G. Akash emerged as the sole leader with 8.5 points at the end of the 12th and penultimate round in the Tata National premier chess at the Khudiran Indoor Hall on Saturday.
Akash is followed by IM Vidit Santosh Gujarathi, GM Deep Sengupta and GM S. Arun Prasad on 8 points each.
Akash defeated Venkatesh in 42 moves in a Ruy Lopez opening, after both the players made errors under time pressure.
On the top board, Deep Sengupta drew against Vidit Santosh Gujrathi in a Reti opening, though the former enjoyed a better position in most part of the game.
In another match, S. Arun Prasad won a piece on the 36th move against Deepan Chakravarthy after which the latter resigned. In other notable matches, G.N. Gopal drew a long game against M.R. Latith
Babu in 79 moves in a rook versus knight ending while GM Dibyendu Barua drew against Mary Ann Gomes in 33 moves in the Pelikan variation of the Sicilian defence.
The results (Round 12): Vidit Santosh Gujarathi (8) drew with Deep Sengupta (8); G. Akash (8.5) bt M.R. Venkatesh (7.5); G.N. Gopal (7.5) drew with M.R. Lalith Babu (7); Deepan Chakravarthy (6.5) lost to S. Arun Prasad (8); Abhijit Kunte (7) drew with Neelotpal Das (7); Swayams Mishra (7) drew with Swapnil Dhopade (7); B. Adhiban (7.5) bt S.P. Sethuraman (6); Sahaj Grover (6.5) drew with Murali Kartikeyan (6.5); S. Satyapragyan (6.5) drew with Debashis Das (6.5); Sagar Shah (6) lost to Anurag Mhamal (7); Dibyendu Barua (6) drew with Mary Ann Gomes (6); Praveen Thipsay (6.5) bt Diptayan Ghosh (5.5).
C. Praveen Kumar (5.5) lost to P. Kartikeyan (6); S. Kidambi (5) lost to K. Praneeth Surya (6.5); Suvrajit Saha (5) lost to B.T. Murali Krishnan (6); Shashikant Kutwal (5.5) drew with Bitan Banerjee (5.5); S.L. Narayanan (6) bt Pratik Patil (4.5); V.A.V. Rajesh (5) drew with C.R.G. Krishna (4.5); S. Ravi Teja (5.5) bt Sohan Phadke(3).
Ram S. Krishnan (4) drew with Arindam Mukherjee (4). — Principal Correspondent