" --IANS"
Ahmedabad, Aug 20 - Grandmaster Swapnil Dhopade of Railways maintained his lead at the top with nine points at the end of the 10th round of the 55th National Challengers Chess Championship here on Sunday.

Playing safe on the top board, Dhopade signed the peace treaty with S. Satyapragyan of Air India after mandatory 25 moves and added 0.5 point to his tally.

The second board encounter between Railway men Himanshu Sharma and S. Ravi Teja also ended in the same fashion.

Third seed M.R. Lalith Babu beat team mate Mary Ann Gomes in long battle which took more than five and half hour to finish. This crucial victory took Lalith to second spot with eight points along with Himanshu Sharma.

A pack of seven players, including top seeded Aravindh Chithambaram, is at joint fourth spot with seven-and-half points.

Arvindh defeated Fenil Shah of Gujarat and has the company of Debashis Das, Arghyadip Das, Deepan Chakkravarthy, S Satyapragyan, Nitin S and S Ravi Teja at the points table.

--IANS

sam/gau/dg


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