Mumbai: Indians K Rathnakaran and P Nikhil Shyam, both International Masters, led a strong field of Grand Masters with 5 points each at the end of the fifth round in the 4th Mayor`s Cup International Chess Tournament on Monday.
Trailing Rathnakaran (ELO 2386) and Shyam (ELO 2418) by half a point in the tournament conducted by Venus Chess Academy were nine others.
Shyam outsmarted compatriot K Priyadarshan (ELO 2376), also an IM, by opting for the Spanish opening, while Rathnakaran got the better of IM Himanshu Sharma (ELO 2421) in another all-India contest.
Priyadarshan replied to Shyam`s Spanish opening by capturing his rival`s central pawn with his knight without castling. After exchanging the queens on the 8th move, he broke his opponent`s castle and started a strong attack on the king side with his pawn.
But thereafter Priyadarshan`s position became very cramped while Shyam played brilliantly getting 2 passed pawns on the king side in the middle game and converted his advantage into a victory after 48 moves.
The game between Rathnakaran and Sharma started with Sicilian closed variation but later on changed to King`s Indian Attack.
Playing with black pieces, Sharma captured the rival bishop with his knight and exposed Rathnakaran`s king. But he could not exploit this advantage.
He also erred later. On the 23rd move, instead of attacking with a bishop he captured a pawn with a knight. Sharma made another wrong move on the 29th move which gave a passed pawn to Rathnakaran. He accepted his defeat in 38 moves.
The game between GM Enamul Hossain (ELO 2481) of Bangladesh and IM S Satyapragyan (ELO 2415) of India ended in a draw in 28 moves.
Top seeded GM Aleksey Aleksandrov (ELO 2618) of Belarus defeated GM R R Laxman (ELO 2451) in 50 moves in a game of Nimzo Indian defence in rook and pawn endings.