AHMEDABAD: Former champion Suvrajit Saha took a seven-move draw from his Railways' teammate Vikramaditya Kamble in the seventh round to lead with 6.5 points in the National `B' chess championship at the Karnavati Club here on Tuesday.
Saha, winner of the 2002 edition at Jalandhar, defeated fellow overnight leader Ashwin Jayaram in the sixth round earlier in the day to head the field with a perfect score. The victorious trio of Kamble, Lanka Ravi and
16-year-old Madurai-boy Shyaam Nikhil was second with 5.5 points.
The Ashwin-Saha game saw the Railwayman punish the youngster for his choice of an inferior variation of Sicilian Najdorf. Saha clearly gained the upper hand by the 20th move. Gradually, he held a three-pawn advantage that proved decisive in this 59-move encounter.
Shyaam, too, exploited an opening mistake by local favourite Valay Parikh in the Sicilian Defence. Kamble also scored his fifth victory by cashing in on a late blunder by the ONGC veteran and International Master Varugeese Koshy.
Another seasoned ONGC campaigner Lanka Ravi took teenager Akshat Khamparia out of theory in their Nimzo game and later claimed a bishop on way to victory.
IMs Poobesh Anand, P. Konguvel and R.R. Laxman were the other winners on the top-10 boards. Vinod Bhagwat thrived on sixth seed G.B. Prakash's bad form and won while junior boy Swapnil Dhopade stunned Karnataka's contender N. Sanjay.
The results (sixth round): Ashwin Jayaram (5) lost to Suvrajit Saha (6); Thej Kumar (5) drew with K. Ratnakaran (5); Valay Parikh (4.5) lost to P. Shyaam Nikhil (5.5); Akshat Khamparia (5.5) lost to Lanka Ravi (5.5); Vikramaditya Kamble (5.5) bt Varugeese Koshy (4.5); S. Satyapragyan (4.5) drew with Eesha Karavade (4.5); Poobesh Anand (5) bt Atanu Lahiri (4); B. Adhiban (4) lost to P. Konguvel (5); R.R. Laxman (5) bt M.R. Lalith Babu (4); Soumya Ranjan Mishra (4.5) drew with Himanshu Sharma (4.5); Arjun Tiwari (5) bt B. T. Murali Krishnan (4); R. Ashwath (4.5) drew with Roktim Bandyopadhyay (4.5).
Nassir Wajih (4.5) drew with D. Harika (4.5); Dinesh Sharma (4.5) drew with S. Mari Arul (4.5); Prathamesh Mokal (5) bt Laltu Chatterji (4); Shreyansh Daklia (4) lost to Somak Palit (5); Swapnil Dhopade (5) bt N. Sanjay (4); P.D.S. Girinath (4.5) bt Biswajeet Chatterjee (4); Vinod Bhagwat (4.5) bt G.B. Prakash (3.5); Nirav Rajasuba (3.5) lost to Saptarshi Roy (4.5); Manish Joshi (3.5) lost to T.S. Ravi (4.5); K. Priyadharshan (4) drew with Sudhakar Babu (4); Preetham Sharma (3.5) lost to T. Purushothaman (4.5); Praveen Kumar (4.5) bt Debashis Das (3.5); O.T. Anil Kumar (3.5) lost to Debashish Mukherjee (4.5); Sudhir Sinha (4) drew with M.B. Muralidharan (4); Rahul Shetty (4.5) bt Manthan Chokshi (3.5); K. Gunasekaran (4.5) bt Krishan Soni (3.5); Abhishek Das (4.5) bt Chinmay Kulkarni (3.5); Syed Shazuli (4) drew with Aditya Udeshi (4); N. Srinath (4) drew with G.B. Joshi (3.5); Karun Duggal (4) drew with M. Shrinivasa Rao (4); Shaliesh Raval (3.5) lost to Gurpreet Pal Singh (4.5); Padmini Rout (4.5) bt Ram Prakash (3.5); Deep Sengupta (4) bt Sagar Shah (3.5); V. Saravanan (4) bt Chaitanya Vaidya (3); Vikram Saralaya (3.5) drew with Arghyadip Das (3.5); C.S. Gokhale (4) bt Utpal Baruah (3); Soumya Swaminathan (3) lost to R. Balasubramanium (4); Shashikant Kutwal (4) bt Naveen Hegde (3).