Grandmaster Koneru Humpy defeated GM Orazly Annageldyev (TKM) while Neelotpal Das crumbled under pressure in the seventh round of the fifth Asian Chess Championship at the KVBR indoor stadium in Hyderabad on Thursday.
On the top board, Li Shilong (CHN) defeated Susanto Megaranto (INA) in the Sicilian orthodox defence to lead the table with six points.
Humpy bounced back to form and with black pieces played Sicilian defence to perfection, giving no room to her opponent by cornering his king and threatened to win a piece, advantage and the game when the Turkamenistan Grandmaster gave up in the 34th move.
Humpy now stands at five points along with a host of other players and aspirants to qualify for the World Cup to be held later in Russia.
Young Neelotpal Das, however, could not sustain the pressure of the Kazakistan GM Murtas Kazhgaleyev despite playing a tight Nimzo Indian Defence.
The additional rook of the opponent played the crucial role despite an additional pawn the Indian had and Neelotpal quit in the 53rd move to settle for the seventh round score of 5 points.
Top seed Sasikiran was at his best against fellow-Indian Abhijit Gupta and sacrificed a pawn in the 11th move to take complete control over the centre and later won two pawns, space and the game with ease. With two more rounds to go, Sasikiran logged four points.
International Master Kidambi Surarajan defeated Roktim Bandyopadhyay while IM Lanka Ravi and Himanshu Sharma also recorded wins.
Standings after the seventh round: (All Indians unless specified): Li Shilong (CHN) 6 points, Zhang Zhong (CHN), Darmen Sadvakasov (KAZ) Murtas Kazhgaleyev (KAZ) 5.5 pts, Koneru Humpy, Wu Wenjin (CHN) 5 points.
Important results: Susanto Megaranto (INA) lost to Li Shilong (CHN), Zhang Zhong (CHN) drew with Pavel Kotsur (KAZ), Darmen Sadvakasov (KAZ) bt Jianchao Zhou (CHN), Murtas Kazhgaleyev (KAZ) bt Neelotpal Das, Orazly Annageldyev (TKM) lost to Koneru Humpy, Roktim Bandyapadhyay lost to Kidambi Sundararajan, Krishnan Sasikiran bt Abhijit Gupta, Himanshu Sharma bt BS Sivanandan, Tejas BAkre bt Sunil Mokal Prathamesh, Arghyadip Das bt Lim Yee Weng (MAS).