw on health grounds.

In true spirit of the team’s approach, Khadem went in for the kill in the endgame against Polina Shuvalova and forced the result in her favour. “We have been lucky that we got a good replacement such as Sara and we must take it one game at a time from here,” Aronian said.

Sara Khadem did the star turn for Triveni Continental Kings after the substitute player’s victory gave the Kings a lift off the bottom of the table. Courtesy GCL

Journalist for 25 years with leading publications in India and UAE such as The National, Mumbai Mirror, DNA, Indian Express and former Sports Editor of Now managing editor of, part of MEMc (


Haaland hits five as Man City thrash Luton in FA Cup – ARN News Centre




Erling Haaland roared back to his best form with a five-goal salvo as Manchester City thumped Luton Town 6-2 at Kenilworth Road to reach the quarter-finals of the Emirates FA Cup on Tuesday.

Luton had no answer to the marauding Norwegian who bagged his eighth City hat-trick before halftime and then scored twice more after the break to kill off a stirring Luton revival.

The 23-year-old Haaland’s first four goals were all created by Kevin De Bruyne. Mateo Kovacic also got on the scoresheet for holders City who are unbeaten in 18 games in all competitions.

Luton threatened an unlikely comeback when Jordan Clark found the top corner with a sublime effort on the stroke of halftime and netted again early in the second half.

But a strong City side instantly found another gear to cruise into the hat for the last eight.

The night belonged to the unstoppable Haaland though as he became the first top-flight player to score five goals in an FA Cup tie since George Best struck six for Manchester United against Northampton Town in 1970.

The only blemish for City, who face Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday, was an injury to Jack Grealish who was forced off before half-time with a recurrence of a groin injury.

Elsewhere, second-tier leaders Leicester City joined Pep Guardiola’s side in the quarter-finals as they beat Premier League Bournemouth 1-0 thanks to Abdul Fatawu’s extra-time goal.

Newcastle United squeezed through in a penalty shootout at Blackburn Rovers after the tie ended 1-1. The visitors edged through 4-3 on penalties with Blackburn captain Dominic Hyam having his kick saved by Martin Dubravka.

More from Sports

Source link

Continue Reading


Medvedev eyes title defence after win over Shevchenko – ARN News Centre




Daniil Medvedev, reigning champion at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, got his title defence off to a solid start on Tuesday night, making light work of Alexander Shevchenko on Centre Court.

Making his first appearance since losing in the final of the Australian Open to Jannik Sinner last month, the World No. 4 defeated his Kazakh opponent 6-3, 7-5 in a little under 90 minutes at the Dubai Tennis Stadium, showing few signs of the niggling injuries that have plagued him since his Melbourne loss.

In the first set, the ATP 500 tournament’s top seed broke his opponent’s service game three times in succession to secure the outright lead before, in the second set, he fought back from 3-5 down to win four games in a row and progress to the Round of 16.

Shevchenko, returning after a lengthy period on the sidelines, showed glimpses of the form that took him up to World No. 45 earlier this month. His booming serve, with which he hit six aces, had Medvedev standing so far behind the baseline he was almost in the stands with the fans. Yet the 23-year-old was unable to make it count, faltering in the tenth set while serving to level the tie.

Next up for Medvedev is Italian Lorenzo Sonego, who beat Indian No. 1 Sumit Nagal 6-4, 5-7, 6-1 in a gruelling match that saw Nagal play through pain, calling for a medical timeout in the third set. 

Meanwhile on Court 1, 18-year-old Czech Jakub Mensik continued his impressive start to the season, edging Borna Coric 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 after nearly three hours. Mensik, who received a special exemption into the Main Draw after reaching the final of the Qatar Open last week, attracted a strong crowd to the side-courts where fans can watch without tickets. Having saved a match point, World No. 87 held his nerve to progress during the decisive tiebreak.

He will now play Spanish No. 8 seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

On the same court, India’s Rohan Bopanna and Australia’s Matthew Ebden made their first outing since winning the Men’s Doubles at the Australian Open last month. The top seed pairing narrowly defeated wildcards Skander Mansouri and Bopanna’s former playing partner Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi 7-6, 7-6.

Source link

Continue Reading


Everton’s points deduction cut to six on appeal – ARN News Centre




Everton have had their points deduction for breaching Premier League financial rules reduced to six points from 10 after an appeal, the club said on Monday, though they could yet face another punishment for a separate overspend.

Everton were docked points with immediate effect in November after being found to have breached the league’s rules relating to spending and losses, partly blamed on the rising cost of financing their new ground that is under construction.

“An independent Appeal Board has concluded that the sanction for Everton’s breach of the Premier League’s Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSRs), for the period ending Season 2021/22, will be an immediate six-point deduction,” the Premier League said in a statement.

The original deduction meant Everton dropped from 14th in the standings into the relegation zone with four points. The club filed an appeal against the initial deduction, which they labelled “wholly disproportionate and unjust”.

“Everton can confirm an Appeal Board has concluded that the points deduction be reduced from 10 points to six points, with immediate effect,” a club statement said.

The record sanction was appealed on nine grounds, each of which related to the sanction, rather then the breaches and two of those nine grounds were upheld by the Appeal Board.

Everton admitted to a breach of PSR for the period ending with the 2021-22 season, with their total losses for that period amounting to 124.5 million pounds according to an independent commission.

According to the Premier League’s regulations, clubs are permitted to lose a maximum of 105 million pounds ($133.33 million) over a three-year period.

The three-person appeal board concluded that the independent commission which imposed the 10-point ban made legal errors on two of them.

It was ruled wrong to punish the club for being “less than frank” over what it told the Premier League about its new stadium debt and also wrong “not to take into account available benchmarks” saying that a six-point sanction was broadly in line with English Football League guidelines.

In dismissing the other grounds for appeal, the panel said that the club’s reduction in transfer spending towards the end of the four-year period under investigation showed only “limited evidence of a more sensible approach.”

Everton recorded four straight wins after their deduction to climb up to 16th, but have been dragged back into the relegation battle following a run of nine league games without a victory. The reduction means they move up to 15th on 25 points, five above the relegation zone.

Football League founder members Everton, who have spent more years in the top flight than any other club, were charged again by the Premier League in January for a separate PSR breach, along with Nottingham Forest.

Both clubs were referred to the chair of the Judicial Panel, the Premier League said, who will appoint an independent commission to determine the appropriate sanction, which may include a further deduction for the Sean Dyche-managed club before the end of the season.

A second points penalty would increase risk of a first relegation since 1951 and add to the uncertainty over the future of the club, who are currently in the midst of protracted takeover talks with U.S. investment fund 777 Partners and also hoping to move to their new stadium ahead of the 2025-26 season.

Last year, Manchester City were referred to an independent commission over more than 100 alleged breaches of finance rules since the club were acquired by the Abu Dhabi-based City Football Group in 2008.

No verdict has been reached in that case. Premier League CEO Richard Masters said last month that a date had been set for a hearing. City have denied any wrongdoing.

Clubs in England’s top flight have been docked points before.

Middlesbrough had three points deducted in 1997 when they failed to fulfil a fixture, while Portsmouth received a nine-point penalty in 2010 when the financially-troubled club entered administration.

Source link

Continue Reading


© Copyright 2021 HEADLINE. All rights reserved