Three players in joint lead at Gurgaon chess tourney

Gurgaon: Three players, including top seed Ukrainian Grandmaster Kravtsiv Martyn, were in joint lead after Round 5 of the second Gurgaon International Grandmasters chess tournament, here Saturday.

Playing with black pieces in Ruy Lopez game, Martyn outwitted his Uzbek rival Tillayev Ulugbek in 47 moves while second seed Filipino Grandmaster Oliver Barbosa and Indian hope Sahaj Grover defeated IM Shyam Nikil and S Nitin respectively at the Suncity School.

Playing white side of Modern Benoni game, Sahaj exchanged his rook for minor piece in the middle game to gain advantage in the centre and maintained the positional advantage throughout the game and secured full points after 70 moves.

In surprising results of the day, Women Fide Master Sarvinoz Kurbonboeva got the better of seasoned Grandmaster Marat Dzhumaev of Uzbekistan while Grandmasters John Paul Gomez of Philippines and Eldar Gasanov of Ukraine were forced to split the point against talented Indian youngsters Visakh N R and Sameer Kathmale.

Earlier in the fourth round, International Master S Nitin defeated Georgian Grandmaster Tornike Sanikidze while Anirudha Deshpande shocked Ukrainian Grandmaster Valeriy Neverov.

In the sixth round, top seed Martyn will take on second seed Barbosa while Grover is paired against Russian GM Alexander Evdokimov, who beat Vikramjit Singh in the fifth round.