Taffin leads Senior Chess Championships after 3 rounds


With two days of competition and three rounds almost completed, former Chess Champion and Candidate Master Taffin Khan currently leads the charge in the ongoing Senior Chess Championships.

The chess action began Saturday last at the National Stadium, Providence and continued on Sunday, with Khan romping to three victories, inclusive of a win over reigning champion FIDE Master Anthony Drayton.

On day one, playing white against Errol Tiwari, Kahn played the closed Sicilian variation. The game was about equal until move 16 when Tiwari missed a combination that Khan had, which led to Tiwari losing his Queen, after which the game was practically over.

Khan’s second game of the Championship was against FM Drayton, in which Khan utilised the black pieces. The former champion opted for the Chigorin defence against d4. Their encounter flowed smoothly until around move 20.

Khan was able to win a pawn and follow a simple chess rule “passed pawns must be pushed”, to set up his imminent victory.

In spite of the loss to Khan, Drayton still managed to pick up two wins in his three rounds. His first game was against Sharma on Saturday, which he described as “not that difficult”.

Paying homage to Netflix sensation “The Queen’s Gambit”, Drayton chose that very opening and by the eighth move, his opponent gave up the Bishop pair and blundered a pawn at the very next move. After that, it was smooth sailing until the game finished in 46 moves.

“It’s only after the game and reviewing it, I realised that I too made a critical blunder at move 16, which could have cost me the game by losing a piece, but lucky for me, my opponent was playing very fast and didn’t capitalise on it. In the coming matches, I will have to keep my focus to be able to regain my title, because the other players wouldn’t be so kind to miss an opportunity like that,” Drayton said, reflecting on his opening game.