Himanshu maintains sole lead, Negi survives scare

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New Delhi, Dec 6 (UNI) International Master (IM) Himanshu Sharma split points with IM Arun Prasad to maintain his sole lead at the end of the sixth round of the Parsvnath Commonwealth Chess Championship here today.

In a mediocre game, neither players took the risk in the Slav defence game and both of them signed peace in 22 moves.

Himanshu leads the field with 5.5 points, half-a-point ahead of 13 players who are on five points.

On the second board, Grand Master (GM) Parimarjan Negi survived a scare against IM Vikramaditya Kamble to wriggle out with a draw from a precarious position to maintain his joint second position.

In the English Opening game, Vikramaditya, playing with white, was well prepared with fresh ideas in the opening and came out with a beautiful pawn sacrifice on the 18th move to put Negi into real trouble.

Negi was forced to give his rook for Vikramaditya's Bishop on the 18th move. However, Vikramaditya made a mistake in the middle-game to bring the game on even keel. After the exchange of pieces, both the players agreed for a draw as neither of them could make any progress.

Top-seeded Surya Sekhar Ganguly bounced back into joint second by beating GM Reefat Sattar of Bangladesh in the French defence game on the third board.

IM Alex Wohl of Australia continued his impressive performance by holding third seeded Abhjit Kunte in a marathon game lasting 81 moves.

Wohl had sacrificed an exchange to win two pawns but Kunte defended resolutely to draw the game. GM Al-Rakib of Bangladesh prevailed over IM Mahmood Lodhi of Pakistan to push himself into joint second position.

A total of 13 players are now on five points and are sharing the second spot.

Meanwhile, the dream run of local boy Vaibhav Suri ended as he lost to Women Grand Master (WGM) Nisha Mohota. Suri is now way behind the leaders with four points.

UNI

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