Gukesh holds Parligras in Abu Dhabi Masters

Gukesh fought well to stay in hunt for his second Grandmaster norm despite an earlt surprise.

D Gukesh drew against Mircea-Emilian Parligras of Romania in the third round of Abu Dhabi Masters. (REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE)   -  Getty Images

Grandmaster norm holder D Gukesh continued with his impressive run to hold Grandmaster Mircea-Emilian Parligras of Romania to a draw in the third round of Abu Dhabi Masters here.

Not worried about getting in to positions that are new to him, Gukesh was surprised early in the opening and stood a bit worse but fought well to stay in hunt for his second Grandmaster norm.

The opening was a success for the Romanian Grandmaster but as it got going, Gukesh found his counter play and won a pawn. Parligras had to force a draw through repetition.

Highest rated Indian in the fray, Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta made amends for his second round loss at the expense of compatriot Mithil Ajgaonkar.

This was not an easy game for the former world junior champion as Ajgaonkar posed a real challenge and stood better at some point in the game. Abhijeet got his act together thanks to some unforced errors by his opponent.

At the top of the tables, Grandmaster S L Narayanan was outdone by Wang Hao of China in a one sided affair while Aravindh Chandambaram played out a draw with Russian and higher rated Grandmaster Vladimir Fedoseev.

Grandmaster-turned-coach Vishnu Prasanna did well to hold former world championship challenger and the current FIDE President candidate Nigel Short of England to a draw. Vishnu fought well in the middle game to keep the pieces of his fancied rival at bay.

International Master Nihal Sarin suffered a blow for his Grandmaster norm as he went down fighting against Amin Baseem of Egypt. Nihal now needs to strike back quickly in order to have his norm chances back.

Baseem, Wang Hao, Rapport, Martin Kravitsiv of Ukraine, Dubov Daniil of Russia and Daniele Vocaturo of Italy share the lead on three points each. With six rounds still to come, the battle will heat up.

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