New Delhi, Dec 6 (UNI) International Master Himanshu Sharma created a major upset as he stunned fancied Grandmaster RB Ramesh after a grim tussle to take the sole lead at the end of the fifth round of the Commonwealth Chess Championships here today.
Himanshu and former British Open champion Ramesh were joint leaders after the fourth round but the local challenger gave yet another giant killing display as he clinched a five-hour long top board battle.
Himanshu, with five points, now leads the 282-player field by a margin of half-a-point. Following him on the second spot are four players -- GMs Parimarjan Negi and Reefat Bin-Sattar of Bangladesh and IMs Arun Prasad and Vikramaditya Kamble with four and half points each.
In the Sicilian Defence game, Ramesh, playing black, was in an advantageous position for most part of the game and had managed to create a passer on the 'C' file.
However, he miscalculated and gave a wrong exchange sacrifice on 30th move, overlooking his back-rank weakness. The rest was a matter of simple technique for Himanshu to romp home in 45 moves.
On the fourth board, local favourite GM Parimarjan Negi crushed DV Prasad from the black side of the Ruy Lopez, Anti-Marshall Variation in 41 moves.
In another major upset, second seeded GM Jones Gawain of England was shocked by IM Arun Prasad.
In a game of fluctuating fortunes, Jones was better in the initial stages but Arun put up a stubborn defence to create counter attack and mating threats. Jones failed to find the correct defence and resigned on move number 56.
On the second board, top-seeded Surya Sekhar Ganguly settled for a draw with IM Alex Wohl of Australia.
In an English opening game, the Australian had no problem in keeping Ganguly at bay. After the exchange of most of the pieces by move number 34, the players signed peace treaty to share the point.
A big group of 27-players are sharing the third spot with a score of four points.
Meanwhile, 10-year old Vaibhav Suri's dream run continued as he defeated WGM Eesha Karavade and is now sharing the joint third spot.
He has clocked a rating performance of 2588 akin to a GM norm.
WGM Tania Sachdev lost to Bangladesh's Bin Sattar while IM Sundarajan Kidambi drew with young Ram Prakash while IMs Roktim Bandhopadhyay and K Ratnakaran also settled for draws.