Diptayan Ghosh is leading the field with 6.5 points © Getty Images (Representational Image)
Diptayan Ghosh is leading the field with 6.5 points © Getty Images (Representational Image)

Mumbai: Indian Grand Master Diptayan Ghosh maintained his good form to defeat compatriot and International Master Shyam Nikhil and emerge as the sole leader at the end of the 7th round of the Mumbai Mayor’s International Open Chess Tournament on Tuesday. Ghosh is leading the field with 6.5 points, followed by the 2nd seed, GM Boris Grachev of Russia, Himal Gusain of India and Amanatov Farrukh of Tajikistan – all with 6 points apiece. Overnight joint leaders Ghosh and Shyam faced each other on the top board in a much anticipated clash. On the 29th move, the latter offered a rook to expose the king of his opponent who, however, refused it with a plan to trap Shyam’s queen and succeeded before winning the game in 60 moves.

On the 4th board, Gusain had to face Maharashtra’s Sammad Shete. The game was going level till the 35th move when Sammad sacrificed his bishop to expose Himal’s king, but failed miserably and lost the game in 47 moves. Russian GM Grachev opted for the semi Slav defence against Pune IM Abhishek Kelkar on the 12th move. The latter sacrificed his bishop for the ‘h’ pawn, but failed to convert it into a decisive advantage and had to accept defeat in 52 moves. On the 3rd board, Faruukh had an easy win against Shailesh Dravid of Nagpur in 29 moves.

Other key results: IM Visakh N R drew with Swapnil S Dhopade; IM ikramaditya Kulkarni bt GM Rahman Ziaur (BAN); FM Raghunandan K S drew with GM Shardul Gagare; Evgeny Gleizerov (RUS) bt FM Ahmed S Nasir (BAN); IM Saptarshi Roy bt Akash PC Iyer; WIM Ivana Maria Furtado drew with IM Krishna CRG.