Doha: Grandmaster and former world junior champion Abhijeet Gupta outclassed Fabien Libiszewski of France to jump to joint fifth position after the end of the third round of the Qatar Masters International Chess tournament here on Saturday.
After a tame draw with Xu Jun of China in the previous round, Gupta came firing on all cylinders in the third round and Libiszewski did not have a chance once he ventured in to unknown territories. The victory helped Gupta reach 2.5 points out of a possible three.
It's a four-way tie at the top of the tables and leading the pack is top seed Grandmaster Anish Giri of Holland who defeated Ivan Ivanisevic of Serbia to maintain his all-win record. Joining Giri in lead was Evgeny Tomashevsky of Russia, Nils Grandelius of Sweden and Mikhailo Oleksienko of Ukraine.
On what turned out to be a very tough day for the Indian contestants in the fray, highest-rated Indian Grandmaster P Harikrishna suffered a shock-defeat at the hands of Mikhailo Oleksienko. It was a bad day for Harikrishna in general as he got outplayed from a level position.
After doing pretty well for the first two days, Indian Grandmasters Neelotpal Das, Ankit Rajpara, Sandipan Chanda, Surya Shekhar Ganguly and M Shyam Sundar all lost against respective opposition to remain on 1.5 points out of a possible three.
In fact, apart from Gupta only Aravindh Chithambaram and B Adhiban were the only Indians who ended on the winning side in the third round. Chithambaram defeated Zeinab Mamedyarova of Azerbaijan while Adhiban opened his account at the expense of Markus Lammers from Germany.
Such is the strength of the world's strongest open tournament that India's latest Grandmaster Murali Karthikeyan and International Master Sayantan Das are still sitting on zero points, after losing their third game in a row.
Gupta was the saving grace for the Indians. Getting a
chance to change things on move two, Gupta took his chance and converted to a king pawn opening to face a Pirc defense from Libiszewski.
The French Grandmaster sacrificed a pawn in the middle game hoping to create counter play on the king side but an alert Gupta gave mothing away and himself opened up the position to cause serious damage to black king side. The game lasted 37 moves.
In other important games of the day, former world champion Vladimir Kramnik finally won his first game in the tournament at the expense of Indian GM Debashish Das. This one too was close to equal for the major part of the game but Das could not sustain the momentum beyond a certain point. Kramnik won in 81 moves.
Important and Indian results round 3 (Indians unless specified): Anish Giri (Ned, 3) beat Ivan Ivanisevic (Srb, 2); Daniil Dubov (Rus, 2.5) drew with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra, 2.5); Mikhailo Oleksienko (Ukr, 3) beat P Harikrishna (2); Erwin L'ami (Ned, 2) lost to Evgeny Tomashevsky (Rus, 3); Robin Van Kampen (Ned, 2.5) drew with Yuriy Kryvoruchko (Ukr, 2.5); Yu Yangyi (Chn, 2.5) drew with A R Salem Saleh (Uae, 2.5); Nils Grandelius (Swe, 3) beat Alexander Moiseenko (Ukr, 2); Sandipan Chanda (1.5) lost to Pavel Eljanov (Ukr, 2.5); Bu Xiangzhi (Chn, 2.5) beat Surya Shekhar Ganguly (1.5); Sergei Movsesian (Ukr, 2.5) beat G N Gopal (1.5); Abhijeet Gupta (2.5) beat Fabien Libiszewski (Fra, 1.5); Ivan Salgado Lopez (Esp, 2.5) beat Ankit R. Rajpara (1.5); Daniel Naroditsky (Usa, 2.5) beat Neelotpal Das (1.5); Debashis Das (1) lost to Vladimir Kramnik (2); M Shyam Sundar (1) lost to Ferenc Berkes (2); M S Thejkumar (1) lost to Andrey Vovk (Ukr, 2); Hichem Hamdouchi (Mar, 1.5) drew with Rishi Sardana (1.5); Bartosz Socko (Pol, 2) beat Shardul Gagare (1.5); Wen Yang (Chn, 1.5) drew with S Vijayalakshmi (1.5); D Harika (1.5) beat Gu Xiaobing (Chn, 0.5); Mary Ann Gomes (1) drew with Akshat Chandra (Usa, 1); Zeinab Mamedjarova (Aze, 0.5) lost to Aravindh Chithambaram (1.5); Huang Qian (Chn, 1) drew with Sameer Kathmale (1); S Kidambi (1) drew with P Konguvel (1); Markus Lammers (Ger, 0) lost to B Adhiban (1); Murali Karthikeyan (0) lost to Ticia Gara (Hun, 1); Atousa Pourkashiyan (Iri, 1) beat Sayantan Das (0).