Delhi International Open Chess: Arjun, Harsha and Gukesh emerge joint leaders

PTIUpdated: Sunday, March 27, 2022, 06:53 PM IST
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Top seed Arjun Erigaisi, Harsha Bharathakoti and D Gukesh on Sunday emerged as joint leaders at the 19th edition of Delhi International Open Grandmasters Chess tournament in New Delhi.

With just two rounds remaining, the tournament is heading for an exciting finish as the three Indians are now leading the standings with seven points.

The eighth round witnessed fierce battles which produced decisive results on top six boards as Erigaisi annihilated former national champion Lalith Babu M R in 28 moves in Scotch game.

Harsha, meanwhile, shocked second seed Grandmaster Pavel Ponkratov of Russia with light colour pieces in a Semi-Slav game after 58 moves.

Gukesh, the youngest ever Indian to secure the Grandmaster title, also claimed a win, beating Karthik Venkataraman with dark colour pieces in a Queen's Gambit Declined game that lasted just 29 moves.

Defending champion Abhijeet Gupta, along with fifth seed Sethuraman S P, International Master Neelash Saha and Iranian FIDE Master Kian Seyed Poormosavi, occupied the joint fourth spot with a drift of half a point from the leaders.

Abhijeet defeated CRG Krishna, while Sethu got the better of Ortik Nigmatov of Uzbekistan.

Neelash stunned fourth seed Neuris Delgado Ramirez of Paraguay and Poormosavi beat Deepan Chakkaravarthy in the eighth-round match.

In the all-important penultimate round, Arjun is pitted against Gukesh on top board, while Harsha will fight it out with Neelash Saha on Monday.

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