S.L. Narayanan of Thiruvananthapuram shocked Mikhailo Oleksienko of Ukraine in the ninth round of the Apollo Engineering College Commonwealth chess championship here on Thursday.

Narayanan exploited the Grandmaster's opening mistake on turn 21 to be ahead on material count and win in 39 moves. Narayanan who had at best been National sub-junior runner-up came close to winning a medal in the recent World under-16 championship at Slovenia.

The top board battle between Venkatesh and leader Karthikeyan lasted 31 moves and the players who knew each other well drew without much sweat after reaching a level rook ending. This result allowed top seed Sergei Tiviakov of the Netherlands to join Karthikeyan in the lead on eight points after defeating Adly of Egypt.

Just two rounds remain to be played. Four players share the third position with 7.5 points: Venkatesh, S.L. Narayanan, Lalith Babu and G. Akash.

In the most interesting game of the round, Sahaj Grover sacrificed a rook for attack. His opponent, Akash came up with a brilliant counterattack to hunt the black monarch down in 43 moves.

Two 9-game International Master norms were completed. Ram S. Krishnan of BSNL, Chennai completed his third and final norm after holding Shyam Sundar to a 25-move draw in a bishop ending. He had made two earlier norms in the Mumbai Open. Sameer Kathmale of Maharashtra completed his nine-game norm after holding GM Arun Prasad to a draw.

Important results (round nine): M.R. Venkatesh 7.5 drew with P. Karthikeyan 8; S. Tiviakov (Ned) 8 bt Ahmed Adly (Egy) 6.5; Rolando Nolte (Phi) 7 drew with D. Lintychevski (Rus) 7; S.L. Narayanan 7.5 bt M. Oleksienko (Ukr) 6.5; M.R. Lalith Babu 7.5 bt R.R. Laxman 6.5; G. Akash 7.5 bt Sahaj Grover 6.5; Ram S Krishnan 7 drew with M. Shyam Sundar 7; Neelotpal Das 6.5 drew with C.R.G. Krishna 7; M. Paragua (Phi) 6.5 drew with A. Khamparia 6.5; Karthikeyan Murali 6 lost to Marat Dzhumaev 7; Mary Ann Gomes 6 lost to S.P. Sethuraman 7; Sameer Kathmale 6.5 drew with S. Arun Prasad 6.5; A Kore 6.5 drew with Sayantan Das 6.5; Padmini Rout 6 lost to A Fominyh (Rus) 7; S. Kidambi 6.5 drew with J.E. Garcia (Phi) 6.5; Swayams Mishra 7 bt Deepak Katiyar 6; M. Kunal 6 lost to H. Sharma 7; Ikeda Junta (Aus) 6.5 drew with S. Vijayalakshmi 6.5; A Kelkar 6 lost to B. Adhiban 6.5.

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