Parimarjan Negi continued his fine run to score a thumping victory over eighth seeded Grandmaster Konstantin Landa of Russia in the sixth round of Hogeschool Zeeland International Chess tournament in Vlissingen, the Netherlands.
The victory helped the 13-year-old Indian remain in joint lead on 5.5 points in the nine-round tournament, being played in Swiss format.
The Delhi-based Negi now shares the lead with second seed GM Michael Krasenkow of Poland, GM Vyacheslav Ikonnikov of Russia and GM Friso Nijboer of Holland.
Mixed results were the order of the day for his other compatriots as GM Dibyendu Barua drew with GM Erwin L'Ami of Holland while International Master Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury and Saptarshi Roy ended up on the losing side.
Another Indian in the fray, IM Roktim Bandyopadhyay was held to a draw by Weersel Arlette of Holland.
With three players sharing the lead and only three more rounds to come, the GM norm hopes of Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury and his Kolkata namesake suffered a huge setback already.
Barua now share the fourth spot on 5 points along with eight others.
Parimarjan's new opening repertoire has been helping him a great deal if trends in this event are anything to go by.
Landa thought he could find some holes in the preparation of the teenager but was surprised all along with the conviction with which Negi executed his plan.
It was a Caro Kann Advance variation that Negi opted for with white pieces and Landa went for a complicated system and sacrificed two pawns to get some attacking prospects against a slightly under developed Negi's pieces.
However, as the game progressed, Negi took control with routine deployment of forces and knocked down another pawn as Landa went for his King.
Soon after Negi completed his development after which there was no hope in store for the Russian. The game lasted just 24 moves and the finale was a spectacular finish wherein Negi sacrificed a piece to rip open the center. This was Landa's third loss while playing against Indians this year in as many games.
Earlier, this year the Russian had lost to GM Krishnan Sasikiran in the Aeroflot International open while in the fourth round of this event, Barua scored a fine victory over him.
"He played this variation I was not well versed with, but his sacrifice was perhaps not very useful. Once I was able to bring my pieces out his own king was under attack and I had a won position", Negi said after the game.
Barua got in to a slightly worse position out of a Queen's gambit declined playing black against Erwin L'Ami but the advantage of the Dutchman never grew too much.
Slow manoeuvring was on in the middle game phase and just while Barua managed adequate counter play, L'Ami proposed a draw after making his 26th move that was accepted by the Indian.
Spatarshi Roy Chowdhury had a reasonable position before he cracked under pressure against Viorel Iordachescu of Moldova while Saptarshi Roy had to pay heavy dividends for his reckless play against John Wan Der Wiel of Holland.
Important and Indian results round 6: Michal Krasenkow (Po, 5.5) beat Sergey Erenburg (Isr, 4.5); Friso Nijboer (Ned, 5.5) beat Thomas Henrichs (Ned, 4.5); Li Shilong (Chn, 4.5) lost to Vyacheslav Ikonnikov (Rus, 5.5); Erwin L'Ami (Ned, 5) drew with Dibyendu Barua (Ind, 5); Parimarjan Negi (Ind, 5.5) beat Konstantin Landa (Rus, 4); Mikhail Gurevich (Tur, 5) beat Klaus Berg (4); Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury (Ind, 4) lost to Viorel Iordachescu (Mda, 5); Herman Van Riemsdijk (Ned, 4.5) drew with Daniel Stellwagen (Ned, 4.5); Marlon Schlawin (4) lost to Jan Smeets (Ned, 5); John Van der Wiel (Ned, 5) beat Saptarshi Roy (Ind, 4); Ilya Khmelniker (Isr, 4) lost to Herman Grooten (Ned, 5); Bart Michiels (4.5) drew with Arno Bezemer (4.5); Oswaldo Zambrana (Bol, 4.5) drew with Ziska Helgi Dam (Ned, 4.5); Perez Rodney (5) beat Matthieu Freeke (4); Roktim Bandyopadhyay (Ind, 4) drew with Van Weersel Arlette (Ned, 4).