With her third Grandmaster scalp in a row, Rout took her tally to six points out of a possible eight and this is the best ever performance from the Odisha girl, who is not yet an International Master.

A huge gain of over 50 points also means that Rout is ready to become the third highest rated Indian girl behind Koneru Humpy and D Harika, the only two Indian girls with Grandmaster title.

Having beaten Keydan Troff of United States and compatriot Sandipan Chanda in the last two rounds, Rout continued her demolition and downed Nabaty from the white side of a Caro Kann Advanced variation game.

The Indian capitalised on an optical error on move 12 to net a pawn and then produced some skilled technique to romp home in 47 moves.

With six points in her kitty now, Rout just needs to appear for the next round game against elite Grandmaster P Harikrishna, and even a loss will confirm her maiden Grandmaster norm.

Harikrishna was held to a draw by defending champion Ivan Cheparinov of Bulgaria and inched only up to six points with just two rounds remaining in the 175000 Pounds Sterling (About Rs. 1.7 Crores) Chess festival.

Meanwhile, at the top, Hikaru Nakamura of United States stretched his lead to a full point after outclassing Yangyi Yu of China. The American moved to an astounding 7.5 points out of a possible eight and now stands a full point clear of nearest rivals Axel Bachmann of Paraguay, David Howell of England and Daniel Naroditsky of United States -- all of whom have 6.5 points apiece.

Harikrishna, Rout and B Adhiban are the three Indians still in contention for a podium finish but they all need a super effort in the last two rounds. With six points in all, they share the fifth spot with 15 others.

Adhiban defeated Gil Popilski of Israel from the black side of a Sicilian Taimanov. Popilski went for some
unwarranted complications in the early opening and found himself in a lost middle game pretty soon. Adhiban finished the formalities in quick time.

Among other Indians in the fray, Sandro Mareco of Argentina defeated V Vishnu Prasanna, while M R Lalith Babu held Alexander Motylev of Russia to a draw. In a notable result, M R Venkatesh defeated Victor Mikhalevski of Israel.

Surya Shekhar Ganguly is the other Indian, besides Lalith Babu and Venkatesh, on 5.5 points and look forward to a positive finish in the last two rounds.

Important and Indian results round 8 (Indians unless specified): Hikaru Nakamura (USA, 7.5) beat Yangyi Yu (Chn, 6); Axel Bachmann (Par, 6.5) drew with David Howell (Eng, 6.5); Daniel Naroditsky (USA, 6.5) drew with Nikita Vitiugov (Rus, 6); Peter Svidler (Rus, 6) drew with Yifan Hou (Chn, 6); Richard Rapport (Hun, 6) drew with Dmitry Jakovenko (Rus, 6); Ivan Cheparinov (Bul, 6) drew with P Harikrishna (6); Wenjun Ju (Chn, 5) lost to Veselin Topalov (Bul, 6); Alexander Motylev (Rus, 5.5) drew with M R Lalith Babu (5.5); Gil Popilski (IUsr, 5) lost to B Adhiban (6); Sandro Mareco (Arg, 6) beat V Vishnu Prasanna (5); Padmini Rout (6) beat Tamir Nabaty (Isr, 5); Romain Edouard (Fra, 5) drew with D Harika (5); Debashis Das (4.5) lost to Ivan Salgado Lopez (Esp, 5.5); Anna Muzychuk (Ukr, 5.5) beat S P Sethuraman (4.5); Surya Shekhar Ganguly (5.5) beat Alan Pichot (Arg, 4.5); Victor Mikhalevski (Isr, 4.5) lost to M R Venkatesh (5.5); Guo Qi (Chn, 5) drew with Deep Sengupta (5); Sandipan Chanda (5) beat Alan Tate (Sco, 4.5); Eesha Karavade (4.5) drew with Ioan-Cristian Chirila (Rou, 4.5); Rasmus Svane (Ger, 5) beat Soumya Swaminathan (4); Wemmers Xander (Ned, 4) lost to M Shyam Sundar (5); Arghyadip Das (4.5) drew with Johan Salomon (Nor, 4.5); Pavel Janev (Bul, 4.5) drew with Neelotpal Das (4.5).

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