Isle of Man, UK: Grandmaster and former world junior champion Abhijeet Gupta showed his mettle to beat veteran French Grandmaster Anatoly Vaisser and jumped to joint fifth spot in the Poker Masters Isle of Man Chess tournament now underway here.
After losing two games in a row in round three and four, it has been a remarkable comeback by Gupta who registered his third win on the trot in the tournament to reach five points out of a possible seven and is now very close to the leading pack.
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France settled for a draw with Gabriel Sargissian of Armenia on the top board to remain in joint lead on 5.5 points alongside Sargissian and English duo of David Howell and Nigel Short.
David Howell was staring at defeat but turned the tables on compatriot Gawain Jones to reach 5.5 points while Nigel Short accounted for seasoned Israeli Grandmaster Alon Greenfeld to make it to the top.
The other Indian in the fray -- Grandmaster D Harika -- also did well to hold highly regarded Grandmaster Mihail Marin of Romania and took her tally to 4.5 points.
Harika is now the main contestant for the best woman prize in this 18,000-pound tournament.
With just two rounds to come, Gupta will be finally where he belongs and will meet Sergei Tiviakov of Holland in the next round. Another victory can make Gupta a co-leader in the tournament.
It was an expected Dutch Stonewall by Vaisser that did not impress Gupta as he got a slight advantage in the middle game with a sound grip on the position by controlling the black squares.
As is typical of the opening, Vaisser stayed calm and organised his forces but missed a tactic resulting in a loss of pawn.
Gupta pounced on the opportunity and thereafter it was smooth sailing. Vaisser made another error while trying to recover the pawn and ended up losing a piece on move 37 to resign immediately.
"I think he missed it (losing the pawn), I was not able to find a clear path to progress if he had chosen to close the position instead, however I happy about the game in general," Gupta admitted candidly in the post-game chat.
Harika faced some opening difficulties against Marin out of a Benoni defense game as black but Marin allowed an exchange sacrifice leading to a level endgame eventually. The peace was signed after 43 moves.
Important results round 7: Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra, 5.5) drew with Gabriel Sargissian (Arm, 5.5); Gawain Jones (Eng, 5) lost to David Howell (Eng, 5.5); Gil Popilski (Isr, 5) drew with Laurent Fressinet (Fra, 5); Daniel Fridman (Ger, 5) drew with Sergei Tiviakov (Ned, 5); Nigel Short (Eng, 5.5) beat Alon Greenfeld (Isr, 4.5); Abhijeet Gupta (Ind, 5) beat Anatoly Vaisser (Fra, 4); Mihail Marin (Rou, 4.5) drew with D Harika (Ind, 4.5); Daniel Gormally (Eng, 4.5) drew with Jonathan Hawkins (Eng, 4.5); Michael Adams (Eng, 4.5) beat Asaf Givon (Isr, 3.5); Tiger Hillarp Persson (Swe, 4) drew with Mark Ferguson (Eng, 4).