Commonwealth Chess C'ship: Laxman holds Abhijeet; Debashis shares lead

Abhijeet, leader after four successive victories, settled for a 49-move deadlock and ended the day sharing the lead with sixth seed Debashis Das at 4.5 points.

Abhijeet Gupta's unbeaten run came to an end against R. R. Laxman on Wednesday. (File Photo)   -  SHANKER CHAKRAVARTY

R. R. Laxman managed to end the winning run of Abhijeet Gupta by forcing a draw following perpetual checks in a wild fifth-round encounter in the Commonwealth chess championship here on Wednesday.

Abhijeet, leader after four successive victories, settled for a 49-move deadlock and ended the day sharing the lead with sixth seed Debashis Das at 4.5 points.

Debashis outwitted K. Saravana Krishna in 60 moves. After eight of the top 10 boards witnessed decisive battles, nine players trailed the leaders by half-a-point.

Among them, National women champion Bhakti Kulkarni pulled off the biggest surprise by beating Grandmaster in-waiting Swayams Mishra in 76 moves. Seventh seeded youngster Arjun Erigaisi made his presence felt by getting the better of veteran Pravin Thipsay, that too, with black pieces in 48 moves.

National champion Aravindh Chithambaram bounced back by beating Tania Sachdev, the reigning women champion, in 62 moves. It was Aravindh’s timely trading of rook for Tania’s bishop that hastened the end.

Similarly, second seed S. L. Narayanan scored his fourth win at the expense of an overly passive Divya Deshmukh, the highest-rated female player.

 

The results

Fifth round:

R. R. Laxman (4) drew with Abhijeet Gupta (4.5);

Debashis Das (4.5) bt P. Saravana Krishna (3.5);

S. L. Narayanan (4) bt Divya Deshmukh (3);

Aravindh Chithambaram (4) bt Tania Sachdev (3);

M. R. Lalit Babu (4) v K. Ratnakaran (3);

P. Shyaamnikhil (3.5) drew with Deepan Chakravarthy (3.5);

Pravin Thipsay (3) lost to Arjun Erigaisi (4);

Swayams Mishra (3) lost to Bhakti Kulkarni (4);

Swapnil Dhopade (4) bt Niranjan Navalgund (3);

S. Nitin (4) bt C. R. G. Krishna (3);

Abhijit Kunte (3.5) drew with Shantanu Bhambure (3.5);

Suyog Wagh (3.5) drew with M. S. Thej Kumar (3.5);

Ajay Karthikeyan (4) bt Jubin Jimmy (2.5).