Bouncing back from defeat, S. Nitin checkmated Sankalp Gupta and joined Vaibhav Suri in the lead at six points after seven rounds of the Commonwealth chess championship here on Sunday.
In a battle involving the two top seeded Grandmasters, Suri drew with No. 1 seed Deep Sengupta in a 73-move marathon.
Nine Grandmasters were locked in drawn encounters as close encounters were the order of the day. With only two rounds remaining, a tight finish is likely with the leaders being followed by six players at 5.5 points.
National champion M.R. Lalit Babu scored an important victory, in 56 moves, over former National champion G. Akash.
Tania Sachdev battled to a 76-move draw against GM Deepan Chakkravarthy.
Some of the underdogs enjoyed a fruitful outing against Grandmasters.
Niranjan Navalgund held S. Kidambi, Rucha Pujari proved equal to Tejas Bakre, Jubin Jimmy held R. R. Laxman and Ranveer Mohite stopped M.S. Thej Kumar at a draw.
The results (seventh round): S. Nitin (6) bt Sankalp Gupta (5.5); Deep Sengupta (5) drew with Vaibhav Suri (6); M.R. Lalit Babu (5.5) bt G. Akash (5.5); Deepan Chakkravarthy (5) drew with Tania Sachdev (5); Debashis Das (5.5) bt K. Ratnakaran (4.5); Pravin Thipsay (5) drew with Abhijit Kunte (5); V. Karthik (5.5) bt Suyog Wagh (4.5); P. Karthikeyan (5.5) bt Kobese Watu (RSA, 4.5); Sammed Shete (4.5) bt Mohammad Nubairshah Shaikh (5.5); Niranjan Navalgund (5) drew with S. Kidambi (5); Swapnil Dhopade (5) bt P.V. Nandhidhaa (4.5); Moksh Doshi (4) lost to Vishnu Prasanna (5).
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