Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam): The two highest rated Indian Grandmasters — Abhijeet Gupta and Parimarjan Negi — suffered major setbacks as they lost their second round ties in the Asian Chess Championship in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.

The two Indians lost in contrasting fashion with Abhijeet bowing to Chinese Wang Chen with white pieces while a delayed defence did not prove enough for Negi who could not salvage the day against John Paul Gomez of Philippines.

Having drawn the first game, Abhijeet was under some pressure and it showed as he could not make use of a better position and missed some simple continuations that would have guaranteed a victory.

Instead, the reigning Indian champion miscalculated in the final stages of the first time control and was forced to resign.

Negi first equalised but later fell into a bad position against Gomez out of a Ruy Lopez opening where the latter played black.

After being pushed, Negi did well to stay in the game by finding some excellent defensive moves but towards the end missed a tactical stroke that cost him his queen and the game soon after.

The losses left Abhijeet on just a half points while Negi remained on one following a first round victory. The two will have a lot of catching up to do in the remaining seven games.

Meanwhile at the top of the tables, Yu Yangyi of China maintained his winning run to keep a perfect score. While it’s a four-way tie at the top, B. Adhiban, Vidit Gujarathi, S. P. Sethuraman and M. R. Venkatesh are among those who have 1.5 points after two games.



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