Negi slips to joint second

Maletin thus took the sole lead with eight points while Negi along with Russian Dmitry Bocharov, who beat Uzbek Grandmaster Saidali Iuldachev, are trailing the leader by half a point in the Rs eight lakh prize money championship.

Playing with white pieces in Slav Defence, Maletin produced great attacking moves towards the end to inflict a 43-move defeat on the Indian rival. The young Negi’s prepared line in Slav Defence went haywire on the 24th move, a point from where the Russian kept getting stronger.

Mumbai youngster Prasanna Rao held Asian Chess Championship bronze medalist Grandmaster Abhijit Gupta to a creditable draw.

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