PALAKKAD: Six hours after shocking Tamil Nadu's top-seeded Preetham R. Sharma and grabbing the lead, Kerala's P.V. Gireesh settled for a draw in the penultimate round of the Palghat Chess Academy's fourth all-India open FIDE-rated chess tournament here on Tuesday evening.
The seventh-seeded Gireesh's draw against his third-seeded State-mate O.T. Anilkumar saw three other players – M. Kunal, Preetham Sharma and M.A. Joy Lazar – join him in the lead with 7.5 points from nine rounds.
Ninth round: O.T. Anilkumar (Ker, 7) drew with P.V. Gireesh (Ker, 7.5), Preetham R. Sharma (TN, 7.5) bt T.S. Nandakumar (TN, 6.5), N.T. Suresh Kumar (Ker, 6.5) lost to M. Kunal (TN, 7.5), A. Augustine (Kar, 6.5) lost to M.A. Joy Lazar (Ker, 7.5), M. Vijay Anand (TN, 5) bt Sanjid Latheef (Ker, 6.5), P. Phoobalan (ICF, 7) bt S. Prasannaa (TN, 6), M.B. Muralidharan (Ker, 6) lost to Akhilesh T. Rai (Goa, 7), V. Ramakrishnan (Ker, 6) lost to R. Muralidharan (TN, 7), R. Pounraj (TN, 6) drew with K.V. Anilkumar (Ker, 6), K. Athish (Ker, 6) drew with Gireman Ja (TN, 6).
Eighth round: P.V. Gireesh bt Preetham Sharma, M. Kunal drew with P. Phoobalan, Rajaram lost to O.T. Anilkumar, S. Prasannaa drew with M.B. Muralidharan, Joy Lazar bt R. Ganesh, Nanda Kumar bt S.R. Harikrishna, Gireman Ja lost to A. Augustine, Sanjid Latheef bt D. Salil Kumar, Mohamed Sadiq Chanthana lost to N.T. Suresh Kumar, Syed Sadathullah lost to M. Vijay Anand .