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Abhijeet Gupta in five-way lead at Poker Masters


Isle of Man (UK): Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta fought hard to beat Israel’s Radoslaw Jedynak for his second successive victory in to be tied for a five-way lead in the Poker Masters Isle of Man International chess tournament now in progress here.

Abhijeet-GuptaOn what turned out to be a tough day for the former world junior champion from India, Jedynak simply did not give up and tried hard to make it a tough game for Gupta. The Indian had to rely on his endgame skills to turn the tide in his favour when the game looked decidedly headed for a draw.

With two points from as many games, Gupta shares the lead with world number 13 Maxime Vachier Lagrave of France, Sergei Tiviakov of Holland, Daniel Gormally of England and Elisabeth Paehtz of Germany.

The other Indian in fray, D Harika was held to a draw by Jonathan Bakalchuk of Israel leaving her tied sixth with seven rounds still remaining in the 18,000 pounds prize money tournament.

After a first round lull, it was a tough day for the fancied players. At the top of the tables, world number 12 and highest rated English Michael Adams was held to a draw by Israeli Danny Raznikov while Popilski got the same result against Sargissian.

Paehtz registered one of the biggest upsets of the tournament so far defeating a wayward Gawain Jones of England and Daniel Gormally of England punished Peruvian Grandmaster Julio Granda Zuniga for some lacklustre play in the opening.

Gupta played the white side of a Queen pawn game and Jedynak gave little away in the opening or in the middle game. The players reached a level endgame wherein Gupta continued to push and sacrificed a pawn just to gain some space.

It was still an impregnable position even as Gupta’s king took a long walk to the queen side and seeing no way out,Gupta parted with another pawn with his Bishops holding the fort together.

With just two pawns against four, the game should have been a draw but the Israeli lost his way right here and lost a piece. Gupta wrapped the issue in 67 moves.

Harika was up against a King’s Indian defence by Bakalchuk and enjoyed excellent advantage before letting it slip away. The game  was drawn when the Indian could make no headway.

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