The first week-end of the Masters 2017 saw three rounds being played and the surprise leader of the tournament is newcomer Nadarajaen Vencatasawmy on 3 points after he dispatched Salhi Zouhaier,Nuvin Dussoye and Sanju Backory respectively. He was in trouble only against Dussoye as the latter took advantage of his opponent inexperience in the King's Indian Defense set-up  to launch a king-side attack which netted him the exchange. However in a  won position Dussoye over-stepped the time limit ,he must have big regrets in coming to the venue 25 minutes late for the round.

In second place we find last year's runner-up  Roy Phillips who had a good start on 2.5 points, beating Chan and Zouhaier cleanly and drawing with Chinasamy in the London System where he misplayed the middle game and had to bail out with  a three -fold repetition.On 2 points we see Patrick Marie who recovered from a first round  loss against Dussoye to  beat Antoine Goorsahye in a Sicilian defense and Sanju Backory on time. The upcoming youngster of last year's edition Candidate Master Hoolan Naipal is confirming his good form as he is still undefeated after drawing two games against Goorsahye and Chinasamy and winning against the tail-ender Sanju Backory.

Nuvin Dussoye could rue his loss on time  to Vencatasawmy in a winning position  as he is stuck on 1.5 points following a win against Patrick Marie and a hard fought draw against Chan.Antoine Goorsahye is also on 1.5 points as his great win against Deevarajan Chinasamy was offset by a loss to Patrick Marie and a draw with Hoolan Naipal. Christophe Chan has also made a decent start on 1.5 points, drawing with Dussoye, winning a lost position against Zouhaier and losing to top seed FIDE Master Roy Phillips. The under-performance of the week must go to former Masters Champion Deevarajan Chinasamy who is winless and is finding it tough against local opposition compared to his heydays when he hardly ever lost to lower-rated players. Chinasamy is on 1 point after 2 draws against Phillips and Naipal his two Olympiad team mates in Baku and losing to Goorsahye. This was Chinasamy second consecutive loss against Goorsahye after the one suffered during the Republic Cup 2016  and the latter is starting to become his bogey opponent.

In the cellar with zero points we find two qualifiers ,Salhi Zouhaier and Sanju Backory but if Sanju cannot complain as he was out-classed in all 3 games and will use this experience to progress ,the same cannot be said of the performance of Salhi Zouhaier. The tunisian born Salhi  is an agressive player and his games are always interesting and full of tactics but he has the bad habit to rush in critical positions where one bad move spells disaster. He was in a winning position against Chan but missed a tactic and lost,against Vencatasawmy he had chances to muddy the waters with 23 Qh2 instead of Qg3(threatening Qh7+ followed by Rh6 and leaving an escape square on H1 against his opponent marauding two rooks on the seventh rank) but he missed that tactic and went down lamely.

Next week end we have another round of 3 games and leader Vencatasawmy will find it very hard to keep the lead  as he will face 3 tough opponents in Goorsahye,Chinasamy and Naipal.

Results,Standings and Games at the following link