Saturday saw overnight leader Abhijeet Gupta managed to hold Swapnil Dhopade in a tedious match that helped him to move up to 6.5 points with second and third seeded S. L. Narayanan and third seed Aravindh Chithambaram. The seeded duo also won their respective games to set up a thrilling finale.
The eighth and the second last round of the Commonwealth chess championship couldn’t have ended in a more thrilling manner as it left three leaders an exciting finale. However, the match of the day was Gupta’s that lasted a whopping five hours and 144-move before both the players decided to call in a draw.
Their last 50 moves hadn’t had single pawn moves and consequently, Gupta got points for his persistence as he joined second-seeded Narayanan and third seed Chithambaram on the top of the table.
In other games, Narayanan defeated Deepan Chakkravarthy in 60 moves while Aravindh checkmated former champion M. R. Lalit Babu in 44 moves, which was quite a well-calculated finishing touch. The final round would see Narayanan playing white against Aravindh as Gupta would take on Arjun Erigaisi, who has been on six points after beating Debashis Das.
The women’s title would see Divya Deshmukh, R. Vaishali (5.5 each), defending champion Tania Sachdev and V. Varshini (5 each) still in the title-hunt. Sunday would see Lalit Babu playing Divya, Vaishali meeting Abhijit Kunte, and Varshini facing Tania.
Eighth round: Swapnil Dhopade (6) drew with Abhijeet Gupta (6.5); Deepan Chakkraborty (5.5) lost to S. L. Narayanan (6.5); Aravindh Chithambaram (6.5) bt M. R. Lalit Babu (5.5); Arjun Erigaisi (6) bt Debashis Das (5.5); Tania Sachdev (5) lost to P. Iniyan (5); Swayams Mishra (5) drew with P. Karthikeyan (5); C. R. G. Krishna (5) drew with Suyog Wagh (5); Abhijit Kunte (5.5) bt M. Mahalakshmi (4.5); Niranjan Navalgund (5.5) bt R. R. Laxman (4.5); Divya Deshmukh (5.5) bt Aaryan Varshney (4.5); P. Saravana Krishna (5.5) bt S. Nitin (4.5); Shantanu Bhambure (5.5) bt Bhakti Kulkarni (4.5); Sanskriti Goyal (4.5) lost to R. Vaishali (5.5).
Cricket FootBall Kabaddi