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Vietnam GM is sole leader

Mumbai: GM Nguyen Anh Dung of Vietnam scored a facile victory over Chinese GM Zhang Peng Xiang (5.5) in the eighth round to become the sole leader with seven points in the Commonwealth chess meet on Friday.

Thursday’s joint leader with Dung, top seeded Uzbek GM Rustom Kasimzanov (6.5) was held by compatriot Marta Zumaev (6).

Thirteen-year-old Dronavali Harika surprised compatriot Saptarshi Roy Chowdhary (4.5) to claim her maiden WGM norm with two rounds to spare.

GM Dibyendu Barua (6) retained his lead among the Indians despite a draw with Latvian GM Igor Rausis (6) while Sandipan Chanda’s (5) hopes of gaining his final GM norm received severe setback when he went down without a fight to Russian GM Evegney Vladimirov (6).

K. Sasikiran (6) caught up with Barua after scoring a fighting win over veteran GM Pravin Thipsay (5) in King’s Indian Defence. Though Thipsay was two pawns ahead, he was helpless against Sasikiran’s dangerous passers in the queen and pawn ending.

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