Negi drops to 10th spot; Ravichandran earns IM norm

Playing with black, Itturizaga found a hole in Negi's analysis in the late stages of the middle game and his strike on the queen side to rip apart the Indian's king position came just in time. The players reached a queen and pawns endgame soon after wherein Itturizaga's extra pawns were unstoppable.

However, in a another game, Ravichandran justified his rocking start with a finely crafted victory over Grabinsky from the black pieces.The young Indian had won his first three games against Grandmaster opposition and then lost the next three. A victory in this round has ensured Ravichandran an IM norm even in the case of an eventuality in the next round.

The loss saw Negi slip to joint 15th position with 5.5 points and victory in the last round would only propel him to a top ten finish in the USD 45,000 tournament.With the win over Negi, Itturizaga shot into the joint lead on 6.5 points along with Viorel Iordachescu of Moldova and Tornike Sanikidze of Georgia.

As many as 11 players share the fourth spot on six points which includes India's Ramnath Bhuvanesh, who defeated compatriot Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta.It was, however, a bad day for the Indians in contention as M R Lalith Babu was outdone by Levan Pantsulaia of Georgia and S Satyapragyan found his nemesis in Armenian Tigran Petrosian.

Former world junior girls' champion D Harika also went down to David Shengalia of Austria and so did Eesha Karavade against Spanish Grandmaster Lopez Martinez Josep Manuel.

On the brighter side, the victory for Bhuvanesh has improved his chances of an International Master norm in the tournament. The teenager is now a draw away from achieving the feat.

Results after Round 8 (Indians unless specified): Tornike Sanikidze (GEO, 6.5) drew with Viorel Iordachescu (MDA, 6.5); Eltaj Safarli (AZE, 6) drew with Vladimir Baklan (UKR, 6); Parimarjan Negi (5.5) lost to Eduardo Iturrizaga (VEN, 6.5); Sergey Volkov (RUS, 6) drew with Ghaem Maghami Ehsan (IRI, 6); M R Lalith Babu (5) lost to Levan Pantsulaia (GEO, 6); Abhijeet Gupta (5) lost to Ramnath Bhuvanesh (6); Tamaz Gelashvili (GEO, 5) drew with R R Laxman (5); Tigran Petrosian (ARM, 5.5) beat S Satyapragyan (4.5); David Shengelia (AYT, 5.5) beat D Harika (4.5); Nurlan Ibrayev (5) drew with S Arun Prasad (5); Lopez Martinez Josep Manuel (ESP, 5.5) beat Eesha Karavade (4.5); Evgeny Sharapov (UKR, 5) drew with S Meenakshi (5); Harutjunyan Gevorg (ARM, 5) beat Vinod Bhagwat (4); Abhishek Kelkar (4.5) drew with Sopiko Khukhashvili (GEO, 4.5); Hejazipour Mitra (IRI, 4) lost to M Shyam Sundar (5); Tabada Jobannie (5) beat Padmini Rout (4); M R Venkatesh (4.5) beat Irina Berezina (AUS, 3.5); Saeed Ishaq (UAE, 3.5) lost to Sahaj Grover (4.5); Vladimir Grabinsky (UKR, 3.5) lost to Tejas Ravichandran (4.5); Shiven Khosla (4) drew with Karma Pandya (4); P I Johny (3.5) lost to El Arousy Abdul Hameed (EGY, 4.5); Nino Maisuradze (FRA, 4.5) beat K Sudharsan Surya (3.5); Chinmay Kulkarni (4) w/o Saleh Nora Mohd (UAE, 3.5); Antonio Viani D'cunha (3.5) drew with Shabanov Nurlan Mammad Oglu (AZE, 3.5); M Vigram (3) lost to Antonio Molina (PHI, 4); Ayyad Husain (BRN, 3.5) beat Manjunath Jain (2.5); Salem Amna (UAE, 1.5) w/o N Madhuri (2.5); Abdulaziz Abdulla (UAE, 2.5) beat M Priadarshni (1.5).

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