Grandmaster Deepan Chakkravarthy played out an exciting draw with defending champion Abhijeet Gupta to stay in joint lead on 4.5 points after the end of the fifth round of 13th Parsvnath International Grandmasters chess tournament now underway here.
Chakkravarthy came close to winning against the top seed and it was only a few well-thought maneuvers that saved the day for Gupta in what will be known as a fine escape by the latter. The King’s Indian defense by Chakkravrthy came good with black pieces as Gupta allowed a tactical stroke leading to an exchange sacrifice.
Having masterminded the sacrifice, Chakkravarthy exerted pressure on both flanks and Gupta erred in time pressure to get a much worse endgame. However a tactical sortie in the endgame saw the point being split with repetition of moves.
Chakkravarthy was joined by Andrey Baryshpolets of Ukraine, Mikhail Mozharov of Russia and Vikramaditya Kamble in lead on 4.5 points. Mozharov got the better of S Nitin while Sahaj Grover overlooked and blundered against Kamble from a favourable position.
With five rounds still to come in the 30 Lajkh prize money festival, Gupta is among those sharing the fifth spot on four points and apart from others, Nishant Malhotra is a surprise entrant in this point group.
Continuing with his dream run in the tournament, Malhotra outwitted GM norm holder Shardul Gagare from a King’s Indian defense game with white pieces and is in excellent contention for what would be his maiden International Master norm.
Aniruddha Deshpandey also continued with his good work to reach 3.5 points after holding another higher ranked – S L Narayan to a draw.