Calcutta: GM Levan Pantsulaia of Georgia snatched the lead from the overnight leader, IM Jacek Stopa of Poland, to emerge as the sole leader with 6.5 points after the conclusion of the Round VIII of the SREI International Grandmaster Open Chess tournament, being organised by the Dibyendu Barua Chess Academy in association with Allsport Foundation, at Town Hall, on Thursday.
Stopa was rather subdued on the day as Levan sacrificed both his rooks for two minor pieces, which gave Pantsulaia a commanding position as he had three extra pawns for the exchange. Stopa’s all attempts to salvage a draw from the position came to a naught as he resigned on the 62nd move.
Top seed Surya Sekhar Ganguly put his unexpected loss in the previous round behind and won comfortably against IM Prathamesh Mokal. GM Deep Sengupta, too, managed to get past IM Vahe Baghdasaryan of Armenia.
India’s GM norm aspirants, meanwhile, had a disappointing time in the middle with IM Murali Karthikeyan going down to Armenian GM Samvel Ter-Sahakyan, while IM Anurag Mhamal failed to make any headway in his game against Ukrainian GM Vladislav Borovikov.