The fight for the top honours is poised for an interesting finish in the EKA|IIFL Investment Managers 4thMumbai International Chess Tournament with three players tied in top position at the end of the penultimate round Monday.
Vietnamese GM Tran Tuan Minh (ELO 2524), and Indians GM Abhimanyu Puranik (ELO 2544) and upcoming talent IM Gukesh D (ELO 2466) are all tied at the top with 6.5 points each at the end of the eighth round.
The 19-year-old GM Puranik, from Maharashtra and playing with the black pieces, produced an impressive performance to score a decisive win in 26 moves against the overnight leader, 22-year-old Vietnamese Tarn Tuan Minh, in a crucial eighth round game at the World Trade Centre here.
Sixth-ranked Puranik, with this win, has put the brakes on the Vietnameses charge to the title and it has also enhanced his own prospects of emerging champion.
This was the first defeat for the seventh-ranked Tran.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadus 12-year-old and 14thranked Gukesh bounced into contention for the title with an authoritative victory over AustrianIM Gajek Radoslaw (2475) with black pieces in 39 moves.
Gukesh, who had lost to Indian IM Kathmale Sameer in the second round, takes on Tran on the top board in the concluding round.
On the second board, Puranik will face-off against second ranked Russian GM Ivan Rozum, who - with six points - is placed in the eighth position.
IM Sardana Rishi (Australia), IM Muthaiah Al (India), GM Rahman Ziaur (Bangladesh), IM Visakh N R.
(India), GM Rozum Ivan (Russia) and GM Laxman R R (India), all with six points each, follow the leaders.
Results: Round 8 (Top 10 boards):GM Tran Tuan Minh (VIE, 2524) 6.5 lost GM Puranik Abhimanyu (IND, 2544) 6.5; GM Rozum Ivan (RUS, 2589) 6 drew GM Rahman Ziaur (BAN, 2468) 6; IM Muthaiah Al (IND, 2408) 6 drew IM Visakh N R (IND, 2491) 6; IM Gajek Radoslaw (AUT, 2475) 5 lost IM Gukesh D (IND, 2466) 6.5; IM Nguyen Van Huy (VIE, 2438) 5.5 drew GM Chanda Sandipan (IND, 2555) 5.5; GM Laxman R R (IND, 2436) 6 drew with GM Mosadeghpour Masoud (IRI, 2520) 5; GM Ankit R Rajpara (IND, 2465) lost IM Sardana Rishi (AUS, 2398) 6; Saurabh Anand (IND, 2246) 5.5 drew IM Das Sayantan (IND, 2453) 5.5; GM Stupak Kirill (BLR, 2557) 5.5 beat GM Manik Mikulas (SVK, 2410) 4. 5; Sammed Jaykumar Shete (IND, 2378) 4.5 drew GM Deepan Chakkravarthy J (IND, 2550) 5.5.
Standings after Round 8: 1. GM Tran Tuan Minh (VIE) 6. 5 pts, 2.GM Puranik Abhimanyu (IND) 6.5, 3. IM Gukesh D. (IND) 6.5, 4.IM Sardana Rishi (AUS) 6, 5. IM Muthaiah Al (IND) 6, 6.GM Rahman Ziaur (BAN) 6, 7. IM Visakh N R. (IND) 6, 8. GM Rozum Ivan (RUS) 6, 9. GM Laxman R R. (IND) 6, 10. GM Chanda Sandipan (IND) 5.5, 11.Saurabh Anand(IND) 5.5, 12. GM Deepan Chakkravarthy J. (IND) 5.5.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)