Grandmaster Pendyala Harikrishna gave an emphatic endgame display to outwit M R Venkatesh while Dibyendu Barua managed to win yet another game by the skin of his teeth in the fourth round of the Tata International Open Chess tournament in Jamshedpur on Wednesday.
As many as five Grandmasters -- Saidali Iuldashev of Uzbekistan, Bangladesh's Niaz Murshed and Ziaur Rahman, Harikrishna and Barua -- emerged joint leaders with four points.
Half a point adrift of the leaders are 12 players including top seed GM Dmitry Svetushkin of Moldova, GM Alexander Fominyh of Russia and GM-in-waiting R B Ramesh.
Harikrishna's endgame technique compiled with his will to win proved too much for his long time onboard rival M R Venkatesh. It was a Ruy Lopez where the former played black and emerged in the endgame with only a miniscule advantage ready to slip away any moment.
Harikrishna sacrificed two pawns to make some progress, won them back with power-play and slowly squeezed out the defense of Venkatesh in the ensuing rook and minor piece position with just three pawns apiece. The marathon lasted 82 moves.
It turned out to Barua's day in his pet Slav defence game with black pieces. Playing against his Bengal statemate Suvrajit Saha, Barua faced opening problems when he failed to equalise comfortably and was pushed to the wall.