Varna (Bulgaria): Grandmaster Vidit Gujrathi outwitted International Master Petar Arnaudov of Bulgaria to jump to sole third spot on 4.5 points after the end of the fifth round of Grand Europe Golden Sands International Chess tournament here.
Playing black, Gujrathi scored his fourth victory of the tournament when Arnaudov could not keep track of his pawns and from a pawn plus position which was a likely draw, walked in to a hopeless endgame after losing two pawns.
The victory made Gujrathi the best performing Indian so far in the tournament as the Nasik boy took his tally to an enviable 4.5 points. The lead is shared by Zbynyk Hracek of Czech Republic and Vladislav Nevednichy of Romania who both have five points apiece from five rounds.
With four rounds still to come, Gujrathi is followed by as many as 24 players on four points each and this includes six Indians: Grandmasters Abhijeet Gupta, Sahaj Grover, M R Venkatesh, G N Gopal and S Arun Prasad and International Master Ashwin Jayaram.
Abhijeet Gupta rose back in the tournament at the expense of Zurab Javakhadze of Georgia after his king got stuck in the center early in the opening. However, the Indian made good use of his pair of Bishops to keep the attack in check and won with some deft manoeuvring.
Sahaj Grover was surprised by the draw offer coming from higher rated Bulgarian Grandmaster Rusev Krasimir wherein the latter had an extra pawn after the trade of queens. As it transpired, Krasimir had missed a knight sortie that would have kept the game alive and thought Grover was excellently placed.
The Grandmaster norm hopes by Anurag Mahamal and Shardul Gagare received a setback after they lost to S Arun Prasad and G N Gopal respectively. M R Venkatesh defeated Vladimir Sveshnikov of Latvia while Ashwin Jayaram scored a fine victory over compatriot Woman Grandmaster Kiran Manisha Mohanty.
R Bharathi lost her first game in the tournament running into national women's champion Mary Ann Gomes. Despite the loss, Bharathi stands an excellent chance to pick an International Women Master norm and remains in the running for the Woman Grandmaster norm as well.
The young Indian brigade made in an impression while the norm seekers suffered a slight setback. Aravindh Chithambaram held highly rated Grandmaster Boris Chatalbashev of Bulgaria to a draw while Diptayan Ghosh and Murali Karthikeyan made good comebacks defeating Russian Vadim Skomorokhin and Margarita Voiska respectively.
The huge Indian representation comes on the back of support given by the Sports Authority of India that has cleared participation of 34 Indian players here as part of exposure trip.
Important and Indian results round 5 (Indians unless specified): Tamir Nabaty (Isr, 4) lost to Zbynyk Hracek (Cze, 5); Dragan Solak (Tur, 3.5) lost to Vladislav Nevednichy (Rou, 5); Rusev Krasimir (Bul, 4) drew with Sahaj Grover (4); Petar Arnaudov (Bul, 3.5) lost to Vidit Gujrathi (4.5); Swapnil Dhopade (3) lost to Tigran Petrosian (Arm, 4); Zurab Javakhadze (Geo, 3) lost to Abhijeet Gupta (4); Deep Sengupta (3.5) drew with Evgenij Ermenkov (Bul, 3.5); Anurag Mhamal (3) lost to S Arun Prasad (4); G N Gopal (4) beat Shardul Gagare (3); Eesha Karavade (3) lost to Evgeny Sveshnikov (Lat, 4); M R Venkatesh (4) beat Vladimir Sveshnikov (Lat, 3); Iveri Chighladze (Geo, 3.5) drew with M Shyam Sundar (3.5); G A Stany (3) lost to Danny Raznikov (Isr, 4); Debashis Das (3.5) drew with Cosmin Parligras (Rou, 3.5); Vitaliy Bernadskiy (ukr, 4) beat Soumya Swaminathan (3); Kiran Manisha Mohanty (3) lost to Ashwin Jayaram (4); Boris Chatalbashev (Bul, 3) drew with Aravindh Chithambaram (3); Vadim Skomorokhin (Rus, 2.5) lost to Diptayan Ghosh (3.5); N Srinath (3.5) beat Abdalla Luiz Guilherme Aurell (Bra, 2.5); G Akash (3) drew with Alin-Mile Berescu (Rou, 3); M Karthikeyan (3.5) beat Margarita Voiska (Bul, 2.5); Mary Ann Gomes (3.5) beat R Bharathi (2.5); Sagar Shah (3) beat Philipp Limbourg (Ger, 2); Alexej Gorbatov (Rus, 2.5) drew with Gireman Ja (2.5); Antonios Xylogiannopoulos (Gre, 2) lost to Sayantan Das (3); Atanas Tonchev Kolev (Bul, 2.5) drew with Nisha Mohota (2.5); Bogdan Posedaru (Rou, 2.5) drew with Rucha Pujari (2.5); Maria Velcheva (Bul, 3) beat G K Monnisha (2); R Vaishali (2.5) beat Olga Dolzhikova (Nor, 1.5); Diril Dogus (Tur, 1.5) lost to Bhakti Kulkarni (2.5); Sidhant Mohapatra (2.5) beat Vladyslav Sumin (Ukr, 1.5); Sunyasakta Satpathy (1.5) lost to Calin Dragomirescu (Rou, 2.5); Nicolae Simion (Rou, 1.5) drew with N Raghavi (1.5); Natalia Beliaeva (Rus, 2) beat Y Saranya (1); Riya Savant (2) beat Mihai Hlinschi (Rou, 1); Srija Seshadri (2) beat Ismet Turek (Tur, 1); Parnali Dharia (2) beat Timofai Zibarev (Rus, 1)