Top seed Grandmaster Ivan Popov of Russia (3.5) scored win over French GM Vladimir Lazarev to stay half a point behind leaders.

The two Indian Railways players derailed their opponents in contrasting games. Rathnakaran scored a crushing win over new Grandmaster Karthikeyan Murali. The Modern game saw Karthikeyan Murali exchanging his crucial fianchetto bishop as early as the tenth move. Subsequent passive play saw Rathnakaran applying huge pressure on the kingside and wrapping up the game in 43 moves.

On the top board, International Master Ramnath Bhuvanesh continued his good work by holding Grandmaster Cristhian Cruz (Peru) to a draw.

The Slav game between Swapnil Dhopade and Abhishek Kelkar moved into a double bishop versus double knight, ending by 30th turn. Deft maneuvers gave Swapnil a passed pawn which he nurtured with telling effect gaining the full point by 60th move.

Sharing the second spot along with top seed Popov at 3.5 points were Cristhian Cruz (Per), Van Huy Nguyen (Vie), Mikhail Mozharov (Rus), Marat Dzhumaev (Uzb), CRG Krishna and N R Vignesh (both India).

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