Indians continued to roll in style as overnight joint leaders Surya Shekhar Ganguly and Sandipan Chanda maintained their lead with convincing wins in the fifth round of the Gibtelecom Masters International Open chess at Gibraltar.
Both Chanda and Ganguly have 4.5 points each to their credit followed by top seeded GM Nigel Short of England, second seed GM Alexei Dreev of Russia and GM P Harikrishna.
The day was quite fruitful from the Indian perspective yet again as Tejas Bakre inched closer to his third and final GM norm defeating GM Chris Ward of England in a miniature game. Swati Ghate sprang a major surprise and crashed through the defences of highly rated GM Aleksander Polulzahov of Russia.
While Tejas needs 2.5 points in the next four games for his norm, Swati's requirement for her Woman Grandmaster norm will be either half or one point. However, much would depend on their rivals in the rounds to come.
Also doing well was S Vijayalakshmi who drew with Serbian GM Bojan Vuckovic, but her younger sister Meenakshi went down fighting against GM Mark Hebden of England. Among other Indian women, Nisha Mohota won while Kruttika Nadig lost her third game.
After a first round debacle against GM Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria, Harikrishna appears to have got into the groove. The former Commonwealth champion scored over English veteran GM Murray Chandler to register his fourth straight victory.
Ganguly played white and was up against a charged Barua who employed his pet French defence and got a balanced position out of the opening. The ensuing middle game was a grand fight and Barua managed to swindle Ganguly with some fine tactics.
Eventually Barua misplayed a clearly superior position and lost.
Bakre was another star performer of the day as he won quickly against Ward, who played white. Playing the Queen's Indian defence, Bakre got a thematic central breakthrough that Ward failed to spot. Soon it was an overflow of tactics on the board and the Englishman lost in just 22 moves.
Important Results round 5 (Indians unless specified):
Surya Shekhar Ganguly (4.5) beat Dibyendu Barua (3); Alexey Kuzmin (3, Rus) lost to Sandipan Chanda (4.5); Paul Motwani (3, Sco) lost to Nigel Short (4, Eng); Alexei Dreev (4, Rus) beat Joeseph Gallagher (3, Sui); Ernesto Inarkiev (3.5, Rus) drew with Abhijit Kunte (3.5); P Harikrishna (4) beat Murray Chandler (3, Eng); Antoaneta Stefanova (3.5, Bul) drew with Jonathan Speelman (3, Eng); Sarunas Sulskis (3.5, Ltu) beat Mohamed Tissir (2.5, Mor); Mark Hebden (3.5, Eng) beat Christian Seel (2.5, Ger); Arakhamia-Grant Ketevan (2.5, Geo) lost to Jonathan Rowson (3.5, Sco); Chris Ward (2.5, Eng) lost to Tejas Bakre (3.5); Bogdan Lalic (3.5, Eng) beat Jovanka Houska (2.5, Eng); S Vijayalakshmi (3) drew with Bojan Vuckovic (3, Ser); Till Wipperman (3.5, Ger) beat Angelis Del Rio (2.5, Esp); Juan Bellon Lopez (3, Esp) drew with Nigel Davies (3, Eng); John Emms (3, Eng) drew with David Howell (3, Eng); Peter Wells (3.5, Eng) beat S Meenakshi (2.5); Mohamad Al Sayed (3.5, Qat) beat Nick Speck (2, Eng); Aleksander Poluljahov (2, Rus) lost to Swati Ghate (3); Kruttika Nadig (2) lost to Pia Cramling (2, Swe); Nisha Mohota (2.5) beat Helen Miligen (1.5, Eng).