Indian Grandmasters Surya Shekhar Ganguly and Sandipan Chanda emerged as joint leaders with clinical victories in the second round of Gibraltar Chess Congress at Gibraltar.
Both Ganguly and Chanda have two points each in their kitty and are followed a by a pack of 24 players including top seed Nigel Short of England, British Open Champion Abhijit Kunte and former Commonwealth Champion Dibyendu Barua on 1.5 points each.
The Indians had a good day in office with Barua, Kunte and Harikrishna scoring victories after a rather sedate first round. Getting another draw against a Grandmaster was Tejas Bakre who is gunning for his third and final GM norm here. Bakre drew with Colin Mcnab of Scotland.
But the Indian women had some troubles as the Subbaraman sisters, WGMs Vijayalakshmi and Meenakshi went down fighting to Chanda and GM Mark Hebden of England respectively.
The lone Indian girl to register a victory was Nisha Mohota who put it across Jesus Andrades of Spain while Krutikka Nadig lost her second straight game, going down to Iganacios Diaz, also of Spain.
Quite surprisingly, the top four all-GM encounters witnessed draws and that paved the way for Ganguly and Sandipan to be among early leaders in this 12,000 Euros 10-round tournament.
Ganguly accounted for English GM Peter Wells who just failed to deliver the goods with his white pieces. Playing true to his solid style, Ganguly romped home after cashing in on an erroneous plan by his opponent.
After beating GM Rowson in the first round, Vijayalakshmi could not keep the momentum going and lost to Sandipan despite having the advantage of playing second successive game with white.
Coming back in to reckoning was Harikrishna who outplayed Helen Miligan of Scotland in all departments of the game with his white pieces.
Miligan found herself at sea after the middle game surfaced and was gradually grinded.
After Short was held to a draw by compatriot John Emms in the first round, it was the turn of second seed Russian Alexey Dreev to share honours with Bojan Vuckovic on the top board. It was a Classical Sicilian where Vuckovic played very solidly to get an easy draw after 65 moves.
Abhijit Kunte defeated Aithmidou Mehdi of Morocco while Barua put it across Erik Eliassen of Norway in other important results of the day.
Complete Results Round 2 (Indians unless specified):
Bojan Vuckovic (1.5, Ser) drew with Alexei Dreev (1.5, Rus); Murray Chandler (1.5, Eng) drew with Ernesto Inarkiev (1.5, Rus); Angelis Del Rio (1.5, Esp) drew with Sarunas Sulskis (1.5, Ltu); Nigel Davies (1.5, Eng) drew with Alexey Kuzmin (1.5, Rus); Peter Wells (1, Eng) lost to Surya Shekhar Ganguly (2); Joeseph Gallagher (1.5, Sui) drew with Antoaneta Stefanova (1.5, Bul); S Vijayalakshmi (1) lost to Sandipan Chanda (2); Juan Bellon Lopez (1.5, Esp) drew with Bogdan Lalic (1.5, Eng); Nigel Short (1.5, Eng) beat Andrew Muir (1, Sco); S Meenakshi (1) lost to Mark Hebden (1.5, Eng); David Howell (1.5, Eng) drew with Aleksander Poluljahov (0.5, Rus); Swati Ghate (1) lost to John Emms (1.5, Eng); Vladimir Epishin (1) beat Timothy Upton (1); Andrew Dunn (1) drew with Ruslan Pogorelov (1, Rus); P Harikrishna (1) beat Helen Milligan (1, Sco); Jonathan Speelman (1.5, Eng) beat Arne Hagesaether (1, Nor); Dibyendu Barua (1.5) beat Erik Eliassen (1, Nor); Jonathan Rowson (1, Sco) beat Jose Rios (1, Esp); Zouhair Naciri (1, Mor) lost to Mohamad Al Sayed (1.5, Qat); Paul Motwani (1.5, Sco) beat Tarik Rrhioua (1, Mor); Chris Ward (1.5, Eng) beat Ian White (1, Eng); Abhijit Kunte (1.5) beat Aithmidou Mehdi (1, Mor); Sergei Beshukov (1, Rus) beat Laila Elamri (1, Mor); Tejas Bakre (1) drew with Colin Mcnab (1, Sco); Christian Seel (1.5, Ger) beat Arakhamia-Grant Ketevan (0.5, Geo); Pia Cramling (1, Swe) beat Enriq Osuna Vega (0.5, Esp); John Shaw (0.5, Sco) drew with Christia Harstad (1, Nzl); Mathias Womacka (1, Ger) beat Lars Eckhardt (0.5, Nor); Thomus Heyl (0.5, Ger) lost to Daniel Contin (1, Ita); Amaya Gonzalez (0.5, Esp) lost to Till Wipperman (1, Ger); Andrades Jesus (0.5, Esp) lost to Nisha Mohota (1); Mohamed Tissir (1, Mor) beat Peter Williams (0.5, Eng); Tatiana Vasilevich (1, Ukr) beat Odin Blikra (0, Nor); Nick Speck (1, Aus) beat Emil Agdestein (0, Nor); Jovanka Houska (1, Eng) beat Mel Young (0, Eng); Steve Mannion (0.5, Sco) drew with Askild Bryn (0.5, Nor); Paul Roberts (1, Sco) beat Romo Cardenas (0, Esp); Abdela Celloussi (0.5, Mor) drew with Carame Gonzalez (0.5, Esp); Ignacio Diaz (1, Esp) beat Kruttika Nadig (0); Oystein Fossum (1, Nor) beat George O; Guerrero Carlos (0.5, Esp) drew with Manuel Matto (0.5).