Anton Korobov of Ukraine stayed in sole lead with 3.5 points as he drew with Asian champion Parimarjan Negi in the fifth round of the AICF-AAI Cup category-18 chess tournament at the AAI Officers’ Institute, Safdarjung Airport, here on Tuesday.

On another day of exciting play, Evgeny Alekseev followed half a point behind the leader, as he capitalised on an opening blunder of former World junior champion Abhijeet Gupta to earn the only full point of the day.

The top-seeded Radoslav Wojtaszek of Poland played a draw with K. Sasikiran.

Korobov has three more matches with white pieces at the half way stage in the double round-robin league featuring the six elite players.

Wojtaszek and Negi were on 2.5 points, while Sasikiran was at the bottom with 1.5 points, in the tournament offering a total prize purse of Rs. 12 lakh.

Abhijeet Gupta came up with an opening surprise but the ploy boomeranged when he blundered a pawn. Alekseev managed to steer through with the advantage even though he did not opt for the best moves.

The results (fifth round): Parimarjan Negi 2.5 drew with Anton Korobov (Ukr) 3.5 Radoslav Wojtaszek (Pol)2.5 drew with K. Sasikiran (1.5); Evgeny Alekseev (Rus) 3 bt Abhijeet Gupta 2.

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