Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi chalked out an easy victory over fellow Indian Abhijeet Kunte to maintain a clean slate after the second round of the Asian Individual Chess Championship in Mashhad, Iran.
With his second victory in as many games, Parimarjan took his tally to two points and now shares the lead with the Chinese duo of Bu Xiangzhi and Yu Yangyi and Rinat Zumabayev of Kazakhstan.
On what turned out to be a generally good day for the Indians, second seed Krishnan Sasikiran bounced back with an emphatic victory over Shahin Sadeh of Iran, Surya Shekhar Ganguly crashed through the defenses of another Iranian Mohammad Miran Khademi while B Adhiban outwitted Gao Rui of China.
In the all-Indian duels, SP Sethuraman proved superior to M Shyam Sundar and G N Gopal did not face many problems in cruising past Vaibhav Suri. The other Indian in the fray -- Debashish Das -- lost to Indonesian GM Megaranto Susanto while P Harikrishna played out a draw on the top board with Chinese Wen Yang.
In the Women's championship, top seed D Harika could not force matters and had to sign peace with Nguyen Pham le Thao of Vietnam.
The drawn result paved way for second seed Munguntuul Batkhuyag of Mongolia to come in front and she now shares the lead with Irine Kharisma Sukandar of Indonesia.
It turned out to be a mixed day for the Indian girls as only Swathi Ghate scored a victory at the expense of Homa Alavi of Iran while Soumya Swaminathan, Mary Ann Gomes and Eesha Karavade conceded draws. It was the end of the road for Padmini Rout, who went down to Ghazal Hakimifard of Iran.
Parimarjan Negi had little to do with black as Kunte blundered early. The Semi-Slav defense by Negi gave him good opportunities after Kunte went for unwarranted complications and ended up losing his queen for just a rook.
The rest was easy as Parimarjan completed the formalities in 35 moves. Sasikiran opened with the King pawn against Sadeh and it was another Slav of the day wherein white prevailed. Meticulously deployed forces allowed Sasikiran to unleash a decisive attack against the black king in the middle game and he romped home in just 26 moves.
Seven rounds still remain in the Championships that are part of the next World Championship qualification cycle. Apart from the $65,000 prize fund there are four seats in the open for the next World Cup while the winner in the women's competition will qualify to the next World Cup.
Important and Indian results round 2 (Indians unless stated):
P Harikrishna (1.5) drew with Wen Yang (Chn, 1.5); Elshan Moradiabadi (Iri, 1) lost to Bu Xiangzhi (Chn, 2); Yu Yangyi (Chn, 2) beat Darwin Laylo (Phi, 1); Abhijit Kunte (1) lost to Parimarjan Negi (2); Alavi Sayed Javad (Iri, 1.5) drew with Zhou Weiqi (Chn, 1.5); Bakr Jwan (Syr, 1) lost to Rinat Jumabayev (Kaz, 2); Cao Sang (Vie, 1.5) drew with Yu Ruiyuan (Chn, 1.5); K Sasikiran (1.5) beat Shahin Sadeh (Iri, 0.5); Anuar Ismagambetov (Kaz, 1.5) beat Rustam Kasimdzhanov (Uzb, 0.5); Mohammad Miran Khademi (Iri, 0.5) lost to Surya Shekhar Ganguly (1.5); B Adhiban (1.5) beat Gao Rui (Chn, 0.5); Megaranto Susanto (Ina, 1.5) beat Debashis Das (0.5); M Shyam Sundar (0.5) lost to S P Sethuraman (1.5); Vaibhav Suri (0) lost to G N Gopal (1).
Women: Nguyen Pham Le Thao (Vie, 1.5) drew with D Harika (1.5); Munguntuul Batkhuyag (Mgl, 2) beat Nguyen Thi Thanh An (Vie, 1); Hoang Thi Bao Tram (Vie, 1) lost to Irine Kharisma Sukandar (Ina, 2); Mitra Hejazipour (Iri, 1.5) drew with Eesha Karavade (1.5); Huang Qian (Chn, 1.5) beat Guliskhan Nakhbayeva (Kaz, 1); Mary Ann Gomes (1) drew with Tan Zhongyi (Chn, 1); Nafisa Muminova (Uzb, 1.5) beat Ghader Pour Shayesteh (Iri, 0.5); Padmini Rout (Iri, 0.5) lost to Ghazal Hakimifard (Iri, 1.5); Soumya Swaminathan (0.5) drew with Minoo Asgarizadeh (Iri, 0.5); Swathi Ghate (1) beat Homa Alavi (Iri, 0).