Safarli holds Sasikiran

Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran was held to an easy draw by Eltaj Safarli of Azerbaijan in the seventh round of the ‘A’ group of the Aeroflot international open chess tournament here.

Sasikiran took his tally to four points after the draw and will need a good finish now in order to save important rating points. Vidit Gujrathi kept himself in contention for his final Grandmaster norm by settling for a quick and easy draw with Ivan Salgado Lopez of Spain.

Having played higher opposition here, Gujrathi can make the norm if he scores one point in the last two games but for that, he will have to face similar opposition.

Meanwhile, at the top, Anton Korobov of Ukraine finally met his nemesis in Pavel Eljanov of Ukraine, who now shares the lead with Mateusz Bartel of Poland on 5.5 points.

Incidentally, these two ended Indian aspirations for a podium finish, defeating Abhijeet Gupta and Sasikiran in the previous round.Amongst other Indians in the fray in the seventh round, SP Sethuraman played out a draw with Abhijeet while B Adhiban achieved the same result against Alexander Ipatov of Russia.

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