Chennai: Top seed Aleksandrov Aleksej of Belarus and untitled Chinese player Yu Ruiyuan shared the lead with 6.5 points at the end of the seventh round of the SDAT-RMK 4th Chennai Open International Grandmasters Chess tournament on Sunday.
Aleksandrov scored over Indian hope, International Master Vaibhav Suri while Yu Ruiyuan defeated Grandmaster Oleksienko Mikhailo (Ukraine).
Sharing the third spot were GM Hoang Thanh Trang (Hungary), IM Karthikeyan (India), Zeng Chongsheng, Ma Qun (both China) at 6.0 points.
Aleksandrov faced the Nimzo Indian game offered by Suri. The queens were exchanged as early as the 10th move.
The Russian Grandmaster then utilised his space advantage to the maximum effect as he created multiple problems for Suri with his well co-ordinated Rooks and minor pieces.
Suri negated the storm and entered into a Rook ending with 5 pawns each, but Aleksandrov outplayed him in the Rook ending to carve a technical win in 68 moves to move to the leader board once again.
On the second table, untitled Chinese player Yu Ruiyuan shocked Grandmaster Mikhailo Oleksienko of Ukraine.
Yu Ruiyuan adopted the Rossolimo variation against the Ukraine Grandmaster. Oleksienko weakened his kingside with a pawn move on his 13th turn which was cleverly exploited by the Chinese to score an attacking win in 32 moves.
Indian International Master P Karthikeyan downed Filipino Grandmaster John Paul Gomez in 39 moves. Karthikeyan showed deep preparation as he followed a recent game played by Vishy Anand.
When Gomez lost thread of the game, Karthikeyan outplayed the Grandmaster as he had apparently studied the game played earlier by Anand against Vallejo Pons game well enough.
The defending Champion, Grandmaster Martyn Kravtsiv went down to GM Hoang Thanh Trang of Hungary in the third boad. Kerala boy S L Narayanan, who is seeking his second IM norm, held Grandmaster RR Laxman to a creditable draw.
Yet another norm seeker, Maharashtra lass Siddhali Shetye, who had downed WGM Saheli Dhar Barua on Saturday, held WGM Aarthie Ramaswamy to a draw to keep her norm chances bright.
Four more rounds remain to be played in this event.