Doha (Qatar): Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta continued with his fine form to hold much higher ranked Indian P Harikrishna to an easy draw in the sixth round of Qatar Masters International open chess tournament now underway here.
With his second straight draw against members of top-50 club, Gupta took his tally to four points out of a possible six along with Harikrishna and these two were joined by B Adhiban who scored his fourth victory on the trot to reach four points.
Grandmaster Anish Giri from Holland stretched his lead to a full point defeating Nils Grandelius of Sweden and this was the sixth straight victory for Giri who is gaining handsomely from the tournament.
After putting in a tough fight with black pieces and keeping his position together, Grandelius eventually collapsed in the endgame when his position seemed still tenable. Giri on six points is now trailed solely by former world champion Vladimir Kramnik of Russia who has five points with his fourth straight win. Kramnik accounted for compatriot Sjugirov Sanan in an emphatic display of positional chess.
There are as many as 12 players sharing the third spot on 4.5 points apiece and then the Indian trio of Gupta, Harikrishna and Adhiban share the 15th position now. Just three rounds remain in the strongest open tournament of the world.
Harikrishna decided to battle it out in the Grunfeld defense, an opening considered to be Gupta's forte. Harikrishna got a slight advantage with accurate play in the middle game but his decision to exchange queens did not turn out well.
With precision, Gupta liquidated to a level endgame and gave no further chances to his more famous opponent. Adhiban defeated Gunay Mammadzada of Azerbaijan in another clean attempt. After losing the first two rounds, this has been a remarkable turnaround by the Indian and he looks good for more in the last few games.
Among other Indians in the fray, Debashish Das came up with a fine performance to beat higher ranked Gabriel Sargissian of Armenia while S Vijayalakshmi remained unbeaten against strong opposition as she held Xu Jun of China to a draw.
Aravindh Chithambaram improved his chances drawing with Ivan Salgado Lopez while Surya Shekhar Ganguly suffered a setback at the hands of Armenian lady Elina Danilian.