Arjun, Harsha and Gukesh emerge joint leaders at Delhi International Open Chess tournament

New Delhi, Mar 27 (PTI) Top seed Arjun Erigaisi, Harsha Bharathakoti and D Gukesh on Sunday emerged as joint leaders at the 19th edition of Delhi International Open Grandmasters Chess tournament here.

With just two rounds remaining, the tournament is heading for an exciting finish as the three Indians are now leading the standings with seven points.

The eighth round witnessed fierce battles which produced decisive results on top six boards as Erigaisi annihilated former national champion Lalith Babu M R in 28 moves in Scotch game.

Harsha, meanwhile, shocked second seed Grandmaster Pavel Ponkratov of Russia with light colour pieces in a Semi-Slav game after 58 moves.

Gukesh, the youngest ever Indian to secure the Grandmaster title, also claimed a win, beating Karthik Venkataraman with dark colour pieces in a Queen’s Gambit Declined game that lasted just 29 moves.

Defending champion Abhijeet Gupta, along with fifth seed Sethuraman S P, International Master Neelash Saha and Iranian FIDE Master Kian Seyed Poormosavi, occupied the joint fourth spot with a drift of half a point from the leaders.

Abhijeet defeated CRG Krishna, while Sethu got the better of Ortik Nigmatov of Uzbekistan.

Neelash stunned fourth seed Neuris Delgado Ramirez of Paraguay and Poormosavi beat Deepan Chakkaravarthy in the eighth-round match.

In the all-important penultimate round, Arjun is pitted against Gukesh on top board, while Harsha will fight it out with Neelash Saha on Monday.

Important Results Round 8 (Indians otherwise stated): GM Arjun Erigaisi (7) beat GM Lalith Babu M R (6); GM Harsha Bharathakoti (7) beat GM Pavel Ponkratov fo Russia (6); GM Karthik Venkataraman (6) lost to Gukesh D (7); GM Sethuraman S P (6.5) beat Ortik Nigamatov of Uzbekistan (6); GM Abhijeet Gupta (6.5) beat IM Krishna CRG (5.5); IM Neelash Saha (6.5) beat GM Neuris Delgado Ramirez of Paraguay (5.5); IM Vignesh N R (6) drew with GM Visakh N R (6); GM Deepan Chakkravarthy (5.5) lost to FM Poormosavi Seyed Kian (6.5); IM Himal Gusain (6) drew with GM Iniyan P (6); IM Abdisalimov Abdimalik (6) drew with GM Azer Mirzoev of Azerbaijan (6); GM Mitrabha Guha (5.5) drew with GM Karthikeyan P (6); GM Arjun Kalyan (5.5) drew with Bharat Kumar Reddy Poluri (5.5); GM Adham Fawzy (5) lost to FM Aardhya Garg (6); IM Arash Tahbaz of Iran (6) beat Manigandan S S (5); WGM Divya Deshmukh (6) beat Syaamnikhil P (5); FM Aaryan Varshney (5.5) drew with Gholami Orimi Mahdi (5.5); WIM Arpita Mukherjee (5) lost to GM Saptarshi Roy (6); WGM Srija Seshadri (5.5) drew with IM Shahil Dey (5.5); IM Viani Antonio Dcunha (6) beat FM Siddhant Gaikwad (5); Shiva Pavan Teja Sharma U (5.5) drew with Utsab Chatterjee (5.5); Akshay Borgaonkar (6) beat IM Ratnakaran K (5); Kian Dishank Shah (5) lost to FM Rohith Krishna S (6); GM Masoud Mosadeghpour of Iran (5.5) beat Pravin Shawn (5); IM Sayantan Das (5.5) beat Vinayak Kulkarani (5.5); GM Rios Christhian Camilo (5.5) beat WIM Michelle Catherina P (5.5). PTI ATK PDS PDS

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