Chennai, Jan 23 (PTI): Ukraine's Stanislav Bogdanovich defeated India's N R Visakh in the seventh round to move into the sole lead with seven points in the 12th Chennai Open International Grand Master Chess tournament here on Thursday.
Chennai-based Grand Master M R Venkatesh (6.5 points) is close on the heels of the Ukranian GM along with eight others, including the top-seed Pavel Ponkratov of Russia.
The others with 6.5 points are: Jose Eduardo Martinez Alcantara (Peru), Russians Sergei Yudin, Ivan Rozum and Aleksey Goganov, Aleksej Aleksandrov and Kirill Stupak (both Belarus) and India's Jimmy Jubin.
The race for securing International Master norms picked up as Chennai schoolboy G B Harshavardhan and Jubin improved their chances with just two rounds to go.
Harshavardhan held Indonesian IM Taher to a draw while Jubin defeated Chilean GM Vasquez Schroeder Rodrigo in a marathon game.
The two, along with V Pranav and S Rohit Krishna, require a draw in the ninth and penultimate round tomorrow to achieve the IM norm.
The 10-round Swiss concludes on January 25.
Important results: Round 8 (Indians unless specified): Sergei Yudin (Russia) 6.5 drew with Pavel Ponkratov (Russia) 6.5, Jose Eduardo Martinez Alcantara (Peru) 6.5 drew with Aleksey Goganov (Russia) 6.5, Stanislav Bogdanovich (Ukraine) 7 beat N R Visakh 6, Aleksej Aleksandrov (Belarus) 6.5 beat Vishnu Prasanna 6.
Mikheil Mchedlishvili (Georgia) 6 drew with Mitrabha Guha (6), Neelotpal Das (5.5) lost to Ivan Rozum (Russia) 6.5, P D S Girinath (5.5) lost to Kirill Stupak (Belarus) 6.5, M R Venkatesh (6.5) bt Denis Eraschenkov (Russia) 5.5, Jimmy Jubin 6.5 beat Vasquez Schroeder Rodrigo (Chile) 5.5, Taher Yoseph Theolifus (Indonesia) 6 drew with G B Harshavardhan (6). PTI SS APR SS APR APR