Sagar Shah holds Solodovnichenko, Gupta scores win

Sagar Shah holds Solodovnichenko, Gupta scores win

Sagar Shah holds Solodovnichenko, Gupta scores win

Hunting for an International Master norm, Sagar Shah played a solid game to hold Grandmaster Yuri Solodovnichenko of Ukraine while former Junior World champion Abhijeet Gupta recovered to score his first victory in the second round of Grand Europe Albena chess tournament here.

After an eventful draw in the first round Gupta made some recovery of sorts at the expense of Bulgarian veteran Metodi Stoinev and inched himself up to 1.5 points from his two games.

It turned out to be another good day for three Indian Grandmasters-in-waiting as they all scored needful victories over lower ranked opponents.

Vishnu Prasanna who made his third and final Grandmaster norm recently did not face many troubles and accounted for talented Indonesian girl Irine Kharisma Sukandar and Ashwin Jayaram outwitted Mario Vutov of Bulgaria.

Turkish Yildiz Cavusoglu found a strong opponent in Anurag Mahamal while Swapnil Dhopade warded off the challenge of Dimitar Marholev. On the flip side from Indian perspective, N Raghavi who had scored a minor upset in the first round while holding Ivaljo Enchev to a draw, lost to Olga Dolzhikova of Norway.

With seven rounds still to come in the 30000 Euros prize money tournament, as many as 27 players share the lead with a perfect score. Abhijeet Gupta and Sagar Shah are amongst those who have 1.5 points while Raghavi remained on just a half point from her two outings.

It was an English opening by Sagar Shah that met with some original treatment from Solodovnichenko, winner of some International tournaments.

The Ukrainian showed his prowess in the early part of the game gaining the initiative in the center and Sagar Shah recovered just in time to exchange some pieces to easy off the pressure.

Down a pawn, Shah had to put in precise defense and he did not falter to reach a drawn endgame with Rooks and Bishops of opposite colours. The peace was signed in 33 moves.

Important and Indian results round 2 (Indians unless stated): Sergey Shurygin (Rus, 1) lost to Constantin Lupulescu (Rou, 2); Vadim Skomorokhin (Rus, 1) lost to Hrant Melkumyan (Arm, 2): Tiberiu-Marian Georgescu (Rou, 2) beat Avetik Grigoryan (Arm, 1); David Paravyan (Rus, 2) beat Dragan Solak (Tur, 1); Vladislav Nevednichy (Rou, 2) beat Iveri Chighladze (Geo, 1); Sagar Shah (1.5) drew with Yuri Solodovnichenko (Ukr, 1.5); V Vishnu Prasanna (2) beat Irine Kharisma Sukandar (Ina, 1); Ashwin Jayaram (2) beat Mario Vutov (Bul, 1); Dimitar Marholev (Bul, 1) lost to Swapnil S. Dhopade (2); Yildiz Cavusoglu  (Tur, 1) lost to Anurag Mhamal (2); Abhijeet Gupta (1.5) beat Metodi Stoinev (Bul, 0.5); Olga Dolzhikova (Nor, 1.5) beat N Raghavi (0.5). PTI Cor AT AT 06031315