Round 9 report and video by Vijay Kumar
South African 19th seed FM van der Nat Nicholas P surprised every one when he defeated a much higher rated IM Grover Sahaj in a well fought game to take sole lead at the 2011 Commonwealth & South African Open Chess Championships the after 9th round.
Top seed GM Nigel Short, who drew in the 7th and 8th round played a technically superb game to beat IM Ringoir Tonguey to take his score to 7.5 points from 9 rounds. He is just half a point behind the leader.
Defending Champion Grandmaster Rajaram Laxman, playing with black against GM Jones Gawain, failed to convert his many advantages into a victory and agreed for a draw. IM Dronavalli Harika also settled for a draw and is on 7.5 points.
Abhijeet Kunte and GM Abhijeet Gupta played a short 17 moves game when the position got blocked and no one wanted to take risk by deviating from established game agreed to share the point.
GM Pablo Lafuente thrashed IM Prathmesh Mokal while IM Eesha Karwade after losing two games made a good recovery by winning game 8 and 9 to take her telly to seven points from 9 games. WGM Swati Ghate also won her game and is on 7 points. IM Tania Sachdev has to settle for a draw and is on 6.5 points.
At the end of round 9, FM van der Nat Nicholas P is leading the championship with 8 points followed by as many as six players half a point behind. In the penultimate round FM van der Nat Nicholas P will meet GM Pablo Lafuente who is on 7.5 points.