Kolkata: Ziaur Rahman of Bangladesh and Oliver Barbosa of Philippines joined Indian duo Abhijit Kunte and Vidit Gujrathi in a four-way lead with 5.5 points each after round seven of the sixth Kolkata Open Chess Tournament, on Monday.
Representing PSPB, Kunte opted for this third consecutive draw of the tournament against former world under 14 champion Gujrathi in a Catalan opening.
After exchanging the queens on the 20th move, Kunte tried to promote his pawn to eighth rank by sacrificing the knight.
But Vidit played accurately and nullified the advantage to share the point.
In a double bishop ending, with equal pawns, Deepan Chakkravarthy forced third seeded Konstantin Landa of Russia to split the point.
Ukraine`s Sergey Fedorchuk overlooked a powerful combination of Ziaur Rahman`s queen and bishop to get virtually checkmated in 31 moves.
Ziaur, who defeated top seeded Nigel Short in an earlier round, has climbed back to the lead again.
In the longest drawn battle between Barbosa and Pantsulaia Levan of Georgia, the former prevailed with two extra pawns in the queen and pawns ending.
16-year-old IM Diptayan Ghosh of West Bengal followed the Slav defence against former Commonwealth champion MR Lalith Babu of PSPB.
He maintained a balance in the game until move 37, when both had queen, rook and five pawns each.
Diptayan played a disastrous end game to lose three pawns in quick succession and hence the game in 48 moves .
Former world championship finalist and top seed Short of England bounced back from his draw sequences outwitting Odisha`s only GM Debashis Das.
Former under 16 world champion B Adhiban of PSPB played an enterprising game against co GM M Shyam Sundar from Tamil Nadu.
Adhiban won exchange on 25th move by tactically giving up his for rook and getting the compensation in the very next move by a knight fork.
Further, he sacrificed his rook on 45th move to get three unstoppable connected pawns, on the verge of promotion. Shyam resigned on the very next move.
Mchedlishvili Mikheil of Georgia accounted for another Bangladesh HM Abdulla Al-Rakib in a queen pawn`s game lasting only 29 moves. SP Sethuraman of PSPB also moved on to 5 points, with a victory over Railway?s IM K Rathnamkaran.