NEW DELHI: Third-seeded Ukrainian Grandmaster Valerij Neverov ended Parimarjan Negi's unbeaten run with a hard-fought victory in the sixth round of the Hastings Masters chess tournament at Hastings, in United Kingdom, on Monday.

The battle between the joint leaders was spread over five hours and 63 moves. Playing black, Negi had his chances to draw the game in an ending involving a bishop each and equal pawns. However, Neverov, rated 217 points above Negi, succeeded in exploiting the inexperience of the youngster.

The result saw Neverov share the lead with two others at five points, while Negi remained on four points. The loss was also a setback to Negi's chances of making his maiden GM norm. Negi, due to play black against Scottish GM Colin Mcnab in the seventh round, will have to score heavily in the remaining four rounds for the GM norm.

World under-10 boys' champion Sahaj Grover (1.5 points) registered his first victory in the tournament by scoring over Scotland's James Macrae. Grover's coach Gurpreet Pal Singh (3) lost to Ukraine's International Master Peter Marusenko.

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