Delhi International Chess: Mosadeghpour takes the lead

With two rounds to go, Masoud Mosadeghpour leads with seven points, half-point ahead of the overnight joint-leaders Debashis Das and Diptayan Ghosh.

A focused Masoud Mosadeghpour during the Delhi International Open chess tournament in New Delhi on Monday.   -  DAVID LLADA

Masoud Mosadeghpour won far more easily than expected to take the lead in the ongoing Delhi International Open chess tournament.

But the title-race became more interesting than before with the trio of Abhijeet Gupta, S. L. Narayanan and N. R. Visakh posting timely victories to be among the seven players in the second spot after eight rounds.

With two rounds to go, Masoud leads with seven points, half-point ahead of the overnight joint-leaders Debashis Das and Diptayan Ghosh, besides Abhijeet, Narayanan, Visakh, Levan Pantsulaia (Georgia) and Kirill Stupak (Belarus).

After Das and Ghosh agreed for a quick draw on the top board, Mosadeghpour was involved in a battle of equals against Tran Tuan Minh.

READ: Delhi International Chess: Diptayan Ghosh trumps Ziaur Rahman

Well into the middle-game, the in-form Vietnamese suddenly lost his way. He shot himself in the foot by making moves of sub-optimal strength and resigned in just 32 moves after being down a bishop.

Stupak, the other joint-leader found the going tough against young GM-elect E. Arjun and split the point in 78 moves.

Even as the 12-year-old D. Gukesh became the third Indian to hold top seed Farrukh Amonatov in the past week, Abhijeet carved out an impressive 50-move win over Sayantan Das.

Narayanan worked his way to an important 68-move triumph over Girish Koushik after Visakh gained from a series of rash moves by Deepan Chakkravarthy, leading to an expedited result in 34 moves.

Eighth round results (Indians unless stated):

Diptayan Ghosh (6.5) drew with Debashis Das (6.5); Masoud Mosadeghpour (Iri, 7) bt Tran Tuan Minh (Vie, 6); Kirill Stupak (Blr, 6.5) drew with E. Arjun (6); Farrukh Amonatov (6) drew with D. Gukesh (6); Levan Pantsulaia (Geo, 6.5) bt Harsha Bharathakoti (5.5); Karen Movsziszian (Arm, 6) drew with Ivan Popov (Rus, 6); Luka Paichadze (Geo, 5.5) drew with N. R. Vignesh (6); Abhijeet Gupta (6.5) bt Sayantan Das (5.5); S.L. Narayanan (6.5) bt Girish Koushik (5.5); N. R. Visakh (6.5) bt Deepan Chakkravarthy (5.5); Marat Dzhumaev (Uzb, 6) drew with Ehsan Ghaem Maghami (Iri, 6); Ivan Rozum (Rus, 5.5) drew with Dinesh Sharma (6)

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