The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Ramesh assured of 3rd GM norm
- Harikrishna joins leading pack after defeating Surya Sekhar

New Delhi: R. B. Ramesh was assured of his third and final Grandmaster norm when he played a “lightning” quick draw against Russian GM Alexander Fominyh in the ninth round of the Parsvnath international chess tournament here.

Ramesh, who accepted a draw after just five moves, will get his final norm Thursday when he plays GM Jonathan Rowson of Scotland.

As per the rules, Ramesh needs to play at least one foreign titled-player in the remaining rounds to make the cut. But the Chennai-based player, with a rating of 2466, will have to wait for the title as he needs to take his rating to 2500 in order to become the tenth GM of the country.

Meanwhile, P. Harikrishna joined overnight leaders Ramesh and Alexander Fominyh on 7.5 points after defeating GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly in 30 moves.

Opting for Queen’s Gambit, Harikrishna got an advantage over Surya by the 24th move and made his opponent surrender six moves later playing the correct continuations.

With just two rounds to go, the race for the title is getting hotter as ten players including top seed GM Dmitry Svetushkin of Moldova, Rowson and IM Lanka Ravi, trail the leading trio by just half a point.

Meanwhile, Asian women’s champion GM Koneru Humpy’s wretched form continued as she went down to Manthan Chokshi in 32 moves.

This is the fourth defeat for the Andhra girl, who came into the championship as a favourite after winning the Saharanpur leg of the circuit last week.

In other top board games, Svetushkin drew with Neelotpal Das in 62 moves while Rowson defeated Rahul Shetty. Rahir Vakhidov of Uzbekistan got the better of Prathamesh Mokal.

In other matches, Deep Sengupta (7) beat Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury (6) while Sayantan Dutta (6) drew with Abhijit Kunte (6).

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