Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi worked his way to an exciting draw with higher seeded Le Quang Leim of Vietnam in the fourth round of the 'A' group of Aeroflot International chess tournament in Moscow.
Playing white, Negi was up against a French defense and appeared to be in some difficulties in the middle game, but handled the pressure well. The Indian eventually sacrificed material to open up Leim's King side and forced the draw through perpetual checks and inched himself to 2.5 points.
National champion Abhijeet Gupta kept himself in contention after settling for a fighting draw with Csaba Balogh of Hungary. Abhijeet however slipped to the joint second spot after the draw as Anton Korobov of Russia emerged as the new leader on 3.5 points. Abhijeet shares the second spot with ten others with five rounds still to come in one of the strongest open tournament of the world.
B Adhiban caused another upset in the tournament. On the receiving end was Rauf Mamedov of Azerbaijan who could not handle the tactical complications correctly.
The other higher ranked Indians in the fray, Krishnan Sasikiran, Sandipan Chanda and S P Sethuraman played out draws to move to 2.5 points. Vidit Gujrathi raised visions of his final Grandmaster norm defeating Gadir Guseinov of Azerbaijan. Given the tough field he is up against, Gujrathi has done quite well notching two points thus far.
In 'B' group being held simultaneously, highest rated Indian International Master Sahaj Grover found his winning touch against Mikhail Antipov of Russia. Going for late tactics, Grover was in his element in this one sided affair and moved to three points from four rounds.
Also on three points in this section are Tejas Bakre, Vaibhav Suri, M R Lalith Babu and S Kidambi who all played out draws in the fourth round. Can Emre of Turkey and Russian Sergey Grishchenko share the lead in this section.
National junior champion Aravindh Chithambaram continued with his dream run in the 'C' group and coasted to his fourth victory in as many rounds. Vladimir Arkhipov of Russia found the young Indian a tough nut to crack. Chithambaram shares the lead with Qu Yiangio of China.
R Bharathi shares the third spot here on 3.5 points. In the fourth round Bharati played out a draw with Mongolian Urtnasan Nasanjargal.
Results round 4 (Indians unless specified): Abhijeet Gupta (3) drew with Csaba Balogh (Hun, 3); Parimarjan Negi (2.5) drew with Le Quang Liem (Vie, 2.5); K Sasikiran (2.5) drew with Bartosz Socko (Pol, 2.5); Sandipan Chanda (2.5) drew with Dmitry Andreikin (Rus, 2.5); Viorel Iordachescu (Mda, 2.5) drew with S P Sethuraman (2.5); Ivan Popov (Rus, 2.5) beat M R Venkatesh (1.5).
Group 'B': Tejas Bakre (3) drew with Alexander Kopylov (Rus, 3); Vaibhav Suri (3) drew with Roman Ovetchkin (Rus, 3); Wan Yunguo (Chn, 3) drew with M R Lalith Babu (3); Hovik Hayrapetyan (Arm, 3) drew with Sundararajan Kidambi (3); Akshayraj Kore (2.5) lost to Pavel Potapov (Rus, 3.5): Sahaj Grover (3) beat Mikhail Antipov (Rus, 2); Mary Ann Gomes (2) lost to Alexei Gavrilov (Rus, 2); Ankit Rajpara (2.5) drew with Deepan Chakkravarthy (2.5); P Shyam Nikil (2.5) drew with Zhang Xiaowen (Chn, 2.5); Ivana Maria Furtado (2) lost to Evgenik Kalegin (Rus, 3); Vitaly Kunin (Ger, 1.5) lost to Swayams Mishra (2.5); S Arun Prasad (2) drew with S Nitin (2); Debashis Das (2) drew with Nikolai Kabanov (Rus, 2); Oleg Gladyszev (2) drew with Nisha Mohota (2); Padmini Rout (2) drew with Ekaterina Kovalevskaya (Rus, 2).
Group 'C': Aravindh Chithambaram (4) beat Vladimir Arkhipov (Rus, 3); R Bharathi (3.5) drew with Urtnasan Nasanjargal (Mgl, 3.5); Akash Iyer (3) drew with Vladimir Kozlov (Rus, 3); Niklesh Jain (2.5) lost to Pattrick Van Hoolandt (Mnc, 3.5); P V Nandhidhaa (2) lost to Gleb Apryshko (Rus, 3); Bhakti Kulkarni (2.5) drew with Jorcerys Montilla (Ven, 2.5).