New Delhi, Dec 9 (UNI) An exciting finish is on the cards in the Parsvnath Commonwealth Chess Championship 2007 played here as most of the players now have theoretical chances of winning the championship depending on the outcome of their last round.
Overnight sole leader, IM K Rathnakaran could only manage a draw against IM Sriram Jha in the 9th and the penultimate round while top-seeded Grand master (GM) S S Ganguly, IM Vikramaditya Kamble and GM R B Ramesh posted victories over their respective rivals to join Rathnakaran in the lead.
All these players now have theoretical chances of winning the championship depending on their outcome in the last round.
The game between Sriram Jha and K Rathnakaran saw the game on equal footing for both the players with Jha enjoying more space advantage. He won a pawn on the 21 st move but Rathnakaran created counter chances by sacrificing his queen for two rooks, which was sufficient for him to hold Jha in 34 moves.
Himanshu Sharma, who needed a draw against S S Ganguly to earn his 1st GM norm, opted for the safe exchange.
However, Ganguly created complications and came out better in the middle-game to win material. Himanshu tried his best to salvage the position but Ganguly maneuvered his pieces correctly to grind out a win in 82 moves.
Meanwhile, IM Vikramaditya Kamble defeated WGM Nisha Mohota easily in the King's Indian defense to move to the top.
The other notable result was the loss of 2nd seeded English Gawain Jones to GM R B Ramesh in the four-knight's defense.
Ramesh now has joined Ganguly, Rathnakaran, Vikramaditya Kamble on a 4-way tie for a thrilling last round finish.
Delhi's IM Abhijeet Gupta completed his rating requirement of 2500 points to become India's 17th Grandmaster, while 12-year old prodigy Sahaj Grover also earned his 1st International Master (IM) norm by defeating WGM Eesha Karavade.