Sasikiran beats Chanda, joint fourth now

Moscow: Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran defeated compatriot Sandipan Chanda to jump to joint fourth spot after the end of the fifth round of Aeroflot International open chess tournament here.

It was a game of fluctuating fortunes in which Sasikiran prevailed thanks to excellent calculation in wild complications. Chanda held the edge for the major part of the game and won a piece playing white. Sasikiran got counter play after a couple of errors by Chanda and he capitalised on them to romp home in 46 moves.

National champion Abhijeet Gupta continued his good work and held former champion Evgeny Alekseev to an easy draw. Out of a French defense as black, Abhijeet had to part with his queen to force matters.

Parimarjan Negi enjoyed a miniscule advantage against S P Sethuraman in the middle game but the latter handled his position well to split the point.

Double GM norm holder Vidit Gujrathi came close to final GM norm, defeating Boris Savchenko of Russia. With his second victory on the trot, Gujrathi is now within striking distance as two points out of next three games should be enough to make him a Grandmaster.

The other Indians in `A` group did not fare well as B Adhiban lost to Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia and D Harika went down to Ivan Morovic Fernandez of Chile.

With four rounds still to come in one of the strongest open of the world, Hrant Melkumyan of Armenia, Anton Korobov of Russia and Maxim ROdshtein of Israel share the lead with four points apiece. Abhijeet and Sasikiran are on 3.5 points while Negi and Gujrathi have three points apiece.

In `B` group it turned out to be an average day for higher ranked Indians. M R Lalith Babu, S Kidambi and Vaibhav Suri all drew their games to reach 3.5 points while Sahaj Grover and Tejas Bakre suffered unexpected defeats against lower rated opponents.

National junior champion Aravindh Chithambaram defeated Chinese Qu Yianqio to continue his winning run in `C` group.

Chithambaram moved to five points from as many games and is now trailed by compatriot R Bharathi who is on 4.5 points.

Indian results round 5 Group `A` (Indians unless specified): Evgeny Alekseev (Rus, 3.5) drew with Abhijeet Gupta (3.5); Sandipan Chanda (2.5) lost to Krishnan Sasikiran (3.5); S P Sethuraman (3) drew with Parimarjan Negi (3); B Adhiban lost to Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus, 3); Vidit Gujrathi (3) beat Boris Savchenko (Rus, 2); Ivan Morovic Fernandez (Chi, 2.5) beat D Harika (1.5); M R Venkatesh (1.5) lost to Ghaem Maghami Ehsan (Iri, 2.5); M Shyam Sundar (1.5) lost to Daniel Alsina Leal (Esp, 2.5); G N Gopal (1.5) had a bye.

Group `B`: M R Lalith Babu (3.5) drew with Wen Yang (Chn, 3.5); Sundararajan Kidambi (3.5) drew with Tigran Kotanjian (Arm, 3.5); Evgenij Kalegin (Rus, 4) beat Sahaj Grover (3); Dmitry Obolenskikh (Rus, 3.5) drew with Vaibhav Suri (3.5); Munguntuul Batkhuyag (Mgl, 4) beat Tejas Bakre (3); Viktor Mikhalevski (Isr, 3.5) beat Akshayraj Kore (2.5); Deepan Chakkravarthy (2.5) lost to Ivan Aldokhin (Rus, 3.5); Swayams Mishra (2.5) lost to P Shyam Nikil (3.5); Mikhail Mozharov (Rus, 3.5) beat Ankit Rajpara (2.5): S Nitin (2) lost to Andrey Rychagov (Rus, 3); Arsseny Alavkin (Rus, 2) lost to S Arun Prasad (3); Mikolai Kabanov (Rus, 2.5) drew with Padmini Rout (2.5); Anuar Ismagambetov (3) beat Debashis Das (2); Alexander Krapivin (Rus, 3) beat Mary Ann Gomes (2); Nisha Mohota (2.5) drew with Oleg Badmatsyrenov (Rus, 2.5); Andreas Diermair (Aut, 2.5) drew with Eesha Karavade (2.5); Robert Kreisl (Aut, 2.5) drew with Ivana Maria Furtado (2.5); Soumya Swaminathan (2.5) beat John Paul Gomez (Phi, 1.5).

Group `C`: Qu Yanqiao (Chn, 4) lost to Aravindh Chithambaram (5); Victor Plotkin (Can, 3.5) lost to R Bharathi (4.5); Denis Vorobjov (Rus, 3) lost to Akash Iyer (4); Konstantin Bronnikov (Rus, 3) lost to U Ashwini (4); Abdumalik Zhansaya (Kaz, 3.5) beat Bhakti Kulkarni (2.5); Aryan Tari (Nor, 3.5) beat Niklesh Jain (2.5); G Lasya (2.5) lost to Mark Basencyan (Arm, 3.5); Meenu Priya (3) drew with Afshari Mohammadreza (Iri, 3).


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