Grandmaster Magesh Chandran Panchanathan continued with his winning ways and outplayed International Master Kirill Kuderinov of Kazakhstan to emerge as sole leader on 4.5 points after the end of the fifth round of the premier section of 11th Parsvnath International Chess Festival in progress here.
After accounting for second seed Aleksej Aleksandrov of Belarus in the previous round it was another excellent result for Chandran who played some high quality chess to remain at the top at the half way stage of this 1.1 million rupees prize money tournament.
Grandmaster M R Lalith Babu salvaged some anxious moments in the endgame against Lu Shanglei of China before he could split the point. Shanglei, Babu, Vaibhav Suri, Ankit Rajpara and Anup Deshmukh share the second spot jointly on four points each.
In another upset result, Ankit Rajpara came good against Grandmaster-in-waiting M Shyam Sundar. It was a long drawn endgame with an extra pawn for Rajpara who did not falter and converted it in to a full point after fighting for over 80 moves.
Top seed Abhijeet Gupta was yet again held a draw in the tournament. International Master Ashwin Jayaram played the white side of a French defense and gave no chances whatsoever to the highest rated player in the tournament.
With just three decisive games out of the top ten boards the tournament is turning out to be tough for the fancied players too. Aleksandrov could not quite recover from the loss yesterday and was again held to a draw by Saptarshi Roy.
Amongst the youngsters, Murali Karthikeyan and S L Narayanan stayed in the hunt for their respective norms after drawing with Grandmasters B Adhiban and Abhijeet Kunte respectively. The other talent Arvindh Chthambaram however will need to win some games now after he lost to V Vishnu Prasanna in the fifth round.
Meanwhile, Sushant Bannerjee deservingly won the Category ‘B’ tournament of the festival that ended today. Bannerjee logged eight points out of a possible nine to pocket Rs. 100000/- winner’s purse out of a total prize pool of Rs. 350000/-.