Philippines Grandmaster Oliver Barbosa (8.5) maintained his half-a-point sole lead despite being held to a draw by Indian Grandmaster Deep Sengupta in the ninth and penultimate round of the 4th KIIT Cup Odisha International GM Open Chess Tournament here at KIIT University campus on Monday.
Fifth seed Barbosa, who snatched the sole lead from Russia Grandmaster Nikolai Chadaev with an impressive win in the eighth round earlier on Sunday, would meet Indian IM Sahaj Grover in the last round on Tuesday.
Grover (7.5) upset Uzbek GM Raset Ziatdinov to share the second place with third seed Chadaev, while seven players shared the third spot with seven points apiece.
Host Odisha boy Utkal Ranjan Sahoo (6) caused a major upset in the ninth round, outwitting Bangladesh GM Ziaur Rahman. Sahoo’s statemates Sidhant Mohapatra and Mohammad Ashraf caused two more flutters in the day, forcing Hungarian GM Attila Czebe and IM Ticia Gara respectively to draw.
Among other well-known Odisha players, IM Debasis Das (6.5) signed peace treaty with IM Bhuvanesh Ramnath, IM Anwesh Upadhyaya (6) beat Abhishek Kelkar and WGM Padmini Rout (6.5) prevailed over Saumil Padhya.
Thirteen-year-old Tamil Nadu boy Murali Karthikeyan, who held Russia GM Andrei Deviatkin to a draw earlier in the seventh round, secured an IM norm by spitting point with Odisha FM Soumya Ranjan Mishra in the penultimate round.
Important results (Indians unless mentioned): Ninth Round: Deep Sengupta (7) drew with Oliver Barbosa (Phi, 8), Nikolai Chadaev (Rus, 7.5) drew with John Paul Gomez (Phi, 7), V Vishnu Prasanna (7) drew with Andrei Deviatkin (Rus, 7), Sajah Grover (7.5) bt Raset Ziatdinov (Uzb, 6.5), Mark Paragua (Phi, 7) bt Prince Bajaj (6), VAV Rajesh (7) bt MR Venkatesh (6), Vaibhav Suri (7) bt C Praveen Kumar (6), Evgeniy Pololchenko (Blr, 7) bt RA Pradeep Kumar (6), Hoang Thanh Trang (Hun, 7) bt Sayantan Das (6), Deepan Chakkravarthy (6.5) drew Ponnuswamy Konguvel (6.5), Debasis Das (6.5) drew Bhuvanesh Ramnath (6.5), Aleksej Aleksandrov (Blr, 6.5) bt CRG Krishna (5.5), Himanshu Sharma (6.5) bt Abhishek Das (5.5), K Priyadarshan (6.5) bt Sameer Kathmale (5.5), BS Shivananda (6.5) bt Pratyusha Boda (5.5), Padmini Rout (6.5) bt Saumil Padhya (5.5), Anita Gara (Hun, 6.5) bt ML Abhilash Reddy (5.5), Utkal Ranjan Sahoo (6) bt Ziaur Rahman (5), Sidhanta Mohapatra (6) drew Attila Czebe (Hun, 6), Soumya Ranjan Mishra (6) drew Murali Karthikeyan (6), Anwesh Upadhyaya (6) bt Abhishek Kelkar (5), Mohammad Ashraf (6) bt Ticia Gara (Hun, 5).