NEW DELHI: After Dibyendu Barua, it was the turn of fellow-Kolkata Grandmaster and second seed Surya Shekhar Ganguly to fall to Saptarshi Roy. The flamboyant youngster caused the biggest upset of the Parsvnath International Open chess tournament and moved within a draw of gaining his maiden GM norm after the ninth and penultimate round here on Saturday. Before Roy surprised Ganguly by trading his rook for a minor piece and a pawn to win their Petroff game in 58 moves, leader Alexei Fedorov made sure of the title with a round to spare.
The top seed from Belarus brushed aside S. Satyapragyan for another convincing victory and reached 8.5 points. He is one-point ahead of Kazakhstan's Pavel Kotsur, Roy and M. R. Venkatesh. Kotsur took a friendly draw with Bangladesh's Ziaur Rehman. Venkatesh carved out a brilliant victory in 32 moves following a terrific queenside offensive.
Young Parimarjan Negi continued to play above himself. The 12-year-old proved equal to Barua, his fifth GM rival in six rounds, and kept alive his chances of a second successive GM-norm. Negi, with 6.5 points, needs a victory over S. Kidambi on Sunday.
The day also saw Diwakar Prasad Singh and Arjun Tiwari gain their maiden IM norms. Diwakar defeated S. Meenakshi, while Tiwari surprised Saptarshi Roy Choudhury to reach 6.5 points. However, Sandipan Chanda shattered the GM-norm chances of Himanshu Sharma.
The results (Indians unless stated): Ninth round: S. Satyapragyan (7) lost to Alexei Fedorov (Blr) (8.5); Pavel Kotsur (Kaz) (7.5) drew with Ziaur Rehman (Ban) (7); Surya Shekhar Ganguly (6.5) lost to Saptarshi Roy (7.5); P. Konguvel (6.5) lost to M. R. Venkatesh (7.5); Konstantin Chernysov (Rus) (6.5) drew with Alexander Raetsky (6) (Rus); Sandipan Chanda (7) bt Himanshu Sharma (6); K. Ratnakaran (6.5) drew with R. B. Ramesh (6.5); Abdulla Al-Rakib (Ban) (6.5) drew with D. Harika (6.5); Parimarjan Negi (6.5) drew with Dibyendu Barua (6.5); R. Zhumabaev (Kaz) (7) bt Niaz Murshed (Ban) (6); Sriram Jha (7) bt Soumitra Majumdar (6); T. S. Ravi (5.5) lost to Marat Dzhumaev (Uzb) (6.5); S. Kidambi (6.5) bt Shashikant Kutwal (5.5); Anup Deshmukh (5.5) lost to S. Vijayalakshmi (6.5); Nasir Ahmed (Ban) (6) drew with Enamul Hossain (Ban) (6); B. S. Shivanandan (5.5) lost to R. Balasubramanium (6.5); Atanu Lahiri (5.5) lost to Abhijeet Gupta (6.5); T. Purushothaman (6) drew with Anuar Ismagambetov (Kaz) (6); R.R. Laxman (6.5) bt Beenish Bhatia (5.5); O. T. Anil Kumar (6.5) bt Poobesh Anand (5.5); Mesgen Amanov (Tkm) (5.5) lost to Vikramaditya Kamble (6.5); Diwakar Prasad Singh (6.5) bt S. Meenakshi (5.5); Arjun Tiwari (6.5) bt Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury (5.5); Roktim Bandopadhyay (6) drew with Nassir Wajih (6); Y. Sandeep (5.5) lost to Vishal Sareen (6.5); Arvinder Preet Singh (6.5) bt Dinesh Kumar Sharma (5.5); Rahul Sangma (5.5) lost to Swati Ghate (6.5); Saurabh Kherdekar (5.5) drew with Nurlan Ibraev (Kaz) (5.5); Tejas Bakre (5.5) drew with Akshat Khamparia (5.5); Arghyadip Das (6) bt S. P. Sethuraman (5); C. Praveen Kumar (5.5) drew with Sergei Simonenko (Tkm) (5.5); Hari Om Sharma (5) lost to Suvrajit Saha (6); Deep Sengupta (6) bt Vinoth Kumar (5); S. Arun Prasad (5.5) drew with B. Adhiban (5.5); K. Ramu (5) lost to M. S. Thej Kumar (6); N. Sanjay (6) bt Sohan Phadke (5); Mohammad Ali (Ban) (5) lost to G. N. Gopal (6); Jitendra Choudhary (5.5) drew with Rahul Shetty (5.5); V. Somesh (6) bt Mehdi Hasan (Ban) (5); Prakash Golecha (5) lost to Somak Palit (6) Nisha Mohota (5.5) drew with K. Priyadarshan (5.5).