AICF World Cup qualifier: Iniyan joins Gukesh in lead; Ganguly suffers three losses

Iniyan, trained by Chennai-based K. Visweswaran, accounted for fellow-GMs S. L. Narayanan, Vishnu Prasanna besides International Master Soumya Swaminathan and FIDE Master Vatsal Singhania.

P. Iniyan’s four wins on the trot saw him catch up with D. Gukesh in the lead on Friday.   -  Special Arrangement

P. Iniyan’s four wins on the trot saw him catch up with D. Gukesh in the lead after a dramatic third day of the AICF World Cup qualifier on Friday.

Iniyan, trained by Chennai-based K. Visweswaran, accounted for fellow-GMs S. L. Narayanan, Vishnu Prasanna besides International Master Soumya Swaminathan and FIDE Master Vatsal Singhania.

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In-form Gukesh started holding second seed S. P. Sethuraman then pulled off three wins. He scalped top seed B. Adhiban and added M. Vinay Kumar and Rahul Srivatshav to his list of victims.

As things stand, Iniyan and Gukesh lead with 8.5 points from 11 rounds. First-day joint leader Raja Rithvik and Sethuraman share the third spot at 7.5 points, followed by Narayanan at 6.5 points. Six rounds remain.

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If Adhiban could add only 2.5 points from four rounds, much like Sethuraman, Surya Shekhar Ganguly had a forgettable day. After winning all four rounds on Thursday, Ganguly suffered three stunning defeats to Adhiban, M. Vinay Kumar and Srivatshav before signing off with a consolation win over S. Nitin.

As a result, Ganguly kept Adhiban’s company at the sixth spot with six points.

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Sethuraman, following a draw with Gukesh, lost to Rithvik but made amends by beating Saravana Krishna and Deep Sengupta.

Narayanan, one of the four players to receive a bye today, could not recover from the loss to Iniyan. He did beat Soumya Swaminathan but was held by Vishnu Prasanna.

The results:

11th round: Vishnu Prasanna drew with S. L. Narayanan; Surya Shekhar Ganguly bt S. Nitin; D. Gukesh bt Rahul Srivatshav; Krishnan Saravana drew with B. Adhiban; Deep Sengupta lost to S. P. Sethuraman; Vatsal Singhania lost to P. Iniyan; C. R. G. Krishna bt Aditya Mittal; Rithvik Raja bt M. Vinay Kumar; Soumya Swaminathan bye.

10th round: Sethuraman bt Saravana; Adhiban bt Rithvik; Vinay lost to Gukesh; Srivatshav bt Ganguly; Nitin bt Krishna; Aditya bt Singhania; Iniyan bt Prasanna; Narayanan bt Soumya; Deep bye.

Ninth round: Ganguly lost to Vinay; Gukesh bt Adhiban; Rithvik bt Sethuraman; Saravana lost to Deep; Soumya lost to Iniyan; Vishnu bt Aditya; Singhania lost to Nitin; Krishna bt Srivatshav; Narayanan bye.

Eighth round: Adhiban bt Ganguly; Sethuraman drew with Gukesh; Iniyan bt Narayanan; Deep lost to Rithvik; Nitin lost to Prasanna; Aditya bt Soumya; Vinay bt Krishna; Srivashav bt Singhania; Saravana bye.

Standings (after Day Three): 1-2. Gukesh, Iniyan (8.5 points each); 3-4. Rithvik. Sethuraman (7.5 each); 5. Narayanan (6.5); 6-7. Adhiban, Ganguly (6 each), 8-9. Srivatshav, Nitin (5.5 each); 10. Deep (5); 11. Aditya (4.5); 12. Krishna (4); 13. Prasanna (3.5); 14-15. Vinay, Saravana (3 each); 16. Soumya (2.5); 17. Singhania (1).

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