Abhijeet Wins, Aleksandrov Maintains Half Point Lead in Delhi Open

New Delhi, Jan 15 (PTI) Indian Grand Master Abhijeet Gupta scored a splendid win over compatriot Diptayan Ghosh in the ninth round of the Delhi Open International Grand Masters chess tournament, here on Wednesday

Belarus' Aleksej Aleksandrov defeated higher-ranked Jose Eduardo Martinez of Peru to maintain a half-point lead ahead of the field with eight points.

Aleksandrov was slightly better placed in the middle game against the Peruvian GM and ended up grinding him down as he did not find the complications he was looking for.

Gupta was in his element against Ghosh in an English opening game. The middle game saw a level position wherein he forced complications after the trade of queens in the middle game.

Ghosh was closer to a draw for the major part with his white pieces but his opponent relentlessly pushed for a victory which was his after a long drill.

Indian teenager M Pranesh made his maiden Grand Master norm after securing a draw with Nodirbek Yakubboev of Uzbekistan in a hard fought game. It was a Sicilian defence game wherein Pranesh looked threatening for the major part and Yakubboev had to find some resources to force parity.

Indian player Audi Ameya secured an International Master norm. He is on course to become the country's next International Master.

With Aleksandrov leading by a slender margin over Abhijeet Gupta, the final round encounter between them is expected to be an interesting battle for the top prize of Rs 6.5 lakh. Important Results (9th Round): Aleksej Aleksandrov (Belarus) 8 beat Jose Eduardo Martinez Alcantara (Peru) 6.5; Abhijeet Gupta (India) 7.5 beat Diptayan Ghosh (India) 6.5; Alexei Fedorov (Belarus) 7 drew with Kirill Stupak (Belarus) 7; Nodirbek Yakubboev (Uzbekistan) 7 drew with M Pranesh (India) 7. Pavel Ponkratov (Russia) 7 beat Audi Ameya (India) 6; Harsha Bharathakoti (India) 6.5 drew Karthikeyan Murali (India) 6.5; Florian Kaczur (Hungary) 6.5 beat Saurabh Anand (India) 6; P Shyam Nikhil (India) 7 beat Ivan Rozum (India) 6. Himal Gusain (India) 6.5 drew with Alberto David (Italy) 6.5; N R Visakh (India) 7 beat LR Srihari (India) 6; Neelesh Shah (India) 6.5 drew Debashis Das (India) 6.5; Mikheil Mchedilshvili (Georgia) 6.5 drew with K Rathnakaran (India) 6.5; Levan Pantsulaia (Georgia) 7 beat Ortik Nigmatov (Uzbekistan) 6; Karthik Venkataraman (India) 6.5 beat Manik Mikulas (Slovakia) 5.5.

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