Grandmaster Surya Shekhar Ganguly kept himself in contention, drawing with Sergey Fedorchuk of Ukraine in the fifth round of Fujairah International Open chess tournament in Fujairah.
The draw helped the several times national champion Ganguly inch up to four points out of a possible five and the Indian now shares the lead with Fedorchuk, Etienne Bacrot of France and Alexander Moiseenko of Ukraine, who all have four points apiece.
Grandmaster Sandipan Chanda is in the group of six players with 3.5 points who trail the leader by just a half point. On a good day for himself, Chanda defeated Ni Hua of China.
With just four rounds remaining in the $50,500 prize money tournament, Grandmaster and former world junior champion Abhijeet Gupta is on three points and the Indian company includes GM Tejas Bakre and International Master V Saravanan.
While Gupta was held to a draw by Yu Ruiyuan of China, V Saravanan did well to hold Jaan Ehlvest of United States and Tejas Bakre achieved the same result against Mircea-Emilian Parligras of Romania.
Ganguly employed the Catalan opening against Fedorchuk who did not face any trouble in equalising. The Ukrainian started to press for a victory after parting two minor pieces for a rook and it was an edge-of-the-seat battle once the endgame arrived.
Ganguly had to defend precisely as black was threatening to push a pawn to glory but the Indian was also quite up to the task. The game was drawn in 63 moves.
Chanda scored an important victory over Ni Hua from the black side of a Petroff defense. The middle game saw the Chinese on top with some space advantage and Chanda patiently waited for his chances which came in the heavy pieces endgame.
Winning a couple of pawn with deft planning, Chanda won in 48 moves.
Gupta's hunt for victory did not materialise even though he tried hard against Yu Ruiyuan. After a Slav defense, Gupta successfully transposed to a slightly better endgame but could not force matters as Ruiyuan kept finding the right defense.
Saravanan remained on course for his maiden Grandmaster norm after signing peace as white against Ehlvest.