Former world junior champion, GM Abhijeet Gupta, continued with his winning ways as he defeated Nezad Husein Aziz of Qatar to remain in joint lead with two points after the end of the second round of Dubai International Open chess tournament here on Wednesday.

Playing black, Gupta had to sweat it out against Aziz. The Grunfeld Defence was met with an opening surprise and the Indian had his back to the wall and only some deft defence allowed him to stay in the game.

Aziz missed his chances when the endgame arrived and allowed counter-play when he could have avoided that. Gupta, a pawn less, came up with an extra pawn and the rest was easy. V. Karthik defeated Athanasios Mastrovasilis of Greece with white pieces showing depth of understanding in the endgame. Karthik showed his endgame skills out of a Ruy Lopez opening as white.

The Breyer variation by the Greek GM gave Karthik a small advantage and he posted his knight on the sixth rank to cause damage once the queens got traded. Mastrovasilis could only watch as the knight created havoc and won a couple of pawns without any compensation. The game lasted 58 moves.

Sahaj Grover had an easy outing against Swede Gustav Halvarsson. The Four Knights opening by Grover as white led simplifications giving Grover a huge positional advantage and he won a piece with simple play. The game dragged on but Grover gave no chances.

The other Indians to get their second wins were Debashish Das, M. Shyam Sundar and Diptayan Ghosh. 27 players are in joint lead with a perfect score in the $50,000 prize money tournament.

Important Indian results (second round): Romain Edouard (Fra, 2) bt Ashwin Jayaram (1); Constantin Lupulescu (Rou, 2) bt Swapnil Dhopade (1); Csaba Balogh (Hun, 2) bt Sayantan Das (1); Nezad Husein Aziz (Qat, 1) lost to Abhijeet Gupta (2); Prince Bajaj (1) drew with Viorel Iordachescu (Mda, 1.5).

Rinat Jumabayev (Kaz, 2) bt Abhishek Kelkar (1); Alojzije Jankovic (Cro, 2) bt Aniruddha Deshpande (1); V. Karthik (2) bt Athanasios Mastrovasilis (Gre, 1); Debashish Das (2) bt Turar (Kaz, 1); Alshaeby Boshra (Jor, 1) lost to Diptayan Ghosh (2); Nandu Gagarin (1) lost to M. Shyam Sundar (2); Sahaj Grover (2) bt Gustav Halvarsson (Swe, 1); Gawain Jones (Eng, 1) drew with Siva Mahadevan (1); M.R. Lalith Babu (1.5) bt Alipasha Guliyev Gasan (Aze, 0.5); S. Ravi Teja 1.5 bt Tarek Altaher Salman (Uae, 0.5); Niusha Afshar (Iri, 0.5) drew with Ivana Maria Furtado (0.5); Rafee Mohd Hayel (Syr, 0.5) drew with Pratyusha Bodda (0.5); Nishant Malhotra (1) bt Akshay Halagannavar (0); Elnaami Hashem (Lba, 0) lost to Nimmy George (1); Abdulla Al-Hamed (0) lost to Harshal Shahi (UAE, 1).

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