Grandmaster SP Sethuraman emerged as sole leader defeating Viorel Iordachescu of Moldova in the tenth and penultimate round of Rose Valley Open International Chess tournament now drawing to a close here at Gorkey Sadan.
The victory took Sethuraman to 7.5 points out of a possible ten and the young GM has taken a big step forward for a dream finish in one of the strongest opens of Asia.
It’s a seven-way tie for the second spot and Vidit Santosh Gujrathi, Deep Sengupta, Vishnu Prasanna and Swapnil Dhopade (India) along with Ni Hua of China, Anton Korobov of Ukraine and Dzhumaev Marat of Uzebkistan share the honours with 7 points each.
Sethuraman showed his mettle when it mattered the most. Up against a much senior and experienced Iordachescu the Indian won in just 31 moves. It was a French defense by Sethuraman that met with some direct attack by the Moldavian who started the onslaught with a couple of pawn sacrifices and when the dust settled Sethuraman had executed his counter-attack in perfect fashion.
After completing his second GM norm in the ninth round, Swapnil Dhipade played a very calm game with black pieces against GM Mikhailo Oleksienko of Ukraine. The Sicilian Taimanov by the Ukrainian resulted in a pawn plus position for the Indian International Master who is fast scaling the ELO rating charts now. Dhopade sacrificed his queen for a great bargain of three pieces and everything from thereon was under control.
GM Deep Sengupta today tried hard to overpower Chinese GM Ni Hua, but the battle of more than four hours ended without a decisive result.
International Master in waiting, Diptayan Ghosh played a fine game to snatch full point from GM RR Laxman while Surya Shekhar Ganguly scored a facile victory over IM Himanshu Sharma to take his tally to 7.5 points.
GM Sandipan Chanda however shared the point with Sundararajan Kidambi. WGM Mary Ann Gomes lost to GM Abhijit Kunte (2511), while WGM Nisha Mohota got her eighth draw, signing peace with IM V Sarvanan.