Cappelle La Grande: Grandmaster and former world junior champion Abhijeet Gupta committed a blunder as he squandered a winning endgame to be held to a draw by veteran Grandmaster Bojan Kurajica of Bosnia in the second round of 31st Cappelle La Grande International Chess tournament here on Monday.
After outplaying Kurajica in all departments of the game, Gupta was not lucky enough to earn a victory as the Bosnian survived by the skin of his teeth.
It was a Grunfeld defense by transposition in which Gupta excelled right from the opening after sacrificing a pawn.
Kurajica came under pressure after trading of the queens and lost a pawn to reach what was a complicated but winnable endgame for Gupta.
However, the Indian blundered away by losing as many as three pawns and the position liquidated to a dead draw pretty soon.
Vidit Gujrathi was also held to a draw in the second round when tougher pairings were generated under Accelerated Pairing system in place here. Gujrathi was held by Ramil Hasangatin of Russia out of a Queen pawn game. Playing white, Gujrathi appeared on top in a Hedgehog structure but the exchange of pieces kept Hasangatin in the game.
Sandipan Chanda and Sahaj Grover came up with their second victories on the trot at the expense of compatriot M R Venkatesh and Pavel Certik of Slovakia respectively.
Grover faced a rarely played system in the Rossolimo Sicilian and seized the initiative early in the opening. While Certik fought back the young Indian did not let the position slip out of hand and eventually scored an easy victory.
At the top of the tables, the higher seeds continued to tumble. After top seed Li Chao of China was held to a draw in the first round, it was second seed Alexander Areshchenko's turn to split the point with Marin Tazbir of Poland. Li Chao, however, won his second round game to take his tally up to 1.5 points out of a possible two.
Among other Indians in the fray, V Vishnu Prasanna came up with an impressive result sharing the point with Kamil Dragunof Turkey. Playing black, Vishnu had no troubles in securing the draw as his preparation clicked well.
S Kidambi and S Arun Prasad however ended on the receiving end. Kidambi went down fighting against Krzysztof Jakubowski of Poland while Vladimir Onsichuk of Ukraine defeated Arun Prasad who played with black pieces.
There are seven rounds still remaining in the traditional tournament that carries a prize pool of 30000 Euros. There are 555 players in the fray including over 80 Grandmasters making it one of the strongest open in Europe.