Karthikeyan, Naiditsch join Rahman in lead; Amonatov, Abhijeet, Lalit lose

M. R. Lalit Babu's loss was the upset of the day, his victorious opponent inflicting another major defeat.

Bangladesh GM Ziaur Rahman who shares the lead with two others after six rounds.

Riding their luck to the hilt, overnight leader Ziaur Rahman and top seed Arkadij Naiditsch shared the lead with a fighting M. Karthikeyan after an eventful double-round day in the Delhi International Open chess tournament here on Friday.

The leading trio was at 5.5 points after six rounds. Four more rounds remain. Rahman’s five-win sequence was snapped after his top-board draw with Deep Sengupta in the sixth round. Naiditsch tamed local GM Vaibhav Suri to rightfully share the lead. Karthikeyan, a two-time former National champion, scored over Arjun Erigaisi and Himal Gusain to be among the leaders.

Read: Ziaur Rahman takes surprise lead

Before some sanity returned in the sixth round, the morning round saw a series of sensational results.

Rahman gained from a one-move blunder from defending champion Farrukh Amonatov, who overlooked the loss of a bishop. At the adjacent table, Naiditsch was staring at defeat after 31 moves against Deepan
Chakkravarthy. But the Indian Grandmaster dramatically lost his way and allowed the Azerbaijani to turn the tables in the next 10 moves.

Abhijeet Gupta, seeded three, crashed to his first defeat after running into far lower-rated Gusain. The former champion is sure to rue the decision to decline the draw-offer from Gusain, who enjoyed a better position. A desperate Abhijeet pressed for victory where none appeared evident and lost in 57 moves.

National champion M. R. Lalit Babu, too, suffered a loss at the hands of Ankit Gajwa, who went on to beat Hungarian Grandmaster Adam Howarth.

Meanwhile, Bengal’s Subhra Saha won the ‘B’ category title with a tally of nine points from 10 rounds. Rated 1727, Saha collected the first prize of Rs. 2,51,000 in the 783-player field.

Important results:

Sixth round: Ziaur Rahman (Ban, 5.5) drew with Deep Sengupta (5);
Arkadij Naiditsch (Aze, 5.5) bt Vaibhav Suri (4.5); M. Karthikeyan
(5.5) bt Himal Gusain (4.5); Alberto David (5) drew with Akash Iyer
(5); Timur Gareyev (USA, 4.5) drew with Mohammad Nubairshah Shaikh
(5); Ivan Rozum (5) bt Arjun Kalyan (4); Sergei Tiviakov (Ned, 5) bt
Sammed Shete (4); Vitaly Sivuk (Ukr, 5) bt Saravana Krishnan (4);
Rishi Sardana (Aus, 4) lost to Tran Tuan Minh (Vie, 5) Mary Ann Gomes
(4,5) drew with Roeland Pruijssers (Ned, 4.5); Adam Horvath (Hun, 4)
lost to Ankit Gajwa (5); Abhijeet Gupta (4) drew with K. Ratnakaran
(4).
Fifth round: Farrukh Amonatov (Tjk) lost to Ziaur Rahman (Ban); Deepan
Chakkravarthy lost to Arkadij Naiditsch (Aze); Himal Gusain bt
Abhijeet Gupta; Deep Sengupta bt Javokhir Sindarov (Uzb); Arjun Kalyan
drew with Sergei Tiviakov (Ned); M. Karthikeyan bt Arjun Erigaisi;
Akash Iyer bt Yuri Solodovnichenko (Ukr); Adam Tukhaev (Ukr) lost to
Mohammad Nubairshah Shaikh; David Alberto bt Koustav Chatterjee;
Vaibhav Suri bt Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury.