Grandmaster-in-waiting V. Vishnu Prasanna continued his dream run and held Argentine GM Sandro Mareco to a draw but Abhijeet Gupta suffered a shock defeat in the fifth round of the Grand Europe Albena International Chess Tournament here.
Abhijeet, a former world junior champion, lost to Brazilian International Master Roberto Junio Brito Molina.
The draw helped Vishnu stay in joint lead on 4.5 points out of a possible five and the Indian now shares the podium with Mareco, Armenian duo of Tigran Petrosian and Hrant Melkumyan; Vladislav Nevednichy of Roumania and legendry Grandmaster Evgeny Sveshnikov of Latvia.
Ashwin Jayaram shares the seventh spot on four points. In his fifth round game, Jayaram got the better off Turkish Yakup Erturan.
It was an otherwise sluggish day for the Indians as Anurag Mahamal shared the point with Grigor Grigorov of Bulgaria, Sagar Shah also achieved the same result against Danny Raznikov of Israel while Swapnil Dhopade also had to split the point with Alexsej Gorbatov of Russia.
N. Raghavi, the lone Indian woman, suffered a defeat at the hands of Moldovan Diana Baciu.
With just four rounds remaining in the 30000 Euros tournament, Anurag Mahamal has 3.5 points in his kitty while Gupta, Shah and Dhopade have an identical three points apiece.
Vishnu Prasanna opted for the Hedgehog set up as black against Mareco who started with the English opening.
The middle game turned a bit exciting as the Argentinean made a foray on the queen side hoping to capitalise on his pawn majority there.
Momentarily, it looked that the Indian was caught on the wrong terrain but Prasanna had seen a fine tactical trick that wriggled him out in no time.
The finale, like in the previous round when he beat Chatalbashev, was interesting as Mareco had an extra queen on board but his king was not able to hide itself from perpetual checks. The game lasted 29 moves.
Abhijeet, meanwhile, simply blundered from a completely winning position against Molino. The Classical Sicilian has given Gupta many points in various tournaments as black but on this day it faltered like never before.
Doing everything by the book, Abhijeet outplayed the Brazilian and had an extra pawn in the heavy pieces endgame that ensued on board but a terrible oversight cost him dearly.
Molino won in 65 moves.
Important and Indian Results round 5 (Indians unless stated): Sandro Mareco (Arg, 4.5) drew with V. Vishnu Prasanna (4.5); Yuri Solodovnichenko (Ukr, 3.5) lost to Tigran Petrosian (Arm, 4.5); Vasil Spasov (Bul, 3.5) lost to Hrant Melkumyan (Arm, 4.5); Vitaliy Bernadskiy (Ukr, 3.5) lost to Vladislav Nevednichy (Rou, 4.5); Constantin Lupulescu (Rou, 3) lost to Evgeny Sveshnikov (Lat, 4.5); Roberto Junio Brito Molina (Bra, 4) beat Abhijeet Gupta (3); Anurag Mhamal (3.5) drew with Grigor Grigorov (Bul, 3.5); Yakup Erturan (Tur, 3) lost to Ashwin Jayaram (4); Danny Raznikov (Isr, 3) drew with Sagar Shah (3); Swapnil Dhopade (3) drew with Alexej Gorbatov (Rus, 3); Diana Baciu (Mda, 2.5) beat N. Raghavi (1.5).