Chennai, Feb 7 (UNI) Defending champion Surya Shekhar Ganguly of Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) joined the overnight leader Tejas Bakre of Indian Airlines at the top with four points at the end of the fifth round of Velammal National 'A' Chess Championship, here today.
Seven players were tied with a score of 3.5 points each. Eight more rounds remain to be played.
After three successive wins, Deepan Chakravarthy of PSPB suffered his second straight loss, this time at the hands of Ganguly. Though Deepan played well using the Sicilian defence, Ganguly's moves were very sharp. He offered his rook for a minor piece, which was not accepted by Deepan. Playing under severe time pressure, Deepan gave up the fight after 41 moves.
On the top board, two times National champion Abhijit Kunte of PSPB held Bakre to a draw in 44 moves. Playing the white side of the Blumenfeld gambit, Kunte, exchanged his rook for a knight and two pawns. But he failed to maintain the tempo, after the queen exchange on the 26th move. In the rook Vs knight end game, Bakre managed to extract half a point.
Except, Ganguly and Deepan's games, the other three top boards involved draws. While G.N.. Gopal of PSPB split the point with M.S.
Thej Kumar of Karnataka, young grandmaster Parimarjan Negi of Delhi played out one more draw and M.R. Venkatesh was his opponent.
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