Sethuraman maintains lead in chess tourney

Hyderabad, Dec 1 : Chennai-based Grand Master Sethuraman S.P. maintained his sole lead with 6.5 points after splitting the point with Mikhail Mozharov in the eighth round of the second Hyderabad International Grandmasters Chess Tournament at Kotla Vijaya Bhaskara Reddy Indoor Stadium here Sunday.

Playing safe with white in a Symmetrical English opening game, Sethu settled for half a point with his Russian International Master rival by repetition of moves before the completion of mandatory 25 moves.

Mozharov, along with top seed Russian GM Ivan Popov, second seed GM Levan Pantsulaia of Georgia, GM Samvel Ter-Sahakyan of Armenia and Indian duo of Vidit Santosh Gujrathi and M.R. Lalith Babu are now at No.2 spot with a drift of half point from the leader.

In the eighth round, Popov and Vidit signed the peace treaty in 34 moves while Pantsulaia defeated GM Azer Mirzoev of Azerbaijan.

Keeping his title hopes intact, Babu defeated Russian GM Vasily Papin in 34 moves, arrived out of Classical variation of Nimzo-Indian Defence. Ter-Sahakyan joined them after stopping dark horse of the tournament Dhulipala Bala Chandra Prasad.

Even though the result was not in his favour, Balachandra Prasad along with Delhi's Prince Bajaj secured their maiden IM norms as they completed the requirements for nine game norm irrespective of the outcome of their ninth round matches.

Three more rounds remain in the Rs.10 lakh tournament.

In Category B, Andhra Pradesh duo V. Varun and Vishwanath Prasad are now sharing pole position with 6.5 points. Varun defeated Subramaniam S.C. of Tamil Nadu while Vishwanath got the better off statemate Ramana Babu B. in seventh round encounters.

Lakshmi Sandeep Naidu of Andhra Pradesh and Naveen Hegde of Karnataka closely following the leaders with a drift of half point as they beat Vijay Anand of Tamil Nadu and Smaraki Mohanty of Odisha, respectively.

Eleven players including top seed Lokesh N. of Tamil Nadu are in third with 5.5 points.

--IANS (Posted on 01-12-2013)

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