The burden of completing their norms lifted off their shoulders, overnight leader B Adhiban of Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) and newly-crowned Grandmaster Sriram Jha of LIC intensified their neck-and-neck race for the title on Thursday at the 47th Premier National Chess Championship with both registering contrasting wins in the 9th round.
Adhiban played an attacking game to outwit GM Deepan Chakkravarthy while Jha capitalised on a mistake by GM RR Laxman to register a short 18-move victory at the Goregaon Sports Club here.
Adhiban thus maintained his position at the top of the table with 7.5 points with Jha following half-point behind at second. GM Neelotpal Das of PSPB was at the third spot with 6.5 points. Top seed GN Gopal and GM Abhijit Kunte too won their games to move up in the table.