Continuing with his fine run, R A Pradeep Kumar held compatriot Grandmaster Vaibhav Suri to a draw in the fifth round of the premier category of 14th Parsvnath Delhi International chess festival now underway here.
An untitled player still, Pradeep Kumar inched closer to an International Master norm following another fine result post his victory over Russian Grandmaster Artur Gabrielian.
At the top of the tables, Ivan Popov of Russia showed his class to beat his countryman Anton Demchenko to emerge as the sole leader.
With his fifth victory in as many games, Popov maintained a clean slate and now enjoys a half point lead over Vitaly Sivuk of Ukraine and second seed Boris Grachev of Russia. As many as seventeen players share the fourth spot with four points each in their kitty. With five rounds still to come in one of the strongest open of the country, the stage is set for an exciting second half.
Pradeep Kumar was in his elements once again. Playing black, Vaibhav Suri could not get his campaign rolling for the better as Pradeep Kumar kept the pressure around the center with a passed pawn on the queen side. The players arrived a rook and minor pieces endgame soon after and subsequent exchanges led to further liquidation with a level position. The peace was signed in 42 moves.
Meanwhile the category ‘B’ of the festival ended today with Rishab Nishad of India winning the title and a cash award of Rs. 150000/-. The category ‘B’ had a total prize pool of Rs. 1150000/-.
The second place in this section went to Pankaj Sharma and Amini Habibullah of Afghanistan finished third.
The ‘C’ category of the festival starts from Wednesday with over 950 players already registered for the event with a prize fund of Rs. 1100000/-. The Festival has a total prize fund of Rs. 3500000/- (Rupees Thirty Five Lakhs).
Important Results Round-5 (Indians otherwise stated) :- GM Ivan Popov of Russia (5) beat GM Anton Demchenko of Russia (4); GM Vitaly Sivuk of Ukraine (4.5) drew with GM Boris Grachev of Russia (4.5); GM Sriram Jha (4) drew with GM Yuri Solodovnichenko of Ukraine (4); IM Sayantan Das (4) drew with GM Adam Tukhaev of Ukraine (4); Pradeep Kumar RA (4) drew with GM Vaibhav Suri (4); GM Vitaliy Bernadskiy of Ukraine (4) drew with Mehar Chinna Reddy (4); Dhulipala Bala Chandra Prasad (3.5) lost to GM Attila Czebe of Hungary (4.5); IM Somak Palit (3.5) drew with Mikhail Mozharov of Russia (3.5); GM Lalith Babu M R(3.5) drew with Akash Thakur (3.5); GM Sipke Ernst of Netherlands (4) beat IM Rajesh VAV (3); Aradhya Garg (3) lost to GM Nguyen Duc Hoa of Vietnam (4); IM Rathnakaran K (4) beat Himal Gusain (3); IM Vignesh N R (4) beat IM Rahul Sangma (3); Sammed Jaykumar Shete (3.5) drew with K Praneeth Surya (3.5); IM Shyaamnikhil P (4) beat Srijit Paul (3); Ramnath Bhuvanesh R (3.5) drew with Lokesh N (3.5); Prince Bajaj (3.5) drew with IM Krishna CRG (3.5); IM Himanshu Sharma (3.5) drew with Erigaisi Arjun (3.5); Raghunandan K S (3) lost to IM Ravi Teja S (4).