At the end of eighth and penultimate round, Grandmaster Swapnill S Dhopade of Maharashtra emerged as the sole leader with 7.5 points in the IIFL Wealth Mumbai International Open Chess Tournament today.
Dhopade defeated Himal Gusain in a quiet Caro Kann game on the top board.
Swapping pieces in regular intervals, Swapnil moved into a double rook and bishop ending. The broken pawn structure of Gusain offered clear openings for attack and he capitalised on the situation by pushing forward to force the win.
Dhopade is closely followed in second position by International Master Stany GA of Karnataka with 7 points position while Gusain (6.5) points occupied the third place.
Top seeded GM-elect, Shardul Gagare of Maharashtra, shared the fourth position with five other players, with six points apiece.
The battles now move to the final round tomorrow in the mega Swiss tournament that has a total prize money of Rs 7.5 lakhs, including Rs 1.5 lakh to the champion.
Meanwhile, four players all with 6 points each share the top spot at the end of the seventh round in the juniors event held concurrently.
Mohammad Fahad Rahman (Bangladesh), Sadhwani Raunak, Aditya Mittal and Sankarsha Shelke (all India) were in contention to win the top honours.
Shelke did well to share honours with Rahman while Raunak and Mittal also played out a draw.
Results: Seniors (Round 8): Himal Gusain (6.5) lost to Swapnil S Dhopade (7.5), Stany G A (7) bt Muthaiah A L (5.5),
Bhavik Bharambe (6) drew with Ravi Teja S (6), Shardul Gagare (6) bt Praggnanandhaa R (5), Amardeep Bartakke (6) bt Nitin S (5), Himanshu Sharma (6) bt Arjun Adappa (5), Chakravarthi Reddy M (5.5) drew with Sharma Dinesh K (5.5), Gukesh D (5) lost to Krishna Teja N (6), Abhishek Das (5.5) drew with Matta Vinay Kumar (5.5), Audi Ameya (5) drew with Parnali S Dharia (5.5).
Juniors (Round 7)(Indians unless specified): Sankarsha Shelke (6) drew with Mohammad Fahad Rahman (Ban, 6), Sadhwani Raunak (6) drew with Aditya Mittal (6), Gukesh D (5.5) drew with Aryan Ranjan (5.5), Dhanush Ragav (5.5) drew with Om Kharola (5.5), Tripathi Adarsh (5.5) drew with Aryan Polakhare (5.5), Saha Shuban (5.5) bt Raahil Mullick (4.5), Ghelani Dhariya (4.5) lost to Adane Narayani (5.5), Rohnit G Amin (4.5) lost to Sankalp Gupta (5), Kriti Mayur Patel (4) lost to Yutesh P (5).