Moscow: Grandmaster and National champion Abhijeet Gupta scored a hard-fought victory over compatriot B Adhiban in the second round of the `A` group of Aeroflot International open chess tournament here.
After a rather lackluster show at the just-concluded Gibraltar International tournament where he will lose important rating points, Abhijeet seems to have recovered quite well in a short time and the game against Adhiban was a just indication.
Playing black, Abhijeet equalized easily in the Grunfeld defense and the correct result should have been a draw but for an over-ambitious approach by Adhiban who even spurned the peace proposal.
After the dust settled Adhiban was left to find out a miraculous defense to save the day in the rook and minor piece endgame, an extremely difficult task for the human mind. Abhijeet won in 56 moves.
It turned out to be an excellent day for the higher ranked Indians in the premier group as Krishnan Sasikiran and Parimarjan Negi also scored their first victory in the tournament.
Sasikiran proved stronger than Ivan Popov of Russia with white pieces while Negi created excellent counter play to beat another Russian Sergey Grigoriants.
Looking for his final Grandmaster norm, Vidit Gujrathi continued with his good form and held Sandipan Chanda to a draw after an intense battle.
After drawing with former world champion Alexander Khalifman of Russia in the first round, this was another good result for Gujrathi.
M R Venkatesh rose back in contention after a first round debacle to beat Anton Shomoev of Russia but GN Gopal`s luck deserted him again as he could not hold fort against Hrant Melkumyan of Armenia and succumbed to his second loss in as many games.
Amongst other Indians in this section, D Harika went down to Khalifman, S P Sethuraman played out a draw with Rauf Mamedov of Azerbaijan while M Shyam Sundar opened his account after splitting the point with Croatian Alojzije Jankovic.
In the `B` group being organised simultaneously, Grandmaster Tejas Bakre continued with his winning ways at the expense of Gennady Tunik of Russia.
Double GM norm holder Vaibhav Suri made another stride forward for his final GM norm defeating Le Quang Long of Vietnam while Akshyaraj Kore also came in joint lead cruising past Mikhail Mozharov of Russia.
In the `C` group, Akash Iyer, Aravindh Chithambaram and R Bharathi are among those who have won two games.