Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta kept himself in contention after he settled for a draw with Yuriy Kuzubov of Ukraine in the seventh round of 16th Dubai International open chess tournament on Monday.
Kuzubov was on top for the major part of the game and the draw was achieved only through a reckless repetition of position by the Ukrainian.
The lead position remained unchanged as France’s Romain Edouard settled for a draw with Sebastian Bogner of Switzerland at the top of the tables.The half point took the French Grandmaster to six points out of a possible seven and he stayed half a point clear of Gupta, Bogner and Anuar Ismagembetov of Kazakhstan beat Viorel Iordachescu of Moldova.
While Edouard remains a clear favourite for the title here, Gupta is still in with a chance if he can use his white pieces effectively against Bogner in the penultimate round. For once, the Grunfeld defense did not prove useful for Gupta as Kuzubov was well armed. Kuzubov digested the extra pawn quite easily.
Gupta fought on, creating counter play on different parts of the board but a pawn less endgame was not easy to defend. However here, Kuzubov lost track of the situation and inadvertently allowed a three-fold repetition leading to split of the point.
Among other Indians in the fray, Grandmaster Sahaj Grover did well to darw with higher ranked Mikheil Mchedlishvili of Georgia. M R Lalith Babu defeated Kazim Gulamali of United States to match Grover on 4.5 points. The two Indians meet each other next round.