Abhijeet Gupta bounces back in Poker Masters Chess

ISLE OF MAN (UK), Oct 9: Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta bounced back in the Poker Masters Isle of Man International Chess tournament defeating John Cox of England in the fifth round here.

Playing after a rare two successive losses, Gupta regained his composure and his efforts proved fruitful.

However, he is still way behind in the standings and now has an uphill task at hands to make a comeback. The former world junior champion currently has three points from five rounds.

With four games still remaining, Maxime Vachier Lagrave of France held on to his slender half point lead after surviving a draw with Daniel Fridman of Germany. The French Grandmaster took his tally to 4.5 points out of a possible five and is now trailed by Sergei Tiviakov of Holland, Mihail Marin of Romania, Gabriel Sargissian of Armenia, Gawain Jones of England, Anatoly Vaisser of France and Fridman, all of whom have four points each.

There are nine players on 3.5 points and this list is pretty impressive with top seed Michael Adams and Nigel Short featuring in it.

The 18000 pounds sterling tournament is surely going to witness some exciting chess in the second half.

Both Indians in the fray — Gupta and D Harika — have three points after the latter played out an easy draw as black with Elina L’Ami of Romania.

There is still much hard work to do but another win would take the Indians within striking distance of the leaders.

Gupta played his second white in a row and faced an irregular variation from Cox in the Queen pawn game. The English player had a decent opening and middle game but Gupta patiently waited for his chance that came with a knight manoeuvre on the queen side.

Posting the knight firmly in black’s territory on the sixth rank, Gupta went on the king side to cause further damage and won a pawn. Cox lost a rook that signalled a quick end to the game which lasted 30 moves. (PTI)


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