Following a victory over third seed Alexander Areshchenko of Ukraine in the third round, Karthikeyan did not let the momentum slip and took his tally to an impressive four points out of a possible five.

Sergey Volkov of Russia emerged as the early sole leader post the half way stage after he defeated Tigran Petrosian of Armenia. The Russian is now on 4.5 points and as many as eight players follow him a half point behind including Karthikeyan, Vidit Gujrathi and G N Gopal.

It turned out to be another good day for Gopal as he accounted for higher-ranked Andrei Istratescu of France while Gujrathi was held to a draw by Adam Horvath of Hungary.

But the day belonged to Karthikeyan who came out of his opening blues and ate up everything that came his way in aremarkable triumph.

The King's Indian attack gave Baseem an extra pawn in the middle game but the Indian was on his guard and created wild complexities. Baseem eventually decided to go for the bait but his attempt to win black’s queen cost him a handful of pieces and Karthikeyan clinched the issue in just 37 moves.

Gopal came with some exquisite technique to beat Istratescu from what looked like a drawn endgame. Playing the white side of a Sicilian Najdorf, Gopal played a high intensity game that involved a king side attack.

After fighting for equality and initiative for a long time, Istratescu found himself in a Queen and minor piece
endgame wherein Gopal came up with a Bishop sacrifice to march his pawn to glory.

Among other Indians in the fray, Grandmasters Abhijeet Gupta settled for a quick draw with compatriot Sahaj Grover out of Caro Kann defense. Grover played it safe with his white pieces and went for early repetition of moves.

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