Negi beats compatriot Jha, on sole lead after Rd 7
New Delhi: Second seed Parimarjan Negi emerged as sole leader with 6.5 points after beating compatriot Grandmaster Sriram Jha in the seventh round of the Parsvnath Commonwealth Chess Championships here on Friday.
Playing with black pieces in English Opening, Grandmaster Negi outwitted his Delhi city mate in 44 moves.
Meanwhile, overnight joint leader Russian GM Maletin Pavel signed peace treaty in 31 moves with top seed and compatriot GM Alexey Dreev.
Negi had on Thursday shared the top slot with Sriram and Maletin on 5.5 points each in the Rs eight lakh tournament.
A pack of five players, including former world junior champion GM Abhijeet Gupta and GM R R Laxman, are now trailing half a point adrift of the leader.
Gupta got the better of International Master Paciencia Enrique of Singapore while Laxman overcame Russian GM Dmitry Kokarev in their respective encounters.
GM Eltaj Safarli of Azerbaijan, who defeated IM M R Lalith Babu, is now giving company to Gupta and Laxman along with GMs Kravtsiv Martyn of Ukraine and Pavel at joint third spot.
In other seventh round matches, Jharkhand youngster Abhishek Das overcame GM Marat Dzhumaev while K Priyadharshan suffered his first defeat in the championship at the hands of Uzbek Saidali Iuldachev.
IM K Rathnakaran beat national champion IM B Adhiban while Grandmasters Abhijit Kunte and Tejas Bakre settled for half points against IM Shyam Sundar and Russian GM Dmitry Bochorov respectively.