S. P. Sethuraman’s title-aspirations suffered a major blow when he dropped 1.5 points on a double-round day in the Rs. 45-lakh Delhi International Open chess tournament here.
Sunday proved an off-day for the top seed. Lucky to escape with a draw in the fifth round against Uzbekistan’s Almas Rakhmatullaev, rated 364 points below, Sethuraman (4.5 points) crashed to a 25-move loss, that too with white pieces, against International Master Viani Antonio D’Cunha in the sixth round.
Second seed Aravindh Chithambaram’s patience paid off against Kirill Stupak as he carved out a 54-move win to join D’Cunha and Neelash Saha in the lead with six points.
Earlier, Saha stunned seventh seed Boris Savchenko in just 27 moves after the 2552-rated Russian committed an early error of judgement.
Another notable winner was teenager Goutham Krishna who shocked Grandmaster G. A. Stany to reach 5.5 points.
Leading results (Indians unless stated):
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