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Adhiban holds Xiangzhi; Kramnik shoots into lead


Doha (Qatar), Dec 4 (PTI) Indian Grandmaster B Adhiban held higher-ranked Bu Xiangzhi to a draw while Vladimir Kramnik of Russia put it across Salem Saleh of UAE to emerge as the sole leader in the Qatar Masters international Open Chess tournament here.

With his first draw in the tournament after two losses and five victories, Adhiban remained in contention for a top-10 finish in the strongest Open of the world and the Indian will now hope to do well in the last round to get a cherished performance after double debacle in the first two rounds.

Former world champion, Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, emerged as the sole leader of the tournament with one round remaining after a clinical victory against A R Salem Saleh.

The Russian, who is playing an Open after more than two decades went on to prove his true mettle yet again as he outclassed Saleh from level position.

Kramnik took his tally to seven points out of a possible eight winning his sixth game on the trot after a lopsided start with a couple of draws. The Russian ace is now just a draw away from title.

The other overnight leader Anish Giri suffered his second straight loss in a row after he went down to Chinese super-talent Yu Yangyi.

Yangyi, the Asian champion came up with a superlative effort in this game to win with black pieces and will now challenge Kramnik for the title in the over 100000 USD prize money tournament.

The Indian challenge for a top spot ended today after Adhiban and Harikrishna drew their games. With white pieces, Adhiban could not put much pressure on the Chinese star while Harikrishna played out a draw with Ivan Salgedo Lopez of Spain.

There were some expectations from Abhijeet Gupta who had a brilliant run in the tournament thus far but the Indian collapsed in this round against Sjugirov Sanan of Russia.

It was a Queen’s Indian defense wherein Gupta got a huge advantage on the clock but this time Sanan was quite up to the task when it came to finding a counter active measure.

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