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Eight share lead

Calcutta: As many as eight players are sharing the lead with six points each, after Round VIII of the 6th Kolkata Open Grandmasters Chess tournament at Gorky Sadan, here on Tuesday.

With two more rounds to go, the tournament is poised for an exciting finish. The four overnight leaders —Abhijit Kunte, Vidith Gujrathi, Oliver Barbosa and Ziaur Rahman — drew their respective games on Tuesday. Joining them with emphatic wins were B. Adhiban, S.P. Sethuraman and M.R. Lalith Babu and Konstantin Landa (of Russia).

With a win in the eighth round over statemate Neelotpal Das, Diptayan Ghosh enhanced his chances for a GM norm, which will materialise if he beats Avetik Grigoryan in the ninth round.

The organisers find themselves in trouble as they are yet to arrange for the prize money of Rs 14 lakh.

“Apart from the prize money, the appearance fee and other expenses have to be arranged for as well. So, the pending amount stretches to nearly Rs 30 lakh. “It’s the first time that we are facing such a crisis. The principal sponsor of the tournament backed out at the last moment, which brought about all problems.

“However, sports minister Madan Mitra, who is also the club president, has assured that things will be sorted out,” tournament director Soumen Majumdar said.