Grandmaster B Adhiban just needs half a point to become only the second Indian to lift the Reykjavik Open 2018 – Bobby Fischer Memorial title after registering his fifth consecutive win in the penultimate round in Iceland on Tuesday.
The 25-year-old defeated overnight joint leader Richard Rapport in just 27 moves in a Queen’s Gambit opening to take his points tally to 7.
Abhijeet Gupta is so far the only Indian to have won the crown back in 2016. He had P Harikrishna had finished as the joint top scorer in 2010 and 2006 respectively but had lost out on the winner’s medal due to inferior tiebreak score.
However, Adhibhan would have destiny in his own hands when he takes on Turkey’s Mustafa Yilmaz in the final round.
Yilmaz has 6.5 points from a possible eight and Adhiban can stake claim to the crown by simply splitting the point as no other player can catch him in that case.
Three Indians including 13-year-old Nihal Sarin are among the nine player group occupying the joint third spot with six points but it is very clear that only Adhiban and Yilmaz would have a chance to lift the coveted crown after the final round.
Sarin, who has assured himself of another GM norm, played a quick 19 move draw against Vaibhav Suri while GM K Sundararajan defeated Joshua Fridel of USA in the eighth round to take his points tally to 6.