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Dibyendu Barua is sole leader

Mumbai: Grandmaster Dibyendu Barua had a lucky day when he won a losing game on time basis against Prathamesh Mokal to emerge as sole leader with 5.5 points in the menís section after seven rounds in the 40th National A chess championship here on Wednesday.

In the womenís table, it was a turnaround with WIM Aarthie Ramaswamy emerging as sole leader with 4 points from five rounds pushing overnight leader Nisha Mohota to second spot with 3.5 points.

Pune lad Mokal almost ended up shocking Barua. Playing white, Mokal faced the French Defence from Barua and decided to take the battle head on and went in for the advance variation of the French Defence.

The game progressed evenly with Mokal gaining good advantage as Barua had not castled.

It should have been a cakewalk for the youngster until fate struck him. Mokal had just eight seconds on the clock, which he spent preparing for his next move. Finally he lost the track of time and failed to move within the allotted time and lost the game on time basis.

However, the upset of the day was registered by debutant Arvind Shastry who defeated IM S. Kidambi in 61 moves.

On the other board, the match between two young GMs, K. Sasikiran and P. Harikrishna, who were sharing the lead with Barua on Tuesday, ended in an expected draw with both the players agreeing to split the points after 37 moves.

In womenís section, Aarthie got the better of Y. Pratibha to take the sole leader position with four points. In other games, WGM S. Vijayalakshmi beat Swati Mohota with white pieces to earn a full point. Overnight leader Nisha Mohota, however, had an off day today and will face Dronavalli Harika on Thursday.

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