Ganguly in joint lead in Asian chess Championship
Grandmaster and six times national champion Surya Shekhar Ganguly remained on course for regaining the title defeating Pouria Darini of Iran in the fifth round of Asian Continental Chess Championship underway here.
With his fourth victory in five games, Ganguly took his tally to 4.5 points out of a possible five and he now shares the lead with International Master Lin Chen of China.
Lin Chen, in fact, continued with his incredible run in the tournament with his modest rating and outwitted Grandmaster Vishnu Prasanna quite easily.
With four rounds still remaining in the Championship and just five places up for grabs for the next world chess cup, Commonwealth champion Abhijeet Gupta, top seed Le Quang Liem of Vietnam and Rustam Khusnutdinov of Kazakhstan share the third spot on four points each.
Gupta scored a crushing victory over Vakhidov Jahongir of Uzbekistan to add to his overnight tally while Quang Liem progressed at the expense of <g data-gr-id="39">Idani</g> Pouya of Iran. Khusnutdinov punished M R Lalith Babu who looked out of sorts in a routine <g data-gr-id="40">Caro Kann</g> defense.
Highest rated Indian Vidit Gujrathi was held to a draw by Gao Rui of China to inch himself up to 3.5 points. Vishnu Prasanna and Deep Sengupta are also on 3.5 and in with a chance to make it to the world cup.
It will be hard work for Krishnan Sasikiran though as he was yet again held to a draw. Former national junior champion S L Narayanan denied Sasikiran a victory and both took their tally up to three points apiece.
Ganguly played a fine game with white pieces against <g data-gr-id="31">Darini</g>.
The middle game looked close as <g data-gr-id="33">Darini</g> appeared to have counter <g data-gr-id="37">chances</g> but Ganguly dominated the proceedings with a timely king side onslaught. The Indian knocked down a pawn on the king side and the resulting knight endgame was child’s play.
Gupta benefitted from an opening mistake by Vakhidov who could not find the right plan out of a Tarrasch defence. Abhijeet forcefully won a pawn and then found all the technical manoeuvres to force checkmate.