National men's chess championship: Gukesh, Arjun Erigaisi joint leaders with one round left

Tamil Nadu Grandmaster D Gukesh defeated former national champion Abhijeet Gupta of PSPB in the penultimate round on Wednesday to catch up with overnight leader Arjun Erigaisi of Telangana.

Published : Mar 02, 2022 19:23 IST , KANPUR



The title-race of the MPL National chess championship took a thrilling turn when D. Gukesh scored an important victory over Abhijeet Gupta to rejoin Arjun Ergaisi in the lead after the 10th and penultimate round on Wednesday.

Gukesh, the country’s youngest Grandmaster, post a hard-fought 64-move win in a rook-and-pawn endgame to match Arjun’s tally of eight points.

Earlier, on the top board, Arjun drew with P. Iniyan in 41 moves and on the second, two-time defending champion Aravindh Chithambaram split the point in 63 moves with Aryan Chopra.


With seven players - Iniyan, Aravindh, Aryan, S. P. Sethuraman, V. Pranav, N. R. Visakh and Mitrabha Guha -  at 7.5 points, the two leaders cannot afford to take it easy on Thursday.

Gukesh produced the right endgame technique to out-thought Abhijeet in a battle that was fought on an even keel until the 40th move. But over the next 24 moves, it was Gukesh all the way.

The youngster’s advanced queenside-pawn was always going to provide the decisive difference once Abhijeet’s rook ran out of options to chase the black king.

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