Grandmasters M R Lalith Babu and Henrik Teske of Germany played out a hard-fought draw between them to maintain their lead at the end of the seventh round of the 5th Chennai Open International Grandmasters chess tournament in Chennai on Saturday.
Four players share the lead with six points at the end of the seventh round. The other overnight leader Grandmaster Lu Shanglei of China was humbled by Indian Grandmaster B Adhiban in just 28 moves.
Adhiban capitalised on the unorthodox and risky play of the Chinese to launch a strong offensive against the King. The Chinese Grandmaster lost a rook but tried to give perpetual checks to Adhiban which was easily parried. The win launched Adhiban into the leaderboard with six points from seven games.
Chinese player Wan Yunguo was the other joint leader after he beat Indian International Master S Nitin.
As many as fourteen players are in the joint second place with 5.5 points that includes the top seed Grandmaster Aleksej Aleksandrov of Belarus and a host of other Indian players hopeful of getting their norms from the event.
In the lone upset of the day, Indian International Master Rahul Shetty downed USA Grandmaster Raset Ziatdinov. Shetty adopted the off-beat Torre Attack and took the game into an ending with the American Grandmaster's Rook standing guard to prevent Shetty's pawn from promoting into a queen.
Shetty skillfully marched on with his king to create a zugzwang wherein any move by the opponent loses instantly. With this win, Shetty jumped upto 5.5 points to be on the joint second place.
Young B Kumaran, who is on a roll in this event, continued his fluent run when he drew with yet another higher rated rival Ram S Krishnan. With this draw, Kumaran was on the road to gain his maiden International Master norm.