With a fourth straight victory, M. R. Venkatesh left erstwhile front-runner Abhijeet Gupta to rue a second successive defeat. The 37-year-old then joined overnight leaders S. P. Sethuraman and Mitrabha Guha at six points after seven rounds of the MPL National Chess Championship here on Tuesday.
Earlier, Sethuraman and Mitrabha drew in just 13 turns after a three-fold repetition of moves.
Fourth-seeded youngster Leon Mendonca returned to winning ways by stopping Kushagra Mohan and became part of the eight-player pack at 5.5 points.
On a day when internet-related connectivity issues disrupted the live coverage of the games, a few higher seeds like Koustav Chatterjee, P. Iniyan and Karthik Venkataraman had no trouble dealing with their opponents.
On the other hand, some lesser-rated players came out undefeated against Grandmasters. Subhayan Kundu proved equal to Deep Sengupta, Sai Vishwesh split the point with M. Shyam Sundar, and the vastly-experienced K. Ratnakaran slowed down Deepan Chakkravarthy’s comeback charge following three victories.