Sethuraman secures second win to be in joint lead at Aeroflot Open

Indian Grand Master S P Sethuraman posted a win over compatriot Deep Sengupta in the second round to be in joint lead with three others in ‘A’ group of Aeroflot Open chess tournament.

Highly-rated Russian Grand Master Vladislav Artemiev (Elo rating 2728), the top-seed, was held to a draw in 50 moves by Turkish GM Emre Can late on Thursday.

Among other Indians, B Adhiban, the sixth seed, had to settle for a draw against fellow GM Javokhir Sindarov of Uzbekistan.

He is in tied second place with a bunch of players including compatriots Karthikeyan Murali, talented youngster R Praggnanandhaa, N R Visakh and 13-year old M Pranesh with 1.5 points.

Pranesh created a stir by pulling off an upset win over GM Boris Savchenko.

The Russian tried to surprise his young opponent with the offbeat Scandinavian defence but soon found himself on the receiving end of the Indian’s fierce play as the game ended in just 21 moves.

Praggnanandhaa, who was held to a draw by Stefan Pogosyan in the opener, bounced back with a win over Sreeshwan Maralakshikari of Indonesia.

There are a bunch of 25 Indians, including 14 Grand Masters, participating in the ‘A’ group.

In the 34th Cannes Open tournament in France, young Indian player D Gukesh, the world’s second youngest GM ever, is in joint second spot with two others, including compatriot G B Harshvardhan, with five points after six rounds.

Important results:

Aeroflot Open ‘A’ group – 2nd round: S P Sethuraman beat Deep Sengupta, B Adhiban drew with Javokhir Sindarov; R Praggnanandhaa beat Sreeshwan Maralakshikari; M Pranesh beat Borish Savchenko.

Vladislav Artemiev (Russia) drew with Emre Can; N R Visakh drew with Vadim Zvjagnisev; Karthikeyan Murali drew with Bharat Subramaniyam; Sandipan Chanda drew with Gabriel Sargissian; S L Narayanan drew with Kaido Kulaots; Arvind Chithambaram beat Adam Kozak.

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