Abhijeet beats Gopal, jumps to joint lead

Subic Bay: Former world junior
champion Abhijeet Gupta give out an impeccable performance to
beat compatriot and his BPCL teammate G N Gopal and jumped to
joint lead after the seventh round of the Asian continental
chess championship here.

Grandmaster Ni Hua of China ended the dream run of local
boy Wesley So in a finely crafted game with black pieces on
the top board.

The Chinese trio of Ni Hua, Ding Liren and LI Chao
emerged as the new joint leaders of the 50000 USD prize money
event along with Abhijeet.

While all the leaders have 5.5 points apiece, a pack of
four players including second seed Krishnan Sasikiran are also
in contention for top honours with just two rounds to come.

Sasikiran defeated Nguyen Thanh Son of Vietnam in his
seventh round game.

With top five places reserved for the next world cup from
here, P Harikrishna, National champion B Adhiban, S P
Sethuraman, D Harika and Tejas Bakre are in contention for a
top finish but for that all of them will have to win the next
two rounds.

Abhijeet was a class act with his white pieces.

Gopal came up with an early opening surprise going for
the main line Slav instead of his trusted Grunfeld and
followed an earlier game played by Abhijeet against Parimarjan

Both the players played the opening with unique speed and
within first ten minutes nineteen moves were played. After
Abhijeet deviated, Gopal spent a lot of time but could not
find the way to equalize.

Abhijeet won a pawn and romped home in quick time.

Nguyen Thanh Son of Vietnam proved no match for Sasikiran
in a queen pawn game where the latter played white. Though the
victory took some time to come Sasikiran made sure he did not
falter at any time.

International Master S P Sethuraman played a fine game to
hold top seed Le Quang Liem of Vietnam who played black.

Sethuramay held on to his position without giving away much in
another queen pawn game of the day.

In-form Tejas bakre produced another good result by
holding Ghaem Maghami Ehsan of Iran to a draw from a worse
position while Harika proved stronger than Nadera Barlo of

In the women`s championship being organized
simultaneously, Tania Sachdev was held to a draw by Irine
Sukander Kharisma of Indonesia while S Meenakshi and Kiran
Manisha Mohanty also played a draw between them All the three
Indians are on 4 points in this section and the hopes of a
medal are fast disappearing.

The lead position is unchanged and Atousa Pourkashiyan of
Iran and Wang Yu of China share the top honours at this point
with six points apiece.