Young IM Murali Karthikeyan sprung the biggest surprise of the meet so far by upstaging Armenian GM Levon Babuijan in the sixth round of the SREI International Grandmasters chess tournament on Tuesday.
The 14-year-old Karthikeyan, who is the National sub-junior champion and one of the youngest participants in the tournament, brightened the prospects of picking up his second GM norm after the big win. He had picked up the first norm at the 11th Delhi International Open Chess Festival in January this year.
Murali, now on 4.5 points, is in joint second position with eight others including compatriots GM Deep Sengupta and IM Anurag Mhamal.
Overnight leader, Marat Dzhumaev of Uzbekistan lost to GM Samvel Ter-Sahakyan of Armenia, who along with IM Jacek Stopa of Poland jointly share the lead with five points each.
National women’s (Premier) champion, Mary Ann Gomes drew against the Ukrainian GM Vladislav Borovikov to take her tally to four points.
Meanwhile, GM Tejas Bakre and GM Niaz Murshed of Bangladesh, both withdrew from the tournament citing health reasons.
Important results (all Indians unless specified): Sixth round: Marat Dzhumaev (Uzb) 4.5 lost to Samvel Ter-Sahakyan (Arm) 5, Anurag Mhamal 4.5 drew with Ivan Popov (Rus) 4.5, Mikhail Mozharov (Rus) 4.5 drew with Tornike Sanikidze (geo) 4.5, Merab Gagunashvilli (Geo) 4 lost to Jacek Stopa (Pol) 5, Surya Sekhar Ganguly 4 drew with Drazic Sinisa (Srb) 4, Levan Pantsulaia (Geo) 4.5 bt Neelotpal Das 3.5, Deep Sengupta 4.5 bt Swayams Mishra 3.5, Mary Ann Gomes 4 drew with Vladislav Borovikov (Ukr) 4, Praveen Thipsay 4 drew with Valeriy Neverov (Ukr) 4, Levon Babujian (Arm) 3.5 lost to Murali Karthikeyan 4.5, Vahe Baghdasaryan (Arm) 4.5 bt Hovik Hayrapetyan (Arm) 3.5, Azer Mirzoev (Aze) 3.5 drew with N.R. Visakh 3.5.