Negi slips to joint second; loses to Russian GM in Commonwealth Chess Championship

New Delhi: Parimarjan Negi`s seven-win spree was snatched by Russian Grandmaster Pavel Maletin as the second seed Indian lost his ninth round match to 43 moves in the Parsvnath Commonwealth Chess Championship.

Maletin has now taken the sole lead with eight points while Negi along with another Russian Dmitry Bocharov, who beat Uzbek Grandmaster Saidali Iuldachev, were trailing the leader with a drift of half point in the Rs eight lakh prize money championship.

Playing with white pieces in Slav Defence, Maletin produced great attacking moves towards the end to outwit his Indian rival in 43 moves. The young Negi`s prepared line in Slav Defence went haywire on the 24{+t}{+h} move, a point from where the Russian kept getting stronger.

Meanwhile, continuing his fine run in the tournament, Mumbai youngster Prasanna Rao held Asian Chess Championship bronze medalist Grandmaster Abhijit Gupta to a creditable draw with black pieces.

Young Indian International Masters Sahaj Grover and Shyam Sundar held Grandmasters Dmitry Kokarev of Russia and Eltaj Safarli of Azerbaijan in their ninth round matches respectively.

Top seed Russian Grandmaster Alexey Dreev settled for another half point against International Master Tania Sachdev after a marathon match that lasted 164 moves.

Tamilnadu youngster Ramnath Bhuvanesh lost his match against International Master Lalith Babu but during the process he achieved a nine game International Master norm.

Fide Master Sai Krishna also completed his formalities for International Master Norm by defeating Swapnil Dhopade in the ninth round encounter.

In other matches, Matta Vinay Kumar stunned Argentinean Grandmaster Anton Kovalyov while Karnataka lad Girish A Koushik defeated former World Junior girls champion Dronavalli Harika.

Gurpreet Pal Singh and Ankit Rajapara held Grandmasters Tejas Bakre and Enamul Hossain respectively.