Top seed Grandmaster Farrukh Amanotov of Tajikistan pulled ahead of the field with a finely crafted victory over Vitaly Sivuk of Ukraine in the eighth round of 15th Parsvnath Delhi International Chess tournament now underway here.
With his seventh victory in eight games, Amanotov took his tally to a whopping 7.5 points out of a possible eight and stretched his lead to a full point over nearest rivals with just two rounds remaining in the Rs. 18 Lakhs prize money tournament.
The day was tailor-made for Amanotov who played with black and got a slightly better position in the middle game. Sivuk fell under a bit of time scramble after losing a pawn and it was a strategic domination by the top seed in the end.
Niranajan Navalgund continued with his dream run in the tournament and defeated Hungarian Grandmaster Adam Horvath in another scintillating performance. The victory with black pieces not only took Navalgund to a shared second spot on 6.5 points but also brought him extremely close to what would be his maiden Grandmaster player. Being an untitled player, this would be a great achievement if it happens on Sunday.
Among other important games of the day, Indian talents Murali Karthikeyan and Diptayan Ghosh played out a draw between them after a tense struggle to inch up to 6.5 points as well while Marat Dzhumaev of Uzbekistan outplayed Alberto David of Italy to also reach 6.5 points. International Masters Sapatarshi Roy, Swayams Mishra and NR Visakh all had victories over Grandmasters to also reach 6.5 for a shared second spot.
Saptarshi Roy defeated Czebe Atilla of Hungary, Swayams Mishra proved stronger than Niaz MUrshed of Bangladesh while Visakh defeated local hopeful Sahaj Grover.
Important results round 8 (Indians unless stated): Vitaly Sivuk (Ukr, 6) lost to Farrukh Amonatov (Tjk, 7.5); Murali Karthikeyan (6.5) drew with Diptayan Ghosh (6.5); Marat Dzhumaev (Uzb, 6.5) beat David Alberto (Ita, 5.5); Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan (6) drew with Nguyen Huynh Minh Huy (Vie, 6); Adam Horvath (Hun, 5.5) lost to Niranjan Navalgund (6.5); Saptarshi Roy (6.5) beat Czebe Attila (Hun, 5.5); Swayams Mishra (6.5) beat Niaz Murshed (Ban, 5.5); N R Visakh (6.5) beat Sahaj Grover (5.5); Rakesh Kumar Jena (5) lost to M R Lalith Babu (6); VAV Rajesh (5) lost to Adam Tukhaev (Ukr, 6); Karen Movsziszian (Arm, 5.5) drew with Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury (5.5); Kurbonboeva Sarvinoz (Uzb, 5) lost to Andrei Deviatkin (Rus, 6); Valeriy Neverov (Ukr, 5.5) drew with Sameer Kathmale (5.5); S Nitin (5) lost to Aradhya Garg (6).