Swati Ghate moved closer to the coveted Women Grandmaster norm after playing out a draw with Grandmaster Peter Wells of England [ Images ] in the fifth round of Smith and Willaimson British Chess Championship at Edinburgh, Scotland on Saturday.
Grandmaster Ziaur Rahman of Bangladesh defeated International Master Adam hunt of England to move into the lead with 4.5 points.
Seven players remained on the heels of Rahman just half a point behind. They are, GMs Surya Shekhar Ganguly, Abhijit Kunte, top seed Vassilos Kotronias of Cyprus, Paul Motwani of Scotland, former champion Joseph Gallagher of Switzerland [ Images ] and English duo of Aaron Summerscale and IM Daniel Gormally of England.
A pack of 12 players including subcontinent's first Woman Grandmaster Subbaraman Vijayalakshmi, GM P Harikrishna, Tejas Bakre and Swati have 3.5 points each. Swati is slated to play Tejas in the next round which will keep her average rating intact. The Pune based LIC [ Get Quote ] employee needs just about 1.5 points and right opponents in the next four rounds to get her second WGM norm.
Among other Indians in the championship, IM Sunderrajan Kidambi's hopes of a maiden GM norm suffered a setback after he lost a double-edged contest against Kotronias while P Harikrishna drew a well-fought game with IM Pert Nicholas of England.
Commonwealth Champion Dibyendu Barua came out of his blues with a thumping victory over Stephen Gordon of England. Barua is on 2.5 points from five games and will have to play at his best in the remaining rounds to retain his chances in the championship.
Tejas Bakre played a fine technical game to beat Robert Gwaze of Zimbabwe who played white and so did Abhijit Kunte against compatriot Gurpreet Pal Singh.
The Indian girls had no regrets in this round as none of them lost. Vijayalakshmi and Nisha Mohota scored over Englishmen Laurance Webb and David Adams respectively while S Meenakshi, Aarthie Ramaswamy and Eesha Karavade were involved in draws.
Harikrishna employed the Grunfeld defence to tackle the Queen pawn opening by Nicholas and got an easy equality with precise piece-play that came from the Fianchetto variation.
Nicholas opted for quick exchanges of pieces in order to simplify matters but in the process lost a pawn after which Harikrishna tried to grind him for a long time. However, the nature of the end game always remained within the boundaries of a draw with players having Bishops of opposite colours. The peace treaty was signed on move 56.
Kidambi had to pay the price for his over ambitious play against Kotronias. The Indian looked well on top at one stage of the game but Kotronias worked his counter play well to remain in the game.
Arising out of the Advance variation, the middle game became extremely complicated after Kotronias went for a direct attack against the king by sacrificing as many as three pawns. Kidambi managed the proceedings well and the game should have been a draw but the Chennai based sacrificed an exchange to complicate further. Kotronias thwarted all the threats in copybook fashion thereon and his extra material helped him notch the full point on move 46.
Important results Round 5 (Indians unless specified): Adam Hunt (3.5, Eng) lost to Ziaur Rahman (4.5, Ban); Daniel Gormally (4, Eng) drew Aaron Summerscale (4, Eng);Vassilios Kotronias (4, Cyp) beat Sundararajan Kidambi (3); Nicholas Pert (3.5, Eng) drew P Harikrishna (3.5); Jonathan Rowson (3.5, Sco) drew Arakhamia-Grant Ketevan (3.5, Geo); Simon Ansell (3, Eng) lost to Surya Shekhar Ganguly (4); Paul Motwani (4, Sco) beat Colin Mcnab (3, Sco); Joseph Gallagher (4, Sui) beat Sam Collins (3, Irl); Abhijit Kunte (4) beat Gurpreet Pal Singh (3); Swati Ghate (3) drew Peter Wells (3, Eng); Stuart Conquest (3, Eng) drew Steve Mannion (3, Sco); Ameet K Ghasi (3, Eng) drew Matthew Turner (3, Eng); S Vijayalakshmi (3.5) beat Laurence Webb (2.5, Eng); Robert Gwaze (2.5, Zim) lost to Tejas Bakre (3.5); David Adams (2, Eng) lost to Nisha Mohota (3); Stephen Gordon (1.5, Eng) lost to Dibyendu Barua (2.5); Joe Redpath (2.5, Sco) beat Neelotpal Das (1.5); Subbaraman Meenakshi (2) drew Adam Ashton(1.5, Eng); Clive L Walters (2, Eng) drew Aarthie Ramaswamy (2); Melanie Buckley (1.5, Eng) drew Eesha Karavade (1.5).