In hunt for his second Grandmaster's norm, International Master S Kidambi added to the woes of top seed Grandmaster Alexei Shirov of Spain by holding the highly-regarded veteran to a draw in the eighth round of Gibtele.com Masters chess tournament at Caleta hotel in Gibraltar on Wednesday.
With only two more rounds to go in this 6000 pound Sterling winner's prize event, Shirov was left tottering on just five points for his second low in recent times. The former World championship finalist had finished last in a recent rapid event.
On the top board, former World junior champion Kiril Georgiev of Bulgaria continued to make merry by defeating second seed Vladimir Akopian of Armenia to remain in sole lead on seven points.
Georgiev is followed by Sergey Volkov of Russia on 6.5 points while a pack of four players are right behind on 6 points.
The Indian duo of Sandipan Chanda and Surya Shekhar Ganguly are in the next group of 5.5 points after both scored hard earned victories over Watu Kobese of South Africa and Anton Aaberg of Sweden respectively.
It turned out to be a good day for Kidambi, who enjoyed advantage against Shirov for the major part of the game that started from a Grunfeld defense.
Kidambi went for a topical variation with white and caused more than a few problems for Shirov, who struggled for some time before finally equalising. Steering the game to a rook and opposite colour Bishops endgame Kidambi drew in 38 moves.