Ukraine Grandmaster Solodovnichenko Yuri (7.0) led the strong pack after the eighth round of the 8th Chennai Open International Grandmaster Chess tournament 2016 for Sakthi Group Dr N Mahalingam trophy, held at Nehru Stadium, Chennai here today.
Yuri beat GM Dzhumaev Marat (Uzb) in an exciting game, moving into sole lead with two rounds remaining. Three Grandmasters viz., Deepan Chakkravarthy J (India), Mozharov Mikhail, Belous Vladimir (both Russia) are behind Yuri at 6.5 points.
Indian GM Deepan Chakkravarthy (6.5) improved is chances scoring over GM Sivuk Vitaly of Ukraine, while International Maser S Vijayalakshmi (6.0) fought hard, snatching a draw against defending champion GM Ivan Popov of Russia. She now shares the fifth spot with eight other players.
One point behind the leader. defending Champion Popov Ivan faces an uphill task of catching up, as the race for the title of Chennai Open 2016 Champion hots up. In key penultimate rounds pairings, Russian Mozharov faces Solodovnichenko of Ukraine, while Deepan Chakkravarthy squares off against Belous Vladimir of Russia.
Report by R R Vasudevan