National C'ship: Aravindh plays out a draw, maintains lead

Having missed many promising positions, S. Nitin chose to play it safe and forced a draw through repetition of moves against leader Aravindh Chithambaram in the ninth round of the National chess championship.

Aravindh Chithambaram has a half-point lead over second-placed M. Karthikeyan.   -  Rajeev Bhatt

Having missed many promising positions, S. Nitin chose to play it safe and forced a draw through repetition of moves against leader Aravindh Chithambaram in the ninth round of the National chess championship here.

Following the 26-move encounter, Aravindh stayed ahead with seven points, just a half-a-point from top seed Vidit Gujarathi and defending champion M. Karthikeyan. While Vidit gained a point with a bye, Karthikeyan drew with second seed Adhiban in a marathon lasting 79 moves.

Seasoned Grandmaster Abhijit Kunte produced an endgame lesson for the untitled D. B. Chandra Prasad and scored an impressive victory. Kunte managed to convert his one-pawn advantage into victory in an end game where the players had a bishop and pawns.

In the first game to finish, R. R. Laxman and Tejas Bakre took it easy and drew in 26 moves.

The results:

Ninth round pairings: Aravindh Chithambaram (7) drew with S. Nitin (4.5); M. Karthikeyan (6.5) drew with B. Adhiban (5.5); Abhijit Kunte (5) bt D. B. Chandra Prasad (4); R. R. Laxman (5.5) drew with Tejas Bakre (5.5); S. Ravi Teja (6) bt Abhishek Kelkar (3); Vidit Gujarathi (6.5) and Sriram Jha (2.5) byes.

10th round pairings: Vidit-Laxman; Bakre-Kunte; Prasad-Aravindh; Nitin-Teja; Kelkar-Jha; Adhiban and Karthikeyan byes.