Akash in joint lead

On the top board, Abhilash and Akash played out a 38-move draw while on the third board, Maharashtra’s Sameer outwitted Shashank Benadikar of Belgaum after 78 moves in a rook and pawn ending arising from a Caro-Kann advanced variation.

Andhra Pradesh’s Dee-pthamesh meanwhile, beat out M Harihara Sudan of Tamil Nadu to maintain his good form a take a share of the lead.

Important results (seventh round): ML Abhilash Reddy (AP, 6) drew Akash Pc Iyer (TN, 6); Gopal Ashok Rathod (Mah, 5.5) drew Linda Rangarajan (Pud, 5.5); D Shashank Benadikar (Kar, 5) lt to Sameer Kathmale (Mah, 6); M Deepthamesh Reddy  (AP, 6) bt M Harihara Sudan (TN, 5); LV Shivkumar (AP, 5.5) HG Santoshkashyap (Kar, 5); Ramakrishna Perumalla (AP, 5) drew Rupankar Nath (WB, 5); YG Vijendra  (Kar, 5.5) bt Vasantha Ruba Varman (TN, 4.5); Joy Chauhan (Guj, 5.5) bt A Augustin (Kar, 4.5); V Lakshmi Sandeep Naidu (AP, 5.5) bt Atharva Godbole (Mah, 4.5); Mukund G  Bhatt (Guj, 5.5) Balasubramanian Rajaram (TN, 4.5).

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