New Delhi: Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi remained in joint lead after settling for a draw with Lenic Luka of Slovenia in the eighth round of 9th Parsvnath International Open chess tournament here at Ludlo Castle
Negi and Luka were joined in the lead by compatriot Grandmaster S Kidambi along with Ukrainian trio of Alexander Areshchenko, Yuriy Kuzubov and Mikhailo Oleksienko, who all took their tally to seven points out of a possible eight.
As many as eight players including former world junior champion Abhijeet Gupta and highly regarded Chinese Grandmaster Ni Hua share the second spot jointly, a half point adrift of the leaders.
S Kidambi stole the honours on the day, following a finely crafted victory over Icelandic Grandmaster Hannes Stefansson.
Playing black, Kidambi held his position together for a long time and his peace proposal too was turned down by Stefansson in the endgame. However, as the game progressed, Stefansson pushed harder than necessary and was duly punished for his over-ambitious approach.
At the top of the tables, Parimarjan used a lot of time on his clock in the early phase of an Exchange Ruy Lopez. Luka came up with an early opening surprise and did not have many troubles in maintaining the balance after a simplified endgame was reached in quick time. The draw was a just result.
Top seed Areshchenko proved his mettle in a difficult game against compatriot Yaroslav Zherebukh who played white. The game was played till the very end and with both players falling under serious time pressure it was more a matters of nerves. Areshchenko won with a fine finish in the end.
Amongst the 6.5 pointers, International Master V Kamble continued his dream run and defeated Avigdor Bykhovsky of Israel. After outwitting GM Neelotpal Das in the previous round this was another great result for the Mumbai-based player.
Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta was troubled a lot initially by IM Saptarshi Roy but he eventually managed to turn the tables after an erroneous plan by the latter.
After a rather lackluster show in the previous round, this was a good turnaround for Abhijeet.
Amongst local players, young gun Vaibhav Suri continued to impress and held GM Konstantin Chernyshov of Russia to a draw, while National sub-junior champion Sahaj Grover outplayed Arjun Tiwari to move to 6.5 points.