Filipino Hamed Nouri dropped to 36th spot with four points after sixth round to bow out of contention in the 15th Delhi International Chess Championship being held at the Ludlow Castle Sports Complex Civil Lines in New Delhi, India.
Nouri lost to GM Valeriy Neverov of Ukraine in the fifth round then settled for a draw in the sixth round against Pawan Dodeja of India.
Grandmaster (GM) Murali Kathikeyan of India took the solo lead with a perfect score of six points while erstwhile co-leaders GM Farrukh Amonatov of Tajikistan and International Master NR Visak of India are sharing the second spot with 5.5 points each.
Kathikeyan toppled GM Babu Lalith of India in the fifth and GM Andrei Deviatin of Russia in the sixth round to stay as the only unbeaten player in the tournament.
On the other hand, Amonatov split the point with GM Nguyen Huynh Minh Huy of Vietnam in the fifth then blasted GM Sahaj Grover of India in the sixth while Visak, who settled for a draw in the fourth round, bounced back with victories over GM Attila Czebe of Hungary (fifth) and GM Diptayan Ghosh of India (sixth).
Gunning for a graceful exit, Nouri resumes his campaign when he battles Ja Gireman of India in the seventh round while Amonatov eyes to reclaim the top spot as he faces Kathikeyan in their own seventh-round match.
EMIL C. NOGUERA