Pune: Top seed Farrukh Amonatov and GM Aleksej Aleksandrov emerged as joint leaders after the completion of the penultimate and 10th round of the 1st Maharashtra International Open Grandmaster Chess tournament at the at the Balewadi Sports Complex here on Tuesday evening.
GM Arjun Kalyan is the only player tagging half a point behind while bunched in third place with 7 points each are Boris Savchenko , Deep Sengupta, Luka Paichdze, Mihail Nikitenko, Srihari L R, IM Aditya Mittal, Neelash Saha, Kushagra Mohan, Kiriil Stupak, Anuj Shivatri, Alexei Federov.
Five of the top six encounters ended ion drawson Tuesday. On Wednesday in the final 11th round top seed Amonatov and Aleksej will battle it out for the top prize and it won’t’ be surprising if this encounter ends in a deadlock.
Arjun Kalyan will be playing with the Black pieces against Alexei Federov and a victory may give him an outside chance to have a crack at the title.
The highlight of to the 10th round was FM L M Ram Arvind making his maiden IM norm though there were quite a few contenders in fray needing victories to make their norms. Ram Arvind defeated WGM Mary Ann Gomes.
Indian GM Deep Sengupta who was one of the consistent players ended up on the losing side to GM Aleksej Alexandrov while the top board encounter between Amonatov and Arjun Kumar quickly ended in a deadlock after the mandatory 31 moves of a Sicilian Defence.
Sengupta opted for the Dutch defence against Aleksej and they went on an exchanging spree to quickly steer the game into a rook, knight and 4 pawns each ending. White passed pawn proved to be a headache for Sengupta as his King got diverted in trying to stop the pawn. Aleksej won a couple of pawns and then threatened to promote his pawn on the King flank, prompting Sengupta’s resignation on the 54th turn.
IM Bhakti Kulkarni did well to hold higher rated GM M R Venkatesh to a draw while Aditya Mittal too was held to a draw by Shrihari L R.IGM Azer Mirzoev lost to konguvel
Results Round 10: GM Arjun Kalyan (7.5) drew with GM Farrukh Amonatov (8); GM Aleksej Alexandrov (8) bt GM Deep Sengupta (7); GM Paichadze Luka (7) drew with GM Kiriil Stupak (7); Srihari LR (7) drew with IM Aditya Mittal (7); GM M R Lalith Babu (6.5) drew with Neelash Saha (6.5); GM M R Venkatesh (6.5) drew with IM Bhakti Kulkarni (6.5); CM Kushagra Mohan (7) bt IM Ortik Nigmatov (6); GM Azer Mirzoev (5.5) lost to IM P Konguvel (6.5); IM Nubairshah Shaikh (5.5) lost to F M Sharan Rao (6.5); GM Vishnu Prasanna (6) drew with Kaustuv Kundu (6).