IM Swapnil Dhopade of Railways continued his winning form emerging the sole leader with three points after the third round of the Tata National premier chess at Khudiram Indoor Hall here on Wednesday.
The 13-round Swiss League meet saw Swapnil Dhopade wrest the lone win in a spate of draws on the top boards. Dhopade opted for the Benko Gambit against GM M.R. Lalith Babu of Petroleum.
The Railways player had active play on the queen-side and won a pawn by move No. 30 to reach a better position. Lalith Babu resigned at that point when he saw he was losing yet another pawn. Interestingly, Railways has the second largest contingent after Petroleum in the tournament.
Another Railways player, IM Saptarshi Roy, came up with a disciplined performance to hold top-seeded GM B. Adhiban of Petroleum to a creditable draw in a long-drawn rook and pawn endgame. In another surprise result, 13-year-old Aravindh Chithambaram of Tamil Nadu held veteran GM Praveen Thipsay to a draw in a Guico Piano defence.
The results (third round): Neelotpal Das (2.5) drew with G.N. Gopal (2.5), M.R. Lalith Babu (1.5) lost to Swapnil Dhopade (3), Saptarshi Roy (2) drew with B. Adhiban (2), Sahaj Grover (2) drew with Debashis Das (2), Anurag Mhamal (1.5) lost to M.R. Venkatesh (2.5), S. Arun Prasad (2) drew with Abhilash Reddy (2), S. Satyapragyan (2) drew P. Kartikeyan (2), S.P. Sethuraman (1) lost to Swayams Mishra (2), S.L. Narayanan (1.5) drew with Deep Sengupta (1.5), Deepan Chakravarthy (2) bt Mary Ann Gomes (1), Bitan Banerjee (1.5) drew with Abhijit Kunte (1.5), Murali Kartikeyan (1) lost to Vidit Gujarathi (2), Sundarajan Kidambi (2) bt Pratik Patil (1), Aravindh Chithambaram (1.5) drew with Praveen Thipsay (1.5), V.A.V. Rajesh (1.5) drew with Sagar Shah (1.5), K. Praneeth Surya (1) lost to Dibyendu Barua (1.5), Diptayan Ghosh (1.5) bt Arindam Mukherjee (0.5), Shasikant Kutwal (0.5) lost to G. Akash (1.5), Atanu Lahiri (0.5) lost to S. Ravi Teja (1.5), Sohan Phadke (1) drew with B.T. Muralikrishnan (1), Suvrajit Saha (0.5) drew with C.R.G. Krishna (0.5), Ram S. Krishnan (0) lost to C. Praveen Kumar (1).