Talented youngster M R Lalith Babu put up a fine show to beat International Master Sergey Kayumov of Uzbekistan in the second round of Dubai International Open chess championship, for the Sheikh Rashid Bin Hamdan Al Maktoum Cup, in Dubai on Tuesday.
Grandmaster R B Ramesh and teenager S P Sethuraman were the other Indians to come up with a flawless performances.
Playing with black, Ramesh had to withstand a slightly dubious onslaught from compatriot O T Anil Kumar but once the GM got his counter play rolling there was no defense for his opponent at the Dubai chess and culture club.
Sethuraman scored over compatriot IM Vishal Sareen, who was outdone early in the middle game, on what turned out to be better day for the huge Indian contingent.
After the first two rounds in this US $40000 tournament, as many as 23 players share the lead with a perfect score.
Lalith Babu, Ramesh and Sethuraman are among the leaders while IM Abhijeet Gupta, Woman Grandmaster Aarthie Ramamswamy and World Under-12 champion N Srinath are in the next group of 1.5 pointers.
Lalith Babu employed his pet Caro Kann defense and put up stiff resisitance when Kayumov was seen pressing for an advantage.
The Advance Variation by the Uzbek did not yield a desirable position in the middle game and Lalith Kumar superbly shredded white's position into pieces in the final stages of the game.
Among other Indians in the fray, IM Prathamesh Mokal went down fighting against top seed Izoria Zviad of Georgia in a keenly contested game.
Playing the white side of a Sicilian Scheveningen, Mokal played it safe in the opening and allowed Zviad to gain a balanced position early in the middle game.
As the game progressed, it looked like drifting towards a draw but the Georgian hung in there and created a lot of problems for a slightly defensive white pieces to finally get the breakthrough he was looking for.
The endgame finally turned out in the favour of the Georgian after Mokal made an error.
D Sai Srinivas was beaten Merab Gagunashvili of Georgia in a one-sided affair while Aarthie Ramaswamy missed out a few winning opportunities before settling for peace with GM norm-holder Safarli Eltaz of Azerbaijan.
After a disastrous first round loss, double GM norm holder Parimarjan Negi made short work of Valerio Axel of the Philippines.
Important and Indian results round 2 (Indians unless specified):
Prathamesh Mokal (1) lost to Izoria Zviad (Geo, 2); Darmen Sadvakasov (Kaz, 2) beat Sharbaf Mohsen (Iri, 1); Othman A Moussa (UAE, 1) lost to Gabriel Sargissian (Arm, 2); Levan Pantsulaia (Geo, 2) beat Maria Sergeeva (Kaz, 1); Ghane Shojaat (Iri, 1) lost to Evgenij Miroshnichenko (Ukr, 2); D Sai Srinivas (1) lost to Merab Gagunashvili (Geo, 2); O T Anilkumar (1) lost to R B Ramesh (2); Odeev Handszar (Tkm, 2) beat Gurpreet Pal Singh (1); Bente Bjoern (Ger, 1.5) drew with Abhijeet Gupta (1.5); Sergey Kayumov (Uzb, 1) lost to M R Lalith Babu (2); Aarthie Ramaswamy (1.5) drew with Safarli Eltaj (Aze, 1.5); Sergei Simonenko (Tkm, 2) beat Kruttika Nadig (1); Robin Stellwagen (Ger, 1) lost to S Satyapragyan (2); S P Sethuraman (2) beat Vishal Sareen (1); Habu Yoshiharu (Jpn, 2) beat C N Vaidya (1); Ilgar Bajarani (Tkm, 1) drew with Prasanna Rao (1); G B Joshi ( 1.5) beat Ramnath Bhuvanesh (0.5); Stefan Schmid (Ger, 1) drew with Shiven Khosla (1); Khalil Ibrahim (UAE, 0.5) lost to N Srinath (1.5); Parimarjan Negi (1) beat Valerio Axel (Phi, 0); Shadi Paridar (Iri, 0) lost to W A Khan (1); Alam Nure (Ban, 0.5) drew with Soumitra Majumdar (0.5); Laabi Chian Majid (Iri, 1) beat Sahaj Grover (0); Dhyani Dave (1) beat K Priyadharshan (0); Shantanu Lahiri (0.5) drew with Abdulaziz Amal (UAE, 0.5); Malallah Khadija (UAE, 0) lost to Shatrughan Jha (1).