New Delhi, Jan 18 (UNI) Grandmaster and National champion Surya Shekhar Ganguly delivered the goods when it mattered most outclassing overnight leader Marat Dzhumaev of Uzbekistan in the eighth round of the 6th Parsvnath International Chess tournament here today.
Aided by the victory, Ganguly jumped in to sole lead on 7.5 points out of a possible 8 and is now a half point clear of Dzhumaev and Grandmaster-in-waiting Abhijeet Gupta who won a game of fluctuating fortunes against GM Elizbar Ubilava of Spain.
A pack of nine players, including GM norm holders Sriram Jha and G B Prakash are also in reckoning for top honours with 6.5 points apiece.
It turned out to be a bad day for Dzhumaev after he went for a direct attack against Ganguly in a Sicilian Rossolimo game where the latter played black. Ganguly was a picture of confidence after he gobbled one of the pawns of Dzhumaev and slow progress son the king side gave him a dangerous initiative. The Kolkata-based player showed no mercy after being on top and romped home in style.
Abhijeet Gupta was a bit lucky in his victory over Ubilava.
Playing the black side of an irregular opening, Abhijeet played technical chess in the opening and early middle game to get a nearly balanced position. In trying to look for more, he sacrificed an exchange and got an optically dangerous passed pawn.
Ubilava had his chances but missed them in as he overlooked a few moves in the final stages of the game. Abhijeet finished in style, forcing checkmate or heavy material loss for the Georgian-turned-Spaniard.
G B Prakash recovered after his previous round loss against Ganguly and defeated GM Safin Shukrat of Uzbekistan. It was a tense middle game out of a queen pawn opening where the Indian proved superior.
Asian and National women's champion Tania Sachdev fought hard but eventually went down to GM Igor Kurnosov of Russia from a Grunfeld defense. Tania missed a few drawing chances enroute to the 85-move defeat.
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