Commonwealth Chess Championship: Four share lead; Suri, Nitin lose

After a day of exciting battles in the eighth round, the victorious quartet of Debashis Das, P. Karthikeyan, National champion M. R. Lalit Babu and G. Akash emerged as the new leaders at 6.5 points, followed by nine players at six points.

The day’s biggest upset came on the top board, where second seed Vaibhav Suri lost to Debashis (above) in 70 moves after Nitin was handed out a 37-move defeat by P. Karthikeyan.   -  Special Arrangement

With overnight leaders, Vaibhav Suri and S. Nitin, suffering defeats and 16 out of the top 17 boards producing decisive verdicts in the penultimate round, the Commonwealth Chess championship is set to an exciting finish.

After a day of exciting battles in the eighth round, the victorious quartet of Debashis Das, P. Karthikeyan, National champion M. R. Lalit Babu and G. Akash emerged as the new leaders at 6.5 points, followed by nine players at six points.

Even the title race in the women section promised a close finish with Nisha Mohota and P. V. Nandhidhaa ahead at 5.5 points, with Tania Sachdev, Vantika Agarwal, M. Mahalakshmi, Arpita Mukherjee and Kiran Manisha Mohanty hopeful at five points.

READ: Victorious Nitin joins Vaibhav in lead

The day’s biggest upset came on the top board, where second seed Vaibhav Suri lost to Debashis in 70 moves after Nitin was handed out a 37-move defeat by P. Karthikeyan.

Babu joined the leaders by stopping Sankalp Gupta in 55 moves, while former National champion G. Akash got the better of Mohammad Nubairshah Shaikh in 47 moves.

The results:

Eighth round: Vaibhav Suri (6) lost to Debashis Das (6.5); P. Karthikeyan (6.5) bt S. Nitin (6); Sankalp Gupta (5.5) lost to M. R. Lalit Babu (6.5); Mohammad Nubairshah Shaikh (5.5) lost to G. Akash (6.5); Tania Sachdev (5) lost to Deep Sengupta (6); Koustav Chatterjee (5) lost to Deepan Chakkravarthy (6); V. Prasanna (6) bt Pravin Thipsay (5); Suyog Wagh (5.5) drew with Swapnil Dhopade (5.5); Abhijit Kunte (6) bt Siva Mahadevan (5); Kushagra Mohan (5) lost to V. Karthik (6); N. R. Visakh (6) bt Niranjan Navalgund (5); S. Kidambi (6) bt M. Mahalakshmi (5).

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