R A Pradeep Kumar continued with his brilliant run and held Vietnamese Grandmaster Nguyen Duc Hua to a draw in the eighth round of 14th Parsvnath Delhi International chess festival now underway here.
Pradeep Kumar assured himself of an International Master norm following another good result and the fact that he has remained undefeated increased chances for a direct Grandmaster norm if the Indian is able to score a victory tomorrow.
Ivan Popov of Russia took a break from his seven consecutive victories and settled for a draw with fellow Russian top seeded Grandmaster Boris Grachev to maintain his sole lead in the tournament.
With 7.5 points in his kitty from eight games, Popov still leads the field by a full point with just two rounds rounds remaining int he Rs. 12.5 lakh prize money tournament.
Grandmasters Yuri Solodovnichenko of Ukraine, Czebe Atilla of Hungary and Indian stalwart M R Lalith Babu share the second spot with 6.5 points each. While Popov is huge favorite to win the tournament as this point there is huge speculation as to who would make it to the podium.
Pradeep Kumar meanwhile is an assured performer with his natural instinct. The pressure was always on the Indian but he did not succumb and the way he is performing he is well on his way to get a Grandmaster norm being an untitled player.
This feat is only achieved by a select few and it includes former world champion Garry Kasparov.
Important Results Round-8 (Indians otherwise stated) :- GM Boris Grachev of Russia (6) drew with GM Ivan Popov of Russia (7.5); GM Yuri Solodovnichenko of Ukraine (6.5) beat IM Vignesh N R (5.5); GM Vitaly Sivuk of Ukraine (6) drew with GM Sriram Jha (6); GM Lalith Babu (6.5)beat IM Sayantan Das (5.5); Pradeep Kumar RA (6) drew with GM Nguyen Duc Hoa (6); GM Attila Czebe of Hungary (6.5) beat IM Ravi Teja S (5.5); GM Anton Demchenko of Russia (5.5) drew with IM Rathnkaran K (5.5); IM Akash G (5.5) drew with GM Vladimir Belous of Russia (5.5); GM Vaibhav Suri (6) beat IM Himanshu Sharma (5); IM Visakh NR (5) lost to GM Vitaliy Bernadskiy of Ukraine (6); Harsha Bharathakoti (5) lost to GM Valeriy Neverov of Ukraine (6); GM Nguyen Huynh Minh Huy of Vietnam (6) beat Sammed Jaykumar Shete (5): IM Murali Krishnan B T (5) lost to IM N Srinath (6); GM Alberto David of Italy (5.5) beat Iniyan P (4.5); GM Mikhail Mozharov of Russia (5.5) beat Niranjan Navalgund (4.5); Lokesh N (4.5) lost to GM Ernst Sipke (5.5); Praneeth Surya (5.5) beat Aniruddha Deshpande (4.5); Mehar Chinna Reddy (5.5) beat IM Shyaamnikhil P (4.5); Pratik Patil (5) drew with IM Ramnath Bhuvanesh (5); IM Nitin S (5) drew with WIM Michelle Catherina