Abhijeet Gupta held to a draw, slips to 8th in Cappelle Le Grande
Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta survived a scare before settling for a draw with Federico Perez Ponsa of Argentina in the sixth round of 31st Cappelle Le Grande International Chess tournament here on Thursday.
Cappelle Le Grande, France: Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta survived a scare before settling for a draw with Federico Perez Ponsa of Argentina in the sixth round of 31st Cappelle Le Grande International Chess tournament here on Thursday.
The draw proved costly as Gupta slipped to joint eighth spot with just three rounds to go in the 30000 Euros prize money tournament.
Grandmaster Vidit Santosh Gujrathi elevated himself to be joint third defeating Pierre Bailet of France while S Arun Prasad continued with his fine run in the tournament and held Alexander Kovchan of Ukraine to a hard-fought draw.
At the top of the tables, top seeded Li Chao of China threw the tournament open by defeating overnight sole leader Vladimir Onischuk of Ukraine. It was a super display of technical chess by Chao, who seems to be getting in the groove as the tournament is heating up.
With Chao's victory, as many as seven players including the Chinese and Onischuk now share the lead on five points each from six games. The Indian trio of Gupta, Gujrathi and Arun Prasad are sharing the eighth spot with 4.5 points each and are all in with a chance of catching up if they do well in the last three rounds.
On what turned out to be a decent day for the Indian Grandmasters in the fray, V Vishnu Prasanna, S Kidambi and M R Venkatesh improved their tournament position by scoring victories in the sixth round.
While Prasanna got the better of Sherif Medghoul of France to reach four points, Kidambi did the same at the expense of Spanish Alfonso Prieto Martin. Venkatesh inched to 3.5 after outplaying Sebastian Nilsson of Sweden.
The other Indians in the fray were all held to draws. Sandipan Chanda was held by Croatian Ognjen Jovanic, Sahaj Grover signed peace with Diego Guerra Bastida of Spain and Marius Monalache of Romania split the point with G N Gopal.
Chanda, Grover and Gopal are on four points too, needing a good finish in this 555-player tournament.
Gupta played the Sicilian Classical and was caught off guard in a popular variation by Perez Ponsa. The Indian fell under pressure as his king got stuck in the centre and a pawn sacrifice on the king side did not help settle the matter.
Perez Ponso, however, could not find the right path when the position was still complicated and Gupta wriggled out when he allowed perpetual checks.
Arun Prasad put up a brave front in a difficult endgame against Kovchan. After wild complications, Kovchan had an extra Bishop in the endgame but Arun Prasad picked all white pawns and then defended the ensuing endgame for 50 moves in copy book fashion. The game lasted 102 moves.
Important and Indian results round 6 (Indians unless specified): Li Chao (Chn, 5) beat Vladimir Onischuk (Ukr, 5); Igor Kovalenko (Lat, 5) beat Renier Vazquez Igarza (Esp, 4.5); Vasilios Kotronias (Gre, 5) beat Konstantin Landa (Rus, 4); Federico Perez Ponsa (Arg, 4.5) drew with Abhijeet Gupta (4.5); Krikor Sevag Mekhitarian (Arm, 5) beat Alexandr Fier (Bra, 4); Jacek Tomczak (Pol, 4) lost to Axel Bachmann (Par, 5); Alexander Kovchan (Ukr, 4.5) drew with S Arun Prasad (4.5); Vidit Santosh Gujrathi (4.5) beat Pierre Bailet (Fra, 3.5); Marius Monalache (Rou, 4) drew with G N Gopal (4); Ognjen Jovanic (Cro, 4) drew with Sandipan Chanda (4); Sahaj Grover (4) drew with Diego Guerra Bastida (Esp, 4); Sherif Medghoul (Fra, 3) lost to V Vishnu Prasanna (4); S Kidambi (4) beat Alfonso Prieto Martin (Esp, 3); M R Venkatesh (3.5) beat Sebastian Nilsson (Swe, 2.5).