Top-seeded Indian Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa won a marathon 137-move game against compatriot Karthikeyan Murali in the seventh round to move into joint lead with three others on 5.5 points in the open section of the Asian Continental Chess Championship on Tuesday.
Grandmaster Harsha Bharathakoti held GM S L Narayanan in an all-Indian battle on the top board to move to 5.5 points. Another Indian Koustav Chatterjee upset former national champion Aravindh Chithambaram to join Praggnanandhaa, Bharathkoti and Shams Vokhidov of Uzbekistan at the top.
Vokhidov defeated India’s S P Sethuraman to improve his score to 5.5 points.
A bunch of six players have five points and are in joint second. They are Saparmyat Atabeyev and Maksat Atabayev (Turkmenistan), S L Narayanan, B Adhiban and Karthik Venkataraman.
In the women’s event, Indian WGM P V Nandhidhaa is in the lead with six points after seven rounds, following a drawn game against compatriot Padmini Rout (5 points).
Nandhidhaa and Rout drew their game in 49 moves as the former continued her unbeaten run.
Young Indian WGM Priyanka Nuttaki is in second place, after a superb win over higher-rated Nilufar Yakubbaeva (Uzbekistan). She has 5.5 points from 7 rounds.
Three players — Rout, Soumya Swaminathan and Divya Deshmukh - are in joint third spot with five points.
Soumya Swaminathan posted a win over Nisha Mohota while Deshmukh beat Rakshitta Ravi.
Top-seeded Indian Tania Sachdev, not in the best of form, drew with Liya Kurmangalieyva and took her tally to 4 points to lie in 18th spot.
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