Indian Grandmaster Harsha Bharathakoti held top-seeded compatriot and GM R Praggnanandhaa to a draw in the sixth round of the Open section to remain in sole lead with 5 points in the Asian Continental Chess championship on Sunday.
The Bharathakoti-Praggnanandhaa match ended in 33 moves with the two players agreeing to a draw. It halted the four-match winning run of Bharathakoti.
A group of 11 players, including the No.1 seed Praggnanandhaa, Leon Luke Mendonca, Karthikeyan Murali, Kousatav Chatterjee, S L Narayanan, B Adhiban, S P Sethuraman and Aravindh Chithambaram (all from India) were half a point behind the leader.
The others with 4.5 points are: Saparmyat Atabeyev and Maksat Atabayev (both Turkmenistan) and Shamsiddhin Vokhidov (Uzbekistan).
In other key results, Mendonca drew against Sethuraman, Karthikeyan Murali and Adhiban shared honours, while Vokhidov split the point with Maksat Atabayev.
There were wins for Narayanan and Chithambaram over Sandipan Chanda and Ayush Sharma respectively which allowed them to climb to 4.5 points.
Saparmyat Atabayev registered an important win, beating Rinat Jumabayev in round five to improve to 4.5 points.
In the women’s event, India’s WGM P V Nandhidhaa wore down compatriot Priyan Nuttaki in 61 moves to move to 5.5 points and into the sole lead after six rounds.
Nuttaki and Padmini Rout, who beat Nilufar Yakubbaeva (Uzbekistan), are in second place with 4.5 points.
Nine players share the third place with 4 points. They include Indians Rakshitta Ravi, Soumya Swaminathan, Nisha Mohota, Divya Deshmukh, Vantika Agrawal and Mary Ann Gomes among others.
In important sixth round results, Agrawal scored over C Sahajasri and Mohotoa beat Xeniya Balabayeva, while Deshmukh was held to a draw by Soumya Swaminathan.
Top-seeded Indian Tania Sachdev could not break through the defences of young WIM Saina Salonika and was forced to share the point. Sachdev has 3.5 points and is placed 18th.
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