Former World junior champion Abhijeet Gupta arrested his dwindling form as he scored a sparkling victory over the leader Anton Korobov of Ukraine in the seventh round of the AICF-AAI Cup category-18 chess tournament here on Thursday.

Though he remained at the bottom of the table with three points along with Parimarjan Negi, who suffered a loss to K. Sasikiran, Gupta enlivened the proceedings in the tournament offering Rs. 12 lakh prize money, played on a double round-robin format.

Quite surprisingly, Korobov chose the English defence, and Gupta stabilised his position by the 10th move. Korobov blundered a pawn but managed to work his way out of trouble in the middle game, but ran into time pressure. Gupta clinched victory in 27 moves as he manoeuvred his queen and rooks to a commanding position.

Despite the defeat that opened up avenues for the rest with three rounds to go, Korobov continued to stay in the lead with four points along with Evgeny Alekseev of Russia who managed to force a draw with top-seeded Radoslav Wojtaszek of Poland.

Sasikiran defeated Negi in a Torre attack, to avenge his second round defeat to the Asian champion. Sasikiran pushed queen pawn to the seventh row and brought the king for support apart from his rook and bishop that forced Negi to resign after 45 moves.

Alekseev sacrificed his queen for two pieces to explore attacking possibilities but Wojtaszek played precise moves to ensure a draw through repetition of moves.

In the next round, Alekseev will face Negi, while Korobov tackles Sasikiran.

The results (seventh round): K. Sasikiran 3.5 bt Parimarjan Negi 3; Abhijeet Gupta 3 bt Anton Korobov (Ukr) 4; Evgeny Alekseev (Rus) 4 drew with Radoslav Wojtaszek (Pol) 3.5.

Keywords: Abhijeet Guptachess

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