Sasikiran goes down to Bartel

Moscow: Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran`s chances of a podium finish suffered a setback as he went down to Mateusz Bartel of Poland in the sixth round of the premier `A` group of Aeroflot International open chess tournament here.

After raising hopes of a strong finish, it turned out to be a bad day in office for the second highest rated Indian after Viswanathan Anand as nothing worked right for him.

Wild complexities ensued in the middle game where Sasikiran enjoyed some optical advantage but in the end Bartel turned out to be more composed.

It turned out to be a forgettable day for the Indians in the premier `A` group as everyone in contention lost.

Abhijeet Gupta was outplayed by Pavel Eljanov of Ukraine, Parimarjan Negi went down against young Russian Vladimir Fedoseev, while Vidit Gujrathi could not match a wily Viorel Iordachescu of Moldova.

After losing to Sasikiran in the previous round, Sandipan Chanda made some recovery winning against Croat Alojzije Jankovic with black pieces, while G N Gopal recorded his first victory in the tournament against M Shyam Sundar.

B Adhiban and S P Sethuraman played out draws with Solak Dragan of Turkey and Mikhail Kobalia of Russia, respectively but D Harika lost against Rauf Mamedov of Azerbaijan.

At the top of the tables, Anton Korobov of Ukraine continued with his surprise run and remained in sole lead on 5 points.

Sasikiran, Abhijeet, Sethuraman, Chanda are all on 3.5 points and in desperate need of a big final dash in the last three rounds.

It was a better story in the `B` group wherein Vaibhav Suri and P Shyam Nikil scored important victories and are now very close to attaining their final Grandmaster norm.

The leader here is unstoppable, Can Emre of Turkey, who cruised to his sixth straight victory in the tournament. Suri and Nikil have 4.5 points each and are currently the best performing Indians.

National junior champion Aravindh Chithambaram continued with his winning ways defeating compatriot R Bharathi in the sixth round of the `C` group.

After recently becoming the youngest ever national junior champion, Chithambaram, with his sixth victory on the trot, looks poised to also become the youngest Indian to win an International open as he currently enjoys a full point lead over nearest rivals.