MANGALORE: International Master Himanshu Sharma of Haryana continued to top the leader board with 6.5 points at the end of seventh round in second Mangalore FIDE-rated all-India open chess tournament here on Wednesday.
Behind Himanshu, on six points each, are seven players including GMs Dibyendu Barua and Pravin Thipsay along with IMs Varugeese Koshy, D.K. Sharma, R. Balasubramaniam, Amrutha Mokal and Purushothaman.
On the top board, Himanshu settled for a quick draw against Thipsay.
Koshy and D.K. Sharma too followed suit against their opponents.
But Barua, who needed a win to catch up with the leader, beat Muralikrishna by sacrificing a piece early in the game.
His precision play in the middle game and another exchange sacrifice in the end game netted him a full point.
Mokal of Maharashtra outclassed the higher rated Sudhir Kumar Sinha of MP in 34 moves from game arising out of the Classical Dragon variation.
Aniruddha Deshpande of Maharashtra sprang a surprise when he drew with IM R.R. Laxman, 350 Elo points above him from a Ruy Lopez exchange variation.
Seventh round: Himanshu Sharma 6.5 drew with Pravin Thipsay 6, Varugeese Koshy 6 drew with Dinesh K. Sharma 6, Dibyendu Barua 6 bt B.T. Murali Krishna 5.5, B.S. Shivananda 5.5 drew with Anurag Mhamal 5.5, T. Purushottam 6 bt Debanjan Datta 5, J.K. Gautam 5 lost to Balasubramaniam Ramnathan 6.
Amrutha Mokal 6 bt Sudhir Kumar Sinha 5, K. Vijay Keerthi 5.5 drew with Ashraf Subhani 5.5, Aniruddha Deshpande 5 drew with R.R. Laxman 5, G.B. Prakash drew with O.T. Anil Kumar 5.