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Swapnil stuns Russian GM

Calcutta: International Master Swapnil Dholpade upset Russian Grandmaster Daniil Lintchevski to earn his GM norm, even as Deep Sengupta maintained a joint lead along with GM-nominated Vidit Gujrathi, GM SP Sethuraman and four others with 6.5 points each, at the end of Round Nine in the International Open Chess tournament, here, on Tuesday.

Deep, with black pieces, had a gruelling draw against Sethuraman, while IM-nominated Diptayan Ghosh, getting his fourth IM norm on Tuesday, held former world junior champion GM Abhijit Gupta.

Among the upsets, IM Vishnu Prasanna shocked GM Adly Ahmed of Egypt on board five, while IM Saptarshi Roy also had a very good win against GM Sahaj Grover.

With 5.5 points in his kitty, Saptarshi joined the joint-third position. Fifteen-year-old boy from Shirdi, FM Shardul Gagare, confirmed his first IM norm by splitting points with Akshat Chandra of the US.

IM Vidit, who’s the latest GM from India and will be confirmed by Fide in the next month, accepted a draw just after 14 moves by GM Viorel Iordachescu (2619) of Moldavia.

Vidit played Nimjo-Indian Opening against a much experienced and composed player in Viorel. However, the game turned complicated with the chance of an outright result looking dim.

Meanwhile, GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly bounced back by outwitting IM MS Thejkumar. Surya and top seed GM Radoslaw Wojtaszek of Poland got back their stroke to remain in the list of aspirants. Radoslaw overcame Indian GM RR Laxman’s resistance in 36 moves.

On the other hand, GM Sandipan Chanda had to be content with a draw against former World Youth Under-12 champion Narayanan Srinath.

Former under-12 champion FM Sayantan Das beat Vikramjit Singh, while WGM Mary Ann Gomes took the advantage of playing a lower-rated Sameer Kathmale to earn full points.

WGM Nisha Mohota played out yet another draw — her seventh in the competition — with IM Swayams Misra being her opponent this time around.