It was Gupta’s continuous fifth victory in as many games. Gupta marched ahead of the field by a full point at the half way stage with five rounds.
However, it was a bad day for Babu, it was a case of hit and miss for him. He faced the Grunfeld defense from Gupta and went for the Hungarian variation that resulted in an oft-repeated variation. Gupta chose to win white’s queen for three minor pieces that is hypothetically proven to be sound and Babu got the trivial advantage as he was hoping for as the game progressed.
Gradually, Gupta was able to retain the balance with a rook sacrifice for a small piece and even planned a draw that was rejected down. Hoping to win from a level position, Lalith Babu misjudged a tactical trick that cost him the full point.
Other 11 players who shared the second spot on four point each. They are Georgian duo of Levon Pantsulaia and Merab Gagunashvili, Raset Ziatdinov of United States, Valeriy Neverov of Ukraine, Bobbir Sattarov of Uzbekistan and Indians M R Venkatesh, Deepan Chakkravarthy, Ankit Rajpara, Nr Vignesh, Deep Sengupta and Lalith Babu.
Additionally, distinguished performance in this section was displayed by under-8 world champion R Praggananandhaa who also tied for the top place but had to be content with a fourth place finish. Category ‘B’ that concluded on Sunday included Vijay Kumar of Bihar take possession of the title with his best tiebreak after a five-way tie that was resolved at the top. Tallying 8.5 points, Vijay Kumar had the best Bucholz score to win a cash award of Rs. 100000/-.