Grandmaster Aravindh Chithambaram continued his fine form and played out a draw with Ivan Cheparinov of Georgia in the fourth round of Abu Dhabi Masters on Saturday.
On a day when the going got a little tough for the huge Indian contingent, Chithambaram kept his cool after a Scotch opening game turned volatile in the middle game.
The Chennai-based had to find some precise counter play with his king coming under attack but precise calculation backed by a good defensive technique helped Chithambaram keep Cheparinov’s pieces at bay.
Grandmaster Debashish Das also did well to hold Nigel Short of England wherein the former solved the problems in his true style.
Das also moved to three points out of a possible four with Chithambaram while five rounds still remain in one of the strongest open of Asia.
Daniil Dubov of Russia emerged as the sole leader disposing Daniele Vocaturo of Italy. Playing black, Dubov, who is tipped to be the next ‘big-player’ from Russia stayed calm and struck when the opportunity presented.
With Dubov in front, as many as 10 players follow him a half point behind and then there are as many as 23 players on three points apiece.
Some Indian Grandmasters had a real hard beginning of the only double-round day in the event.
Highest-rated Indian Abhijeet Gupta could not find his form yet again and lost to unheralded Vietnamese Nguyen Anh Khoi.
Gupta went for his usual Grunfeld and obtained a decent position but the ensuing middle game witnessed some bad decisions by the Indian that led to loss of another point.
M R Lalith Babu went down to Oliver Dimakling of Philippines while Firouza Alireza of Iran proved better than Aryan Chopra.
On the brighter side, D Gukesh came up with a sterling effort to hold compatriot Murali Karthikeyan to a creditable draw.
Important and Indian results round 4 (Indians unless stated): Amin Bassem (Egy, 3.5) drew with Richard Rapport (Hun, 3.5); Kravtsiv Martyn (Ukr, 3.5) drew with Wang Hao (Chn, 3.5); Vocaturo Daniele (Ita, 3) lost to Dubov Daniil (Rus, 4); Ivan Cheparinov (Bul, 3) drew with Aravindh Chithambaram (3); Nigel Short (Eng, 3) drew with Debashis Das (3); Parham Maghsoodloo (Iri, 3.5) beat Aryan Chopra (2.5); M Shyam Sundar (2.5) lost to A R Salem Saleh (Uae, 3.5); Adly Ahmed (Egy, 3.5) beat V Vishnu Prasanna (2.5); Le Quang Liem (Vie, 3) beat Soumya Swaminathan (2.5); Sjugirov Sanan (Rus, 2.5) drew with N R Vignesh (2.5); P Iniyan (2.5) drew with Parligras Mircea-Emilian (Rou, 2.5); Nguyen Anh Khoi (Vie, 3) beat Abhijeet (Gupta (2); D Gukesh (2.5) drew with Murali Karthikeyan (2.5); Mads Andersen(Swe, 3) beat Sundararajan Kidambi (2); S L Narayanan (3) beat Gunay Mammadzada (Aze, 2); Firouzja Alireza (Iri, 3) beat Raunak Sadhwani (2); Ikeda Junta (Ina, 2) lost to Nihal Sarin (3); Oliver Dimakiling (Phi, 3) beat M R Lalith Babu (2); Rakesh Kumar Jena (2) lost to Erigaisi Arjun (3); Dinara Saduakassova (Kaz, 2.5) drew with Sameer Kathmale (2.5); Chinmay Kulkarni (2) lost to Sindarov Javokhir (Uzb, 3); Swapnil S. Dhopade (3) beat Suyog Wagh (2); Alinasab Mobina (Iri, 2) lost to Abhijit Kunte (3).