Abhijit Gupta made sureªof his third and final International Master norm after a quick draw with compatriot Grandmaster Abhijit Kunte in the eighth and penultimate round of the Dubai International Open chess championship.
Gupta, 15, will become the youngest International Master of the country after he gets the official confirmation of that from FIDE, the World governing body of the sport.
After a rather lackluster show in the past few rounds, it was the turn of double Women Grandmaster norm holder Eesha Karavade to make an impression and she did that in style defeating P Doostkam of Iran. With the victory, Eesha inched closer to her final WGM-norm.
Twelve-year old Parimarjan Negi also remained on course for a second IM-norm after holding Grandmaster Nelson Mariano of Philippines to an easy draw in the eighthªround game. Negi took his tally to 4.5 points and now requires just a draw in the final round game to achieve the feat.
Meanwhile, as many as nine players emerged as joint leaders on 6 points apiece. They are Merab Gagunashvili,
Giorgi Kacheishvili (both Georgia), Wang Hao, Zhang Zhong, Zhang Pengxiang, Bu Xiangzhi (All China), Evgenij Miroshnichenko (Ukraine), Viorel Iordachescu (Moldova) and Ashot Anastasian (Armenia).
Important results round 8 (Indians unless specified): Merab Gagunashvili (Geo, 6) drew with Zhang Zhong (Chn, 6); Zhang Pengxiang (Chn, 6) drew with Giorgi Kacheishvili (Geo, 6); Alexander Motylev (Rus, 5.5) drew with Ashot Anastasian (Arm, 6); Wang Yue (Chn, 5.5) drew with Kiril Georgiev (Bul, 5.5); Tamaz Gelashvili (Geo, 5) lost to Bu Xiangzhiª (Chn, 6); Gabriel Sargissian (Arm, 5.5) drew with Gadir Guseinov (Aze, 5.5); Evgenij Miroshnichenko (Ukr, 6) beat Al-Modiahki Mohamadª(Qat, 5); Adly Ahmed (Egy, 5.5) drew with Zahar Efimenko (Ukr, 5.5); Viorel Iordachescu (Mda, 6) beat Valeriy Neverov (Ukr, 5); Wang Hao (Chn, 6) beat Alexander Riazantsev (Rus, 5); Koneru Humpy (4.5) lost to Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 5.5); Sundararajan Kidambi (4.5) lost to Evgeny Vladimirov (Kaz, 5.5); Abhijeet Gupta (5) drew with Abhijit Kunte (5); Sandipan Chanda (4.5) drew with Lanka Ravi (4.5); G Rohit (4) lost to Zhou Jianchao (Chn, 5); Nelson Mariano (Phi, 4.5) drew with Parimarjan Negi (4.5); R B Ramesh (5) beat Shashikant Kutwal (4); Oleg Kulicov (Rus, 4.5) beat Aswin Jayaram (3.5); Al Qudaimi Basheer (Yem, 4.5) beat Omkar Patwardhan (3.5); Asik Josip (Scg, 4.5) beat D Sai Srinivas (3.5); Rahul Shetty (4) drew with Martin Poulsen (Fai, 4); Elmir Guseinov (Aze, 3.5) drew with C N Vaidya (3.5); Eesha Karavade (4) beat P Doostkam (Iri, 3); Alexander Menshikov (Rus, 3) lost to G Balaji (4); Saleh Nagueb (Uae, 3) lost to S Mari Arul (4); Fabien Schmitt (Fra, 3) lost to S P Sethuraman (4); Saeed Ishaq (Uae, 3) lost to Kruttika Nadig (3.5); N Srinath (3.5) beat Navabi Shirin (Iri, 2.5).