The trio of GN Gopal, Swapnil Dhopade and MR Venkatesh remained in lead with 4.5 points apiece after round six of the National Premier Chess Championship at Kshudiram Anushilan Kendra on Saturday.
Seven players are in the joint second spot with 4 points each. On the top board, Venkatesh and Gopal drew after a hard-fought battle over 44 moves in a Reti opening. Dhopade kept his chances of maiden GM norm alive as he drew with Vidit Gujarati in 28 moves in a Queen's pawn opening.
P Kartikeyan held Deepan Chakravorty to a draw 33 moves in a Grunfeld defence.
Deep Sengupta of PSPB took his tally to 4 points with an impressive win against GM Sundarajan Kidambi. Deep won a piece on the 21 move and won the game thereafter in 46 moves. Amongst the local players, Dibyendu Barua drew against Bitan Banerjee while Neelotpal Das was held by G Akash.