Abu Dhabi Masters:Three Indians share sixth spot

Abhimanyu Puranik, Aryan Chopra and N. R. Vignesh were among those sharing the sixth spot with five points after seven rounds.

Dronavalli Harika beat Aydin Suleymanli in the seventh round of Abu Dhabi Masters.

Abhimanyu Puranik, Aryan Chopra and N. R. Vignesh were among those sharing the sixth spot with five points after seven rounds of the Abu Dhabi Masters chess tournament here on Sunday.

On a day when UAE’s Salem Saleh joined overnight leader Egypt’s Amin Baseem in the lead with six points, Shardul Gagare slipped after a loss to top seed Nigel Short.

It was a better day for some of the stronger Indians in the fray. Abhijeet Gupta, after suffering three losses in the last four rounds, won to reach 3.5 points. Though S. P. Sethuraman suffered his second successive loss, National champion M. Karthikeyan, D. Harika, Aryan Chopra, Puranik, Sarin and Vignesh emerged victorious.

On the lower boards, Tania Sachdev maintained her sequence of winning the odd-numbered rounds to reach four points. Significantly, Vantika Agrawal stunned Eesha Karavade, who suffered her second straight loss.

Another youngster Al Muthaiah, rated 2292, continued to impress as he reached 4.5 points following a second straight victory and stretched his unbeaten run to six rounds, like International Master Rahul Sangma.

Important results (involving Indians):

Seventh round: Nigel Short (Eng, 5.5) bt Shardul Gagare (4.5); Tsegmed Batchuluun (Mgl, 5) bt S. P. Sethuraman (4); Parham Maghsoodloo (Iri, 4) lost to Aryan Chopra (5); Aleksandar Indjic (Srb, 4) lost to Abhimanyu Puranik (5); Rahul Sangma (4.5) drew with Ivan Rozum (Rus, 4.5); Bogdan-Daniel Deac (Rom, 4) lost to N. R. Vignesh (5); Dennis Wagner (Ger, 4.5) bt Neelotpal Das (3.5); D. Harika (4.5) bt Aydin Suleymanli (Aze, 3.5); Ahmad Asgarizadeh (Iri, 3.5) lost to Nihal Sarin (4.5); Nguyen Anh Khoi (Vie, 3.5) lost to Al Muthaiah (4.5); Sohan Phadke (3.5) lost to M. Karthikeyen (4); Vantika Agrawal (4) bt Eesha Karavade (3); Tania Sachdev (4) bt Hari Madhavan (3); M. Mahalakshmi (3) lost to Rishi Sardana (Aus, 4); Abhijeet Gupta (3.5) bt Mithil Ajgaonkar (2.5); Kumar Gaurav (3.5) bt Morteza Mahjoob Zardast (Iri, 2.5).