Joint leader P Karthikeyan moved into lead with 7.5 points as second seed Grandmaster Ahmed Adly of Egypt, citing illness, failed to turn up for the eighth round at the Apollo Engineering College Commonwealth Chess Championships at the Multipurpose Indoor Stadium here on Wednesday. Following Karthikeyan on seven points were GMs Sergei Tiviakov (The Netherlands) and M R Venkatesh (India).
On the top board, Tiviakov faced the Advanced French defence from Rathnakaran, and started pressing for the initiative from the word go. Tiviakov further made in-roads as the Indian failed to see the intervening bishop check on the 19th move losing a pawn. Moving the black king out of shelter, Tiviakov went all out to corner the black king and forced the game in his favor after 33 moves. Chennai-based Ram S Krishnan made his third and final IM norm scoring over two-time National Premier champion Tania Sachdev. Securing 6.5 points, Ram completed the requirement for a nine-game IM norm.
The Nimzo Indian game saw Tania going along the theoretical lines, before she went for a knight sacrifice on the black monarch. Ram kept the material, defended accurately and clinched the crucial win after 31 moves.
Results Round 8: (Indians unless specified): P Karthikeyan 7.5 w/o Ahmed Adly (Egy) 6.5, Sergei Tiviakov (Ned) 7 bt K Rathnakaran 6, Mikhailo Oleksienko (Ukr) 6.5 drew with G Akash 6.5, M Shyam Sundar 6.5 drew with M R Lalith Babu 6.5, Alexander Fominyh (Rus) 6 lost to M R Venkatesh 7, Daniil Lintchevski (Rus) 6.5 bt Sameer Kathmale 6, S Vijayalakshmi 6 drew with Mark Paragua (Phi) 6, Marat Dzhumaev (Uzb) 6 drew with Mary Ann Gomes 6, Sahaj Grover 6.5 bt S Nitin 5.5, R R Laxman 6.5 bt R Siddharth 5.5, Garcia Jan Emmanuel (Phi) 6 drew with Akshayraj Kore 6, VAV Rajesh 5.5 lost to Rolando Nolte (Phi) 6.5, N Srinath 5.5 lost to S L Narayanan 6.5, Himanshu Sharma 6 drew with Ikeda Junta (Aus) 6.