Kolkata (IANS) Overnight joint leaders India’s GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly, top seed Nigel Short of England and world junior champion Lu Shanglei of China came up with draws to retain their position in the penultimate round of the second LIC International Grandmasters Chess Tournament here on Monday.
Seven players, including GM Sandipan Chanda, trail half a point behind to make the final round on Tuesday interesting.
Playing on the top board, against GM Lu Shanglei, Surya Sekhar Ganguly survived a scare as he lost a pawn in the middle game complications in a sharp variation of the Dutch Leningrad. Despite being a pawn down, Surya could squeeze out a draw after the exchange of bishops in a rook ending.
The other game on the second board, between Short and Chanda, was more blood thirsty though.
Chanda, true to his style, sacrificed his rook for knight in the centre to steer the game into unfathomable complications.
The local boy created two passed pawns on the kingside and there was considerable excitement amongst the spectators as the motley crowd looked forward to a win by Chanda.
But Short thwarted his winning plans by actively utilising his rook to force a draw by repetition of moves.
IM K. Ratnakaran of India stunned GM Pavel Kotsur of Kazakhstan with black, in a Maroczy bind of the Sicilian defence.
Ratnakaran successfully utilised his passed pawn on d3 to create threats on Kotsur’s kingside and the attack yielded him his opponent’s queen after which his opponent immediately resigned.
In other games, GM R.R. Laxman drew against GM Quesada Perez Yuniesky of Cuba while GM Ortiz Suarez Isan Reynaldo also of Cuba, beat the Indian grandmaster Ankit Rajpara.
City-based IM Sayantan Das went down to GM G.N. Gopal in 44 moves in a French Winawer.
Top board results:
GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly (IND) 6.5 drew AGM Lu Shanglei (CHN) 6.5
GM Sandipan Chanda (IND) 6 drew GM Nigel Short (ENG) 6.5
GM Kirill Stupak (BLR) 6 drew IM Wang Chen (CHN) 6
GM R.R. Laxman (IND) 5.5 drew GM Quesada Perez Yuniesky (CUB) 5.5
GM Ortiz Suarez Isan Reynaldo (CUB) 6 bt GM Ankit R. Rajpara (IND) 5
GM G.N. Gopal (IND) 6 bt IM Sayantan Das (IND) 5
GM Pavel Kotsur (KAZ) 5 lost to IM K. Ratnakaran (IND) 6
IM Shardul Gagare (IND) 5 lost to GM Deep Sengupta (IND) 6
GM Dimitry Kokarev (RUS) 5.5 bt AIM P. Shyam Nikhil 4.5
Rakesh Kulkarni (IND) 4.5 lost to GM M.R. Lalith Babu (IND) 5.5
GM Vladislav Kovalev (BLR) 5 drew GM ASriram Jha (IND) 5