There was some anxiety on his face and the visit to the playing hall were a bit more frequent. Though he was not tense or nervous, it was clear Vishal Sareen was a bit restless as two of his wards — Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi and Sahaj Grover — were facing each other in the fifth round of the LIC Asian Junior Chess Championship in Mumbai on Monday. The result would have pushed the winner into the second spot while the loser would have had to fight his way back into reckoning.
Negi's experience and ability got the better of Grover's tenacity and the world's youngest GM defeated his opponent in a French game. In Tarrasch Variation, Grover made a mistake while developing his pieces and Negi used the slight advantage to unleash a potent attack on his rival's king. Grover resigned after 38 moves when faced with a mating threat.
While the stars of Delhi chess were locked in a battle of wits, overnight leaders Vishnu Prasanna and Woman International Master (WIM) Mary Ann Gomes extended their lead in the boys' and girls' section by beating Deep Sengupta and Padmini Rout respectively.
On the top board, Prasanna's giant-killing spree continued as he beat fourth-seed Sengupta to score his fifth win and maintained his half-point lead at the top of the table. Prasanna and B Adhiban are the two unbeaten players in the field now with the latter now sharing the second spot along with Negi, Ashwin Jayaram, P Karthikeyan and MR Lalith Babu.