Albena (Bulgaria): India`s latest Grandmaster V Vishnu Prasanna faltered yet again as he lost to Vitaliy Bernadskiy to end hopes of a revival in the Grand Europe Albena International Chess tournament here.
After raising visions of an improved performance with a 4.5/5 start, Prasanna missed the thread of the position for the second day running and had to pay heavy dividends as Bernadskiy won in style.
The second straight loss left Prasanna on 4.5 points with no hopes for a podium finish.
International Master Ashwin Jayaram remained on course for a top-10 finish after settling for a quick draw with Grandmaster Vasil Spasov of Bulgaria.
Anurag Mahamal also secured a good result drawing with Sandro Mareco of Argentina who played black.
Among other Indians in the fray, former world junior champion Abhijeet Gupta did some damage control in tournament after being lucky to score a full point against Bulgarian Mario Vutov.
Swapnil Dhopade was held to a draw by Dagur Arngrimsson of Iceland, while Sagar Shah ended on the losing side against Melih Yurtseven of Turkey. Lower down, N Raghavi defeated Ivaylo Atanasov of Bulgaria.
Following a spate of draws at the top of the tables there was no change in standings at the top. As a result, over joint leaders, Tigran Petrosian and Hrant Melkumyan of Armenia and Vladislav Nevednichy of Romania continued to lead the tables with six points out of a possible seven.
While six players are on the heels of the leaders a half point behind, Ashwin Jayaram and Anurag Mahamal are the best performing Indians on five points apiece sharing the 10th spot. Abhijeet Gupta, Dhoapde and Prasanna have 4.5 points each and only wins in the last two rounds can take them to some respectability.
Prasanna was outdone in a King`s Indian defense game with black pieces. The opening gave Bernadskiy a small positional advantage and Vihnu`s hopes of a king side attack after losing a pawn did not materialise. The Indian in fact fell prey to a tactical finish, something he had been showing in the first half of the tournament.
Abhijeet Gupta continued to struggle with his form as he misplayed another winning position and reached a drawn knight and pawns endgame against Mario Vutov. However, luck smiled on the Indian as Vutov blundered in the final stages and lost his knight for no compensation.
Important and Indian results round 7 (Indians unless stated): Hrant Melkumyan (Arm, 6) drew with Tigran Petrosian (Arm, 6); Levente Vajda (Rou, 5.5) drew with Vladislav Nevednichy (Rou, 6); Boris Chatalbashev (Bul, 5.5) drew with Mircea-Emilian Parligras (Rou, 5.5); Avetik Grigoryan (Arm, 5) drew with Ivaljo Enchev (Bul, 5); Vasil Spasov (Bul, 5) drew with Ashwin Jayaram (5); Sandro Mareco (Arg, 5) drew with Anurag Mhamal (5); Krikor Sevag Mekhitarian (Bra, 5.5) beat David Paravyan (Rus, 4.5): Evgeny Sveshnikov (Lat, 5.5) beat Roberto Junio Brito Molina (Bra, 4.5): Vitaliy Bernadskiy (Ukr, 5.5) beat V Vishnu Prasanna (4.5); Swapnil Dhopade (4.5) drew with Dagur Arngrimsson (Isl, 4.5); Mario Vutov (Bul, 3.5) lost to Abhijeet Gupta (4.5); Melih Yurtseven (Tur, 4.5) beat Sagar Shah (3.5); N Raghavi (2.5) beat Ivaylo Atanasov (Bul, 1.5).