Parnali drew with 3rd seed IM Vikramditya Kulkarni (ELO 2346) while Supriya forced 2nd-seeed FM Akash Thakur (ELO: 2297) to share points. (Agencies)
On the top-board, FM Thakur was lucky to escape with a draw against Supriya from the White-side of the Colle System. It was advantage all the way for Supriya who was unable to find the correct continuation and settled for a draw after 47 moves.
Former National Challenger's champion, IM Kulkarni tried every trick in his book but was unable to break the stubborn defense of Parnali. The players signed peace treaty after 48 moves.
Having faced 3-IMs, Aditya Udeshi, Vikramaditya Kulkarni and Rakesh Kulkarni, Parnali remains unbeaten to record a career best performance.
On board two, Deepak Katiyar of Delhi and Karnataka's Likhit Chilukuri decided to play safe and called for a truce after 37 moves in the French Defense game.
IM-elect Rakesh Kulkarni joined the five-strong lead bunch, that includes Supriya, after grinding out a win against 15-year-old, Atharva Madkar from Pune.
Top seed Udeshi, after suffering reverse in round 3, bounced back into contention with an easy win over T Purushothaman from AP and moved jointly into the 2nd spot with a score of 4/5 points, which he is now sharing with a big pack of eight players.
With four rounds remaining in the 3-lakh prize fund tournament, the fight is expected to hot up for the championship in the next few days.
Parnali drew with 3rd seed IM Vikramditya Kulkarni (ELO 2346) while Supriya forced 2nd-seeed FM Akash Thakur (ELO: 2297) to share points.