Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta got the better of Grandmaster Sahaj Grover to stay in joint lead after the third round of 16th Dubai International Open chess tournament here on Thursday.

It turned out to be another good day for Abhijeet, who played almost flawless chess to score his third victory in as many rounds in this $50000 prize-money tournament.

With six rounds to go, its a six-way tie at the top with Eduardo Romain of France, Axel Bachmann of Paraguay, Anuar Ismagambetov of Kazakhstan, Eduardo Itturizaga of Venezuela, Hatim Al-Hadarani of Yemen and Abhijeet sharing the honours with a perfect score.

Indian Grandmasters — M.R. Lalith Babu, Debashish Das, M. Shyam Sundar — and International Master Diptayan Ghosh are among those who have 2.5 points and this list is topped by highest ranked Anton Korobov of Ukraine.

Fine game

Abhijeet played a fine game to beat Grover from the white side of a Queen’s Indian defence. Grover tempted Abhijeet into an exchange sacrifice that was hard to judge and the latter took the bait to reach a tense endgame.

The right defence would have yielded a draw but Grover could not find it with his clock ticking away and ended up losing a handful of pawns that proved decisive.

Among other Indians in the fray, Debashish put up a perfect defence to hold higher-ranked Csaba Balogh of Hungary in a long drawn endgame.

Important Indian results (third round): Debashis Das (2.5) drew with Csaba Balogh (Hun, 2.5); Abhijeet Gupta (3) bt Sahaj Grover (2); Diptayan Ghosh (2.5) drew with Aleksandr Rakhmanov (Rus, 2.5); Axel Bachmann (Par, 3) bt V. Karthik (2); Viorel Iordachescu (Mda, 2.5) bt S. Ravi Teja (1.5); Dinara Saduakassova (Kaz, 1.5) lost to M.R. Lalith Babu (2.5); Ziaur Rahman (Ban, 2.5) bt Prince Bajaj (1.5); Nimmy George (1.5) lost to Adrien Demuth (Fra, 2.5); Ashwin Jayaram (2) bt Nishant Malhotra (1); Swapnil Dhopade (2) bt Marvin Marcos (Phi, 1); Siva Mahadevan (1) lost to Amirreza Pourramezanali (Iri, 2); Sayantan Das (2) bt Alattar Rakan (Jor, 1); Harshal Shahi (2) bt C.R.G. Krishna (3); Abhishek Kelkar (1.5) drew with Sultan Ibrahim (UAE, 1.5); Aniruddha Deshpande (2) bt Hamed Mohamed (Sud, 1); Ahmed Fareed (UAE, 1.5) drew with N. Raghavi (1.5); Harikrishnan Samyuktha (1.5) drew with E. Momeni (Iri, 1.5); Ivana Maria Furtado (1.5) bt Guliyev Gasan Alipasha (Aze, 0.5); Pratyusha Bodda (1) drew with Assaubayeva Bibissara (Kaz, 1); Akshay Halagannavar (1) bt Ahmed Al Khatib (Jor, 0). — PTI

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