GM Abhijeet marches on

GM Abhijeet marches on

 In his toughest challenge as yet, top seed and former champion Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta came out unscathed and continued his winning march in the sixth round of the Commonwealth Chess Championship here on Saturday.

Drawn black and playing against Grandmaster Lalith Babu MR, who was just 0.5 points behind Gupta before the start of the day, the former champion held his nerves and took the match after fifty four moves and consolidated his lead at the top.

"I opened with the grunfeld defence and got the central pawn. He had the chance to equalise but crumbled under time pressure," said Gupta after the game that had stretched upwards of four hours.

Meanhwile, Lalith Babu MR conceded that he started the game on a bad note and after that, with time not on his side, it was an uphill battle to make a comeback.

With three more rounds to go, Gupta's one point lead over the rest of the pack is an advantage he downplayed his position and said that he needs to be focused to secure the title.

In other results, Delhiite Sahaj Grover drew against Arghyadip Das. Both now have five points. Also, Himanshu Sharma settled for a draw against Bangladesh's Ziaur Rahman while defending champion Deep Sengupta won against Ankit R Rajpara. Sengupta trails Abhijeet Gupta by 0.5 point.

Others in the title contention include Grandmaster Abhijit Kunte who beat South African Van Der Nat Nicholas. Grandmaster Deepan Chakkravarthy beat Sardana Rishi. Both Kunte and Chakkravarthy have 5 points each.

Woman Grandmaster Tania Sachdev's mercurial run at the championship continued after she won her sixth round match against Ankitha Goud Palle. With three wins, one draw and two loses, she has 3.5 points on the table.

Results: Round-6 (Indians otherwise stated): Lalith Babu MR (4.5) lt to Abhijit Gupta (6); Ankit R Rajpara (4.5) lt to Deep Sengupta (5.5);  Sahaj Grover (5) drew Arghyadip Das (5); Himanshu Sharma (5) drew Ziaur Rahman (BAN) (5); S Nitin (4.5) drew Aravindh Chithambaram VR (4.5); Murali Karthikeyan (4) lt to CRG Krishna (5); J Deepan Chakkravarthy (5) bt Rishi Sardana (4); Van Der Nat Nicholas (RSA) (4) lt to Abhijit Kunte (5); Niaz Murshed (BAN) (4) lt to G Akash (5); Sriram Jha (5) bt Shailesh Dravid (4); Saurah Anand (4) lt to Vigesh NR (5); Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury (4.5) bt Nandhidhaa PV (3.5).

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