Tamil Nadu Grandmaster D Gukesh defeated former national champion Abhijeet Gupta of the PSPB in the penultimate round to catch up with overnight sole leader second seed Arjun Erigaisi of Telangana, which paved the way for a photo finish at the 58th edition of Senior National Chess Championship sponsored by MPL Sports Foundation here at Ganges Club, Kanpur on Wednesday.
In top board battles in the tenth round, Arjun Erigaisi agreed to split the point with Grandmaster P Iniyan of Tamil Nadu after 41 moves while defending champion Aravindh Chithambaram and Delhi Grandmaster Aryan Chopra shook hands after 63 moves signalling a drawn result.
Playing with dark colour pieces in Nimzo-Indian Samisch variation, Gukesh showed immense discipline and skills in the endgame to beat Abhijeet in 64 moves to be at the top of the points table of this Rupees thirty lakh prize money event in which six lakh is reserved for the winner.
With eight points in the kitty, Gukesh and Arjun are now enjoying a slender half point lead over nearest contenders Aravindh Chithambaram, former champion Sethuraman S P, Aryan Chopra, Mitrabha Guha, Iniyan P, Visakh N R and Pranav V with one round to go.
Meanwhile Utsab Chatterjee, Anustoop Biswas of West Bengal and Sambit Panda of Odisha completed their requirements to achieve nine game International Master Norms during the event and many players are eyeing to complete their international title norms in the final round.
Earlier the penultimate round was inaugurated by Shri Bhanu Bhaskar IPS, ADG Kanpur Zone in presence of Dr Sanjay Kapoor, President All India Chess Federation.
Round – 10 :- GM Erigaisi Arjun of Telangana (8) drew with GM Iniyan P of Tamil Nadu (7.5); GM Aravindh Chithambaram of Tamil Nadu (7.5) drew with GM Aryan Chopra of Delhi (7.5); GM Abhijeet Gupta of PSPB (6.5) lost to GM Gukesh D (8); GM Swapnil S Dhopade of Railways (6.5) lost to GM Sethuraman S P of PSPB (7.5); GM Lalith Babu M R of PSPB (6.5) lost to IM Pranav V of Tamil Nadu (7.5); GM Visakh N R of Railways (7.5) beat IM Aronyak Ghosh of West Bengal (6.5); GM Mitrabha Guha of West Bengal (7.5) beat Sambit Panda of Odisha (6.5); GM Karthikeyan Murali of PSPB (7) beat IM Ratnakaran K of Railways (6.5); IM Sammed Jaykumar Shete of Maharashtra (6.5) drew with GM Adhiban B of PSPB (6.5); GM Deep Sengupta of PSPB (7) beat Utsab Chatterjee of West Bengal (6); GM Deepan Chakkravarthy of Railways (6) lost to IM Mohammad Nubairshah Shaikh of Maharashtra (7); GM Harsha Bharathakoti of Telangana (7) beat IM Harshvardhan G B of Tamil Nadu (6); IM Aditya Mittal of Maharashtra (7) beat FM Aaryan Varshney of Delhi (6); IM Shyaamnikhil P of Railwys (6.5) drew with IM Ravi Teja S of Railways (6.5); IM Koustav Chatterjee of West Bengal (7) beat IM Srihari L R of Tamil Nadu (6); Illamparthi A R of Tamil Nadu (6.5) drew with IM Pranesh M of Tamil Nadu (6.5); IM Krishna CRG of Railways (6.5) beat Bharat Kumar Reddy Poluri of Telangana (6); IM Sayantan Das of Railways (6.5) beat FM Ayush Sharma of Madhya Pradesh (5.5); IM Rahul Sangma of Railways (6) drew with IM Vignesh N R of Railways (6); GM Laxman R R of Railways (6) drew with IM Dinesh Sharma of LIC (6).
Round – 9 :- Pranv v lost to Arjun Erigaisi; Gukesh D drew with Iniyan P; Swapnil Dhopade drew with Aravindh Chithambaram; Abhijeet Gupta drew with Lalith Babu M R; Aryan Chopra beat Aditya Mittal; Visakh N R drew with Mitrabha Guha; Adhiban B drew with Shyaamnikhil P; Mohammad Nubairshah Shaikh drew with Karthikeyan Murali; Sethuraman S P beat Laxman RR ; Harshvardhan G B drew with Deep Sengupta; Aronyak Ghosh beat Himal Gusain; Ravi Teja S drew with Sammed Jaykumar Shete; Aaryan Varshney drew with Koustav Chatterjee; Ratnakaran K beat Sayantan Das; Vignesh N R lost to Panda Sambit.