Chess is a cruel game! At one moment you are sitting pretty at the top, looking invincible, beating everybody and suddenly the juggernaut halts as your opponents target you. This is precisely what CM Aditya Mittal of Maharashtra must be experiencing. The kid was first to speed off the blocks and raced away to 7/7 and, it appeared that there is no stopping.

A draw in the 8th round ensured that he will still in the lead however, V S Raahul - the 2nd seed had other plans. After being defeated by CM Raahil Mullick in round 2, this Tamil Nadu player has not looked back and came out all guns blazing against Aditya from the black side of Semi-Slav Botvinnik System to hand Aditya his first defeat of the tournament. The win has pushed Raahul to top of the table with 8/9, which he is sharing jointly with Omkar Kadav of host Maharashtra who defeated Rajesh Upadhyay.

 Aditya has been pushed to 2nd spot and has been joined by Y Chakravarthy with a score of 7.5/9 while a big group of 7 players lead by top-seeded Ameya Audi of Goa, Pankaj Sharma (Punjab), Rupesh Ranjan (Bihar), Pankaj Sidhu (Haryana), Rajesh Upadhyay, Vedant Panesar, Devansh Ratti and Aditya Bandekar (all from Maharashtra) are occupying the third spot. A

The lead in the women's category is shared jointly by the Odisha duo of Smaraki Mohanty and CM Aparajita Gochhikar with 6 points apeice. keen fight is expected in the last two rounds for a podium finish and a chance to represent the country in the World and Asian Amateur.

Key Results of Round 9: 

Bo.   Name IRtg Club Pts Res. Pts   Name IRtg Club
1 CM Aditya Mittal 2040 MAH 0 - 1 8   Raahul V S 2062 TN
2   Upadhyay R 1949 MAH 7 0 - 1 8   Kadav Omkar 1865 MAH
3   Chakravarthy Y V K 2055 AP 1 - 0 CM Mullick Raahil 1568 MAH
4   Panesar Vedant 1882 MAH 7 ½ - ½ 7   Devansh Ratti 1814 MAH
5   Audi Ameya 2089 Goa 7 1 - 0 6   Ravindran G 1816 TN
6   Aditya Guhagarkar 1817 MAH ½ - ½   Mahindrakar Indrajeet 2009 MAH
7   Rupesh Ranjan 1934 BIH 7 1 - 0 6   Aan Sikka 1774 Delhi
8   Niklesh Kumar Jain 1908 MP 6 0 - 1 7   Bandekar Aditya 1644 MAH
9   Sharma Pankaj 1875 Punjab 7 1 - 0 6   Thorwe Pratik 1766 MAH