Ganguly, Vishnu Prasanna share lead in Asian chess

Al Ain (UAE), Aug 5: Indian grandmasters Surya Shekhar Ganguly and V Vishnu Prasanna emerged as joint leaders with a perfect score after the end of the third round of Asian Continental Chess Championship here.

Playing in his elements, Ganguly outclassed Jahongir Vakhidov of Uzbekistan while Vishnu Prasanna outplayed fellow Indian Grandmaster M R Lalith Babu to maintain a clean slate for the third day running in the premier continental event.

With two leaders on three points, a pack of seven players including Indian grandmasters Abhijeet Gupta, Sandipan Chanda and Vidit Gujrathi are on the heels of the leader a half point behind.

There are six more rounds remaining in the event which is a part of the next World Championship cycle. Top five players from here will qualify for the World Chess Cup to be held next month in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Vishnu Prasanna took the day’s honours with a perfect attacking game against Lalith Babu.

Up against the Caro Kann defense, Vishnu went for the most topical advanced variation and launched his attack in the middle game.

Lalith Babu succumbed to the pressure as Vishnu capped his performance with a fine rook sacrifice.

Ganguly won Vakhidov’s queen with his white piece and the young Uzbek grandmaster was already staring at a long and painful defense. While the struggle was intense, the result of the game was never in doubts as Ganguly methodically used his extra material.

Gupta also played a fine game against Dzhumaev out of a Dutch Leningrad. Playing white, Gupta’s preparation came good as Dzhumaev fell under acute time pressure and lost a rook for Bishop. When the game finished the Indian had still an hour on the clock.

In the women’s section being organised simultaneously, Padmini Rout suffered shocking defeat against Atousa Pourkashiyan of Iran in the third round. (PTI)

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