AICF World Cup Qualifier: Ganguly joins Gukesh in lead after four wins

Strung by the shock loss to Gukesh on Wednesday, Ganguly resurrected his campaign for a World Cup berth by beating joint overnight leader Raja Rithvik, Krishnan Saravana, Grandmasters Deep Sengupta and S. P. Sethuraman.

Surya Shekhar Ganguly served a timely reminder of his skills in rapid chess by winning all four rounds on Thursday.   -  THE HINDU

Surya Shekhar Ganguly served a timely reminder of his skills in rapid chess by winning all four rounds on Thursday to share the lead at five points with D. Gukesh after seven rounds of AICF World Cup qualifier chess tournament on Thursday.

Strung by the shock loss to Gukesh on Wednesday, Ganguly resurrected his campaign for a World Cup berth by beating joint overnight leader Raja Rithvik, Krishnan Saravana, Grandmasters Deep Sengupta and S. P. Sethuraman.

Sethuraman had his chances to win or even draw against Ganguly. But the veteran player side-stepped the drawing continuation, sacrificed a rook for a minor piece and went on to win by forcing Sethuraman to trade a rook for the ‘queening’ pawn.

Like Ganguly on Wednesday, Gukesh received a bye on Thursday and raised his tally off draws against Rithvik and Deep and in between defeated Saravana.

Though Sethuraman and S. L. Narayanan are also at five points, they have played a round more than Ganguly and Gukesh. Rithvik and Iniyan share the fifth spot at 4.5 points.

Even as three of the top four seeds were back in the hunt in the 17-round contest, top seed B. Adhiban continued to struggle.

Adhiban started Thursday’s four-round schedule with a win over Soumya Swaminathan but lost the next to fellow Grandmaster Vishnu Prasanna who had lost all four previous rounds. Adhiban did win the next against lowly Rahul Vatsal but drew against C. R. G. Krishna to share the 8th spot with two others.

The results:

Seventh round: C. R. G. Krishna lost to B.Adhiban; Surya Shekhar Ganguly bt S. P. Sethuraman; D. Gukesh drew with Deep Sengupta; Raja Rithvik bt Krishnan Saravana; S. L. Narayanan bt Aditya Mittal; Soumya Swaminathan lost to S. Nitin; Vishnu Prasanna lost to Rahul Srivatshav; Vatsal Singhania bt M. Vinay Kumar; P. Iniyan bye.

Sixth round: Saravana lost to Gukesh; Deep lost to Ganguly; Sethuraman bt Krishna; Adhiban bt Singhania; Vinay bt Prasanna; Srivatshav lost to Soumya; Nitin drew with Narayanan; Mittal lost to Iniyan; Rithvik bye

Fifth round: Narayanan drew with Srivatshav; Soumya bt Vinay; Prasanna bt Adhiban; Singhania lost to Sethuraman; Iniyan bt Nitin; Krishna drew with Deep; Ganguly bt Saravana; Gukesh drew with Rithvik;  Aditya
bye.

Fourth round: Rithvik lost to Ganguly; Saravana lost to Krishna; Deep bt Singhania; Sethuraman bt Prasanna; Adhiban bt Soumya; Vinay lost to Narayanan; Srivatshav bt Iniyan; Nitin bt Aditya; Gukesh bye.

Standings (after Day Two): 1-4. Ganguly, Gukesh, Narayanan, Sethuraman (5 points each), 5-6. Iniyan, Rithvik (4.5 each), 7. Deep (4), 8-10. Srivatshav, Nitin, Adhiban (3.5 each), 11-13. Aditya, Soumya, Saravana (2.5 each), 14. Krishna (2), 15-17. Prasanna, Singhania and Vinay. (1 each).

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