Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran hung on to his sole lead despite losing to a resurgent Gata Kamsky in the eighth round of the ongoing third Mtel Masters Chess tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Playing white, it turned out to be a bad day in office for Sasikiran as he failed to hold his fort despite getting chances in a keenly- contested game.
On the other hand, it was a great recovery by Kamsky, who had been suffering at the bottom of the table till a couple of rounds back.
As things stand, despite the loss, Sasikiran maintained a slender half point lead over nearest rivals Veselin Topalov, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Gata Kamsky and Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu, who all have four points each, while an out-of-sort Michael Adams is now tottering at the bottom with 3.5 points.
Nisipeanu, the Grandmaster from Romania, livened up things once again in the event, defeating English Grandmaster Adams, who continued to suffer from his blues for the second day running.
The other game of the day between hot favourites Topalov of Bulgaria and Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan ended in a draw.
With just two rounds remaining it looks a certainty that the winner will be decided only in the last round which would be a befitting finale to this category-20 event being played on a round-robin basis between six players.
An indication of this closely fought event is the fact that there is only one point difference between the leader, Sasikiran, and last-placed Adams.
Sasikiran made a few mistakes that proved disastrous against Kamsky. The Indian was up against a Slav defence and Kamsky neutralised white's initiative in the opening with timely a break in the centre.
As it progressed, his position worsened despite having an extra pawn at one point and when the Indian gave up his exchange he was already fighting a lost cause. Kamsky wrapped up the issue in 60 moves.
Results (Round 8): Krishnan Sasikiran (4.5) lost to Gata Kamsky (USA, 4); Veselin Topalov (Bul, 4) drew with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 4); Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu (Rom, 4) beat Michael Adams (Eng, 3.5).
The moves (Krishnan Sasikiran v/s Gata Kamsky): 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 a6 5. e3 b5 6. c5 g6 7. Bd3 Bg7 8. h3 Bf5 9. Bxf5 gxf5 10. Qc2 Qc8 11. Ne5 Ne4 12. Nd3 Nd7 13. Ne2 Bf6 14. Bd2 Rg8 15. g3 e6 16. O-O-O h5 17. Rdg1 Qc7 18. Nef4 Nxd2 19. Qxd2 h4 20. g4 e5 21. Ne2 e4 22. Ndf4 fxg4 23. hxg4 Bg5 24. Nh3 f6 25. Nef4 Nf8 26. f3 exf3 27. Rf1 O-O-O 28. Rxf3 Re8 29. a4 Bh6 30. Nf2 Nh7 31. Ng2 Re6 32. Rxh4 Bg5 33. Rhh3 Rge8 34. Kb1 Nf8 35. Nf4 Bxf4 36. Rxf4 Nh7 37. axb5 axb5 38. Rf5 Ng5 39. Rh1 Rxe3 40. Rxf6 Nf3 41. Rxf3 Rxf3 42. Nd3 Ref8 43. Qe2 Qf7 44. Rh6 Rf1+ 45. Kc2 Rf6 46. Rxf6 Qxf6 47. g5 Qg6 48. Kc3 Qe4 49. Qxe4 dxe4 50. Ne5 Kc7 51. Kd2 Rf2+ 52. Ke3 Rxb2 53. Kxe4 Rg2 54. d5 cxd5+ 55. Kxd5 Rxg5 56. Kd4 Rh5 57. Nd3 Rh4+ 58. Kc3 Kc6 59. Kb3 Kd5 60. Kc2 Kc4 white resigned.