Grandmaster K Sasikiran was held to a draw by unheralded Vietnamese Nguyen Huynh Minh Huy while P Harikrishna also split points with Yu
Ruiyuan of China in the fourth round of the Asian Continental chess championship in Subic Bay, Phillipines.
After losing the third round against Susanto Megaranto of Indonesia from a better position, Sasikiran's chances of breaking in to the 2700 ELO rating club were further dented by Huy and the Indian will have to do really well in the remaining five games to be in title contention.
Playing black, Sasikiran was surprised by the solid play by white and routine exchanges led to a drawn queen and pawns endgame wherein the Indian was forced to sign the peace treaty.
On a comeback trial after losing the first round, P Harikrishna's victory run was halted by unknown Chinese Ruiyuan who put up a sterling show in a Slav defense game with black pieces.
Both Sasikiran and Harikrishna have 2.5 points and a lot of hard work to do to be in with a chance of finishing among the top five the qualifying berths to the next world chess cup.
Meanwhile 2008 world junior champion Abhijeet Gupta produced a gem of an endgame to outwit Gao Rui of China. The endgame, which was a talking point on the way back home among most of the Indians saw Abhijeet emerging triumphant in an opposite coloured Bishop endgame after hard labour lasting 65 moves. For the records it was a Berlin defense game wherein Abhijeet played black.
Grandmaster G N Gopal also worked quite hard to beat Ronald Dableo of Philippines from a Siclian defense game.
Playing white Gopal was in control but let it slip before coming back with a fine effort in the rook and pawns endgame.
The three overnight leaders continued at the helm after drawn results on eight of the top ten boards. Yu Yangyi of china, Wesley So of Philippines and Megarnato continue to share the lead on 3.5 points while Gopal and Abhijeet are in joint fourth spot now.
In the women's championship being played simultaneously, Kiran Manisha Mohanty continued her impressive run to crush Hoang Thi bao Tram of Vietnam. Kiran took her tally to an impressive three points out of a possible four.
The all-Indian dual between Tania Sachdev and S Meenakshi ended in the favour of the former. Tania moved to 2.5 points after a bad start. Wang Yu A of China leads this section with 2.5 points from her four games so far.