Magesh continues winning ways

Takes sole lead after beating IM Kirill Kuderinov.

Grandmaster P Magesh Chandran continued with his winning ways and outplayed International Master Kirill Kuderinov of Kazakhstan to emerge as sole leader after the fifth round in the 11th Parsvnath International chess festival in Delhi on Tuesday.

After accounting for second seed Aleksej Alexandrov of Belarus in the previous round, it was another excellent result for Chandran who played some high quality chess to remain at the top of the tournament with 4.5 points.

Grandmaster M R Lalith Babu survived some anxious moments in the endgame against Lu Shanglei of China before splitting the points. Shanglei, Babu, Vaibhav Suri, Ankit Rajpara and Anup Deshmukh share the second spot jointly on four points each in the Rs 1.1 million prize-money championship.

In the biggest upset of the day, IM Anup Deshmukh defeated Grandmaster Sahaj Grover. In full swing here, Deshmukh, formerly a member of the Indian team, played a fine attacking game to outwit Grover from a French defense game. In another upset, Ankit Rajpara came good against Grandmaster-in-waiting M Shyam Sundar. It was a long drawn endgame with an extra pawn for Rajpara who did not falter and converted it into a full point after fighting for over 80 moves.

Top seed Abhijeet Gupta was yet again held to a draw. IM Ashwin Jayaram played the white side of a French defense and gave no chances whatsoever to the highest rated player in the tournament. With just three decisive games out of the top ten boards, the tournament is turning out to be tough for the fancied players too. Alexandrov could not quite recover from the loss yesterday and was again held to a draw by Saptarshi Roy.

Amongst the youngsters, Murali Karthikeyan and S L Narayanan stayed in the hunt for their respective norms after drawing with GMs B Adhiban and Abhijeet Kunte respectively. The other talent, Arvindh Chithambaram, however, will need to win some games now after he lost to V Vishnu Prasanna in the fifth round.

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