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Two share lead after Round IX

Vidith Gujrathi

Calcutta: Oliver Barbosa of the Philippines and Vidith Santosh Gujrathi broke away from the pack to lead the table with seven points each, after the ninth round of the 6th Kolkata Open International GM Chess tournament, here on Wednesday.

Four others share the second spot with 6.5 points in the meet organised by the Alekhine Chess Club at Gorky Sadan.

Barbosa and Konstantin played the Tarrasch game, in which Konstantin went for a queen exchange as early as on the seventh move. But Barbosa did not allow him to castle and his outside passer pawn on the a-file helped to get the verdict in his favour.

SP Sethuraman and Gujrathi fought fiercely in a Caro-Kann Defence, adopted by the latter. Gujrathi gained a valuable pawn on the 42nd move after several exchanges. In an equal ending, Gujrathi demonstrated that the knight is a better piece than the bishop, when all the pawns are on the same side. With a win in the longest game of the tournament extending to 98 moves, Gujrathi surged ahead.

Levan Pantsulaia of Georgia played the Reti Opening against J Deepan Chakravarthy. He overlooked a simple move, resulting in the loss of exchange on the 26th move. Pantsulaia resigned, when he was about to lose his rook.

Chances of getting a GM norm vanished for Diptayan Ghosh, as he lost to Avetik Grigoryan of Armenia in a symmetrical English opening.

GM Deep Sengupta could not make out a win using his extra pawns in the end game against top seed Nigel Short of England.

CRG Krishna, M. Kunal and Abhishek Kelkar all earned IM norms in this meet.