No Indian GM was able to register a win on one of the top ten boards in the third round of the Abu Dhabi Masters.
However, Chennai lad, GM Aravindh Chithambaram did make a mark by holding the fifth seed of the tournament GM Vladimir Fedoseev to a draw on board 6.
Despite being rated more than 100 points below his opponent, it was Aravindh who had the better position out of the opening and was able to hold to a draw quite comfortably.
Something similar happened in the game between GM Vishnu Prasanna and Nigel Short.
Prasanna hardly had to break a sweat to hold the FIDE presidential candidate in a French Defence game. Meanwhile on boards 22 and 23, WGM Soumya Swaminathan and FM Anand Nadar scored wins against Grandmaster opponents.
The third round of the Abu Dhabi masters came to a close on Thursday evening with the number of leaders thinned from twenty to just six.
Out of the five 2700 rated GMs in the fray, only two – Richard Rapport and Wang Hao – were able to retain their perfect score. Daniil Dubov, Amin Bassem, Martyn Kravtsiv and Daniele Vocaturo also won their third consecutive games to join Rapport and Wang at the top.
On the top board, Rapport tried hard to get something to bite on in his game against Mads Andersen in a Closed Sicilian.
The Danish Grandmaster, however, ensured that nothing went wrong.
After the smoke had cleared, the players found themselves in a rook endgame where it was, in fact, Rapport who was a pawn down.