Second seed Grandmaster Ivan Popov of Russia surged ahead of the field defeating Vitaly Sivuk of Ukraine in the seventh round of the premier section of 14th Parsvnath Delhi International Chess Festival now underway here.
With his seventh victory in as many games coming in spectacular fashion, Popov maintained his all-win record and now leads by a massive 1.5 points with just three rounds remaining in the Rs. 12.5 Lakh prize money tournament.
The Indian talents continued with their impressive run in the tournament and leading from the front was young International Master Sayantan Das who held top seed Boris Grachev of Russia to a creditable draw.
In the news for his superb performance int he last few rounds, untitled R A Pradeep Kumar also inched closer to an International Master norm by holding fellow Indian Grandmaster Sriram Jha to a draw.
With Popov on seven points as many as 11 players share the second spot on 5.5 points apiece. They are Yuri Solodovnichenko of Ukraine, Nguyen Duc Hoa of Vietnam, Attila Czebe of Hungary, Sivuk, Grachev and Indians M R Lalith Babu, S Ravi Teja, Jha, Pradeep Kumar, N R Vignesh and Sayantan Das.
Apart from Das and Pradeep Kumar, Ravi Teja also came to the party and held Solodovnichenko to a draw while highest rated Indian Lalith Babu came back in reckoning for top honours at the expense of K Praneeth Surya.
Lower down, Sammed Jaykumar Shete and B T Muralikrishna also caused major upsets in the tournament. While Shete accounted for Ukrainian Grandmaster Adam Tukhaev, Uzbek Grandmaster Marat Dzhumaev was on the receiving end against Muralikrishna.
Popov however stole the limelight showing some high quality chess yet again. Sivuk was no match in a Scotch opening game as Popov found a brilliant tactical resource sacrificing his queen to win in just 32 moves.
Important Results Round-7 (Indians otherwise stated) :- GM Ivan Popov of Russia (7) beat GM Vitaly Sivuk of Ukraine (5.5); IM Sayantan Das (5.5) drew with GM Boris Grachev of Russia (5.5); IM Ravi Tejas S (5.5) drew with GM Yuri Solodovnichenko of Ukraine (5.5); GM Sriram Jha (5.5) drew with Pradeep Kumar R A (5.5); IM Himanshu Sharma (5) drew with GM Anton Demchenko of Russia (5); GM Lalith Babu M R (5.5) beat Praneeth Surya (4.5); GM Nguyen Duc Hoa (5.5) beat IM Nitin S (4.5); IM Srinath N (5) drew with IM Visakh N R (5); Iniyan P (4.5) lost to GM Attila Czebe of Hungary (5.5); IM Vignesh N R (5.5) beat IM Krishna CRG (4.5); GM Valeriy Neverov of Ukraine (5) beat Mehar Chinna Reddy (4.5); IM Somak Palit (4.5) drew with GM Alberto David of Italy (4.5); Himal Gusain (4.5) drew with GM Mikhail Mozharov of Russia (4.5); GM Belous Vladimir of Russia (5) beat IM Rajesh VAV (4); Sammed Jayakumar Shete (5) beat GM Adam Tukhaev of Ukraine (4); IM Rahul Sangma (4) lost to GM Vaibhav Suri (5); GM Bernadskiy Vitaliy of Ukraine (5) beat Akash Thakur (4); GM Sipke Ernst of Netherlands (4.5) drew with Pratik Patil (4.5); IM Murali Krishnan B T (5) beat GM Marat Dzhumaev of Uzbekistan (4); Prince Bajaj (4) lost to GM Nguyen Huynh Minh Huy of Vietnam (5).