Venkatesh remains in charge
Venkatesh had little difficulty in putting it across Kartikeyan in a Scotch defence on the top board to make it 6.5 points, and he was followed by GM Deep Sengupta, IM Swapnil Dhopade, GM G N Gopal and GM Sahaj Grover. National under-25 champion Swapnil of Railways drew with GM Deep Sengupta with the black pieces in 38 moves in a Sicilian defence.
GM G N Gopal made short work of IM S Satyapragyan in a sharp tactical game which arose from the Sicilian defence. GM Sahaj Grover showed his class by shattering G Akash’s kingside with a bishop sacrifice on move 14 in a closed Sicilian.
Results (Round VIII): GM M R Venkatesh (6.5) bt IM P Kartikeyan (5); GM Deep Sengupta (5.5) drew IM Swapnil Dhopade (5.5); GM G N Gopal (5.5) bt IM S Satyapragyan (4.5); GM Abhijit Kunte (5) drew FM Anurag Mhamal (5); GM Sahaj Grover (5.5) drew G Akash (4.5); IM Vidit Gujarathi (5) drew GM S Arun Prasad (5); GM B Adhiban (4.5) drew IM Debashis Das (4.5); GM Dibyendu Barua (4) lt to GM Deepan Chakraborty (5); GM S P Sethuraman (4.5) bt GM S Kidambi (4); Bitan Banerjee (4) drew GM Neelotpal Das (4); GM Praveen Thipsay (4.5) bt FM V A V Rajesh (3.5); FM Aravindh Chithambaram (4) drew FM Diptayan Ghosh (4); IM Swayams Mishra (3.5) drew S L Narayanan (4); M L Abhilash Reddy (3) lt to GM M R Lalith Babu (4); IM Saptarshi Roy (4) bt C R G Krishna (3); Sagar Shah (3.5) bt Pratik Patil (2); IM C Praveen Kumar (3) lt to K Praneeth Surya (4); Suvrajit Saha (3) drew Sashikant Kutwal (3.5); B T Murali Krishnan (3) drew Ram S Krishnan (3); S Ravi Teja (3) drew Murali Kartikeyan (3); WGM Mary Ann Gomes (3.5) bt Sohan Phadke (2); Arindam Mukherjee (3) (bye).