Top seed national champion Grandmaster Arjun Erigaisi and former national title holder Grandmaster Lalith Babu M.R emerged in a seven-way lead at the top after the end of the fourth round of the 19th Delhi International Grandmaster Chess tournament here.
Arjun got better off Kushagra Jain without much struggle to register his fourth victory on the trot while Lalith defeated Padmesh in a one-sided affair to find himself in the leading pack along with Arjun, Visakh N.R; Iniyan P, Shahil Dey, Azer Mirzoev of Azerbaijan and Seyed Kian Poormosavi of Iran.
With seven players in the front, as many as sixteen players including 13-year-old unheralded Yashita Rout of Odisha, who steal the show on Thursday when she held Grandmaster Mitrabha Guha, who rated more than 1100 rating points, to a creditable draw is occupying the eighth spot with a drift of half-point from table leaders.
The fourth round started as a normal tournament after the organisers had opted for the Accelerated pairing system in the first three rounds to enable the norm-seekers to have more chances in place of more entries. This paved the way for Yashita to have a look at top-level chess.
Earlier in the third round, third seed and five-time commonwealth champion Abhijeet Gupta suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Rohith Krishna while Shahil Dey outwitted Iranian Grandmaster Masoud Mosadeghpour.
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