Grandmaster and former world junior champion Abhijeet Gupta crashed through the solid defenses of higher-rated compatriot Vidit Gujrathi in the fifth round of Isle of Man International Chess tournament on Thursday.
Having drawn with Boris Gelfand of Israel in the third round and beating Le Quang Liem of Vietnam in the fourth, Gupta continued his good form, outplaying Gujrathi.
Playing the white side of a topical Ragozin defense, Gupta outwitted Gujrathi, a consistent top fifty player in the world these days.
Getting a balanced position out of the opening, Gujrathi fumbled in defense and lost a pawn while going for mass exchanges and the resulting endgame was child’s play for the 29-year-old Gupta.
With 4.5 points out of a possible five in the toughest open of the world, Gupta shares the lead with Arkadij Naiditsch of Azerbaijan, Jeffery Xiong of United States and Wang Hao of China.
Six players follow the leader, a half point behind including world elite members Sergey Karjakin of Russia and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France while the likes of Viswanthan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik occupy the next wolf pack of 27 players with 3.5 points in their bag.
The fifth round saw Anand taking a half-point bye going in to the last four games.
Nihal Sarin played out a draw with B Adhiban while in another all-Indian duel Soumya Swaminathan split the point with Debashish Das.
In the sixth round, Gupta will take on Hikaru Nakamura and Adhiban is up against Levon Aronian of Armenia.
Anand will try to make his white pieces count against Daniel Fridman of Germany and Gujrathi will hope for a big comeback against Mikhail Antipov of Russia.
Important results round 5 (Indians unless specified):
Abhijeet Gupta (4.5) beat Vidit Gujarati (3.5);
SP Sethuraman (3.5) drew with Dennis Wagner (Ger, 3.5);
Nihal Sarin (3.5) drew with B. Adhiban (3.5);
Zoltan Almasi (Hun, 3.5) beat Vishnu Prasanna (2.5);
R. Praggnanandhaa (3) drew with Georg Meier (Ger, 3);
Swapnil Dhopade (3.5) beat Aryan Tari (Nor, 2.5);
Vaibhav Suri (3) drew with C. R. G. Krishna (3);
Surya Shekhar Ganguly (3) beat Nikolas Lubbe (Ger, 2);
Debashis Das (2.5) drew with Soumya Swaminathan (2.5);
S. Kidambi (3) beat Abhimanyu Puranik (2).