Abhijeet stops Suri to take lead

Abhijeet Gupta broke through the fortress of overnight leader and fellow Grandmaster Vaibhav Suri in 47 moves to wrest the lead after seven rounds of the Commonwealth chess championship on Saturday.

Abhijeet Gupta (left) who defeated Vaibhav Suri to wrest the lead after the seventh round of Commonwealth chess championship in New Delhi on Saturday.   -  Rakesh Rao

Abhijeet Gupta broke through the fortress of overnight leader and fellow Grandmaster Vaibhav Suri in 47 moves to wrest the lead after seven rounds of the Commonwealth chess championship here on Saturday.

With two rounds to go, Abhijeet stayed on course for a hat-trick of title after raising his tally to six points. Six players — Suri, Swapnil Dhopade, Tejas Bakre, Aleksandar Wohl (Australia), Pravin Thipsay and Shardul Gagare — shared the second spot with 5.5 points.

Draws from Board Two to Five also helped Abhijeet’s cause. The next winner was a fortuitous Pravin Thipsay who gained a point when Deepan Chakravarthy lost on time in 70 moves in spite of holding a seemingly better position.

Shardul ended the promising run of Swati Ghate in 38 moves to keep alive hopes of a strong finish. Swati is still part of the leading pack among the ladies at 4.5 points, with Nisha Mohota, P. V. Nandhidhaa, Srija Seshadri, Tania Sachdev, Mary Ann Gomes, Bala Kannamaa and Bhagyashree Thipsay.

The results (seventh round):

Open: Abhijeet Gupta (6) bt Vaibhav Suri (5.5); Swapnil Dhopade (5.5) drew with Tejas Bakre (5.5); Aravindh Chithambaram (5) drew with Aleksandar Wohl (Aus, 5.5); Abhijit Kunte (5) drew with Shyam Nikhil (5); M. S. Thej Kumar (5) drew with Mitrabha Guha (5); Pravin Thipsay (5.5) bt Deepan Chakravarthy (4.5); Shardul Gagare (5.5) drew with Swati Ghate (4.5). G.M.H. Thilakarathne (Sri, 4) lost to Zia-ur- Rahman (Ban, 4); Abdullah Al Rakib Mollah (Ban, 5) bt Bhakti Kulkarni (4).

Ankit Rajpara (4.5) drew with Rajesh Nayak (4.5); Chakravarthy Reddy (5) bt Enamul Hossain (Ban, 4); P. V. Nandhidhaa (4.5) drew with Tania Sachdev (4.5).