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Surya Sekhar in second slot

Kozhikode: GM Koenru Humpy of Andhra Pradesh continued to lead the 41st national A chess championship after agreeing to a draw with IM S. Satyapragyan of Indian Airlines in the eighth round on Monday.

Humpy moved to 6.5 points out of a possible eight and was closely followed by GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly on 6 points.

Half a point adrift of Ganguly was GM R.B. Ramesh while GM Abhijit Kunte and Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury were clubbed on the joint fourth spot tallying 5 points apiece.

Humpy could not use her craftiness this time to perfection as Satyapragyan got a comfortable position playing black.

Ganguly had little to do in this round as black as he took a draw with Sandipan Chanda of Bengal in quick time with black pieces.

After an enterprising victory over Commonwealth champion Dibyendu Barua in the previous round, Ganguly appeared quite satisfied with the friendly draw.

Barua tried his best to beat Ramesh but overlooked a simple continuation that might have given him an advantage. Ramesh got off the hook with some resilient approach after employing the Sveshnikov Sicilian.

Saptarshi is now very close to become the country’s next IM. The young Bengali, who settled for a quick draw with veteran V. Hariharan in the 8th round, now needs just one point from next three games to become an IM. (PTI)

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