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Surya Sekhar maintains lead

Kozhikode: Grandmaster Surya Sekhar Ganguly of PSPB maintained his full point lead after taking a quick draw against top seed GM P. Hari Krishna of AP in the 11th round of the 41st national A chess championship here on Wednesday.

Ganguly, who shot into the lead in the ninth round, moved to eight points and is now trailed by six players ó GM Koneru Humpy of AP, Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury of Bengal and PSCBís GM Abhijit Kunte, GM R B Ramesh, GM Sandipan Chanda and IM Neelotpal Das on 7 points each.

GM Pravin Thipsay of BSB is in eighth spot along with double GM norm holder Tejas Bakre of Indian Airlines. A day before the only rest day, most of the players decided to play it safe and the result was many short draws.

Ganguly played with white against Hari Krishna and settled for a draw in just 15 moves. Ramesh followed suit against his teammate IM S. Kidambi and, after two successive losses, Humpy also shook hands with Bakre.

The roundís best game was played by Chanda who outclassed M R Venkatesh from the black side of a Reti opening game. Chanda was in his elements in this game after he earlier turned down a draw proposal by Venkatesh. The middle game was fierce and Chanda tackled the intricacies quite well to get a substantial advantage in the ensuing endgame with a pawn sacrifice.

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