Arun Prasad in joint lead
Varna (Bulgaria): Grandmaster S Arun Prasad crashed through the defenses of Yuri Solodovnichenko of Ukraine to emerge as joint leader on 6.5 points after the end of the 8th and penultimate round of Grand Europe Golden Sands chess tournament here.
Prasad shares the lead with Vladimir Georgiev of Macedonia, Zybnyk Hracek of Czech Republic and Nils Grandelius of Sweden. The four leaders are followed by a pack of 15 players having six points apiece including Indian Grandmasters Abhijeet Gupta, M R Venkatesh, Deep Sengupta, Vidit Gujrathi, International Master Ashwin Jayaram and Indian women champion Mary Ann Gomes.
Abhijeet Gupta had little problems in beating Sahaj Grover who erred early in the Grunfeld defense and had no answers as he got his pieces rolling against the black king. The game was over in a mere 24 moves when Grover blundered in an already difficult position and landed in to a position that was beyond repair.
Vidit Gujrathi played out his third draw on the trot splitting the point with Vladislav Nevednichy of Romania while Ashwin Jayaram scored a thumping victory against Dmitry Svetushkin of Moldova.
Klaus Friedrichs of Germany proved no match for Venkatesh and Mary Ann Gomes continued with her devastating form to crush higher ranked and former Russian women champion Natalija Pogonina.
On what turned out to be an excellent day for Prasad, the English opening gave him a decent advantage as white and Solodovnichenko suffered once white got a bind on the king side.
Arun Prasad continued the attack bringing his queen near the black king and the Ukrainian was forced to part with a piece to avert the immediate danger. Arun Prasad scored in the endgame making no mistakes with his extra material.
Ashwin Jayaram also scored a fluent victory against Svetushkin. The Indian opted for the fianchetto variation in the Semi Slav defense and pushed Svetushkin on the queen side.
White`s advantage grew and Svetushkin could not find the right defense. Winning a piece, Ashwin won in just 24 moves.
With just one round to come, there could be many players tying for the top place in this 40000 Euros prize money tournament. In the final round now, Prasad will meet Grandelius while Gupta will take on Rusev Krasimir of Bulgaria.
Important and Indian results round 8 (Indians unless stated): Zybnyk Hracek (Cze, 6.5) drew with Nils Grandelius (Swe, 6.5); Vladimir Georgiev (Mkd, 6.5) drew with Dragan Solak (Tur, 6); Vladislav Nevednichy (Rou, 6) drew with Vidit Gujrathi (6); S Arun Prasad (6.5) beat Yuri Solodovnichenko (Ukr, 5.5); Ashwin Jayaram (6) beat Dmitry Svetushkin (Mda, 5); Abhijeet Gupta (6) beat Sahaj Grover (5); Dagur Arngrimsson (Isl, 5) lost to Deep Sengupta (6); Srdjan Cvetkovic (Srb, 5.5) drew with G N Gopal (5.5); Klaus Friedrichs (Ger, 5) lost to M R Venkatesh (6); Natalija Pogonina (Rus, 5) lost to Mary Ann Gomes (6); Evgeny Sveshnikov (Lat, 5.5) beat G Akash (4.5); M Shyam Sundar (5.5) beat Tiberiu-Marian Georgescu (Rou, 4.5); Shardul Gagare (5) drew with Nijat Abasov (Aze, 5); Eesha Karavade (4.5) lost to Petar Arnaudov (bul, 5.5); Sagar Shah (4.5) lost to Petar Drenchev (Bul, 5.5); Diptayan Ghosh (4.5) lost to Alexej Gorbatov (Rus, 5.5); Alexey Volodin (4.5) lost to N Srinath (5.5); Murali Karthikeyan (5.5) beat Maria Velcheva (Bul, 4.5); Asaf Givon (Isr, 5.5) beat Bhakti Kulkarni (4.5); Mareco Sandro (Arg, 5) beat Aravindh Chithambaram (4); Guntram Hainke (Ger, 4) lost to Debashis Das (5); Cosmin Parligras (Rou, 4) lost to Swapnil Dhopade (5); Nisha Mohota (4) lost to Alexei Gavrilov (Rus, 5); Nebojsa Baralic (Srb, 4.5) drew with Anurag Mhamal (4.5); Elitsa Raeva (Bul, 4.5) drew with G A Stany (4.5); Sidhant Mohapatra (4.5) drew with David Paravyan (Rus, 4.5); Sayantan Das (4.5) beat Miroslav Steimar (Cze, 3.5); Pavel Dimitrov (Bul, 4.5) beat R Vaishali (3.5); Ralf Danielmeier (Ger, 3.5) lost to Soumya Swaminathan (4.5); Rucha Pujari (4) drew with Manuel Valles (Fra, 4); Robert Graham Taylor (Wls, 3) lost to Kiran Manisha Mohanty (4); Velizar Sofranov (Bul, 3.5) drew with Riya Savant (3.5); Emil Mladenov (Bul, 3.5) drew with Srija Seshadri (3.5); Baris Guven (Tur, 4) beat Parnali Dharia (3); N Raghavi (4) beat Arda Canbulan (Tur, 3); Alexander Kiselev (Rus, 3) drew with G K Monnisha (3); Gireman Ja (3.5) beat Vasily Gagarin (Rus, 2.5); R Bharathi lost to Danail Kazakov (Bul, 3.5); Y Saranya (3) beat Timur Sagaipov (Rus, 2).