Zafra:Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran's mediocre run continued as was held to a draw by former world women's champion Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria in the sixth and penultimate round of Magistral Ruy Lopez International Chess tournament.
This was Sasikiran's fifth draw in six rounds so far making it a forgettable affair for the second highest rated Indian after Viswanathan Anand.
In the final round Sasikiran will meet Dutchman Ivan Sokolov with black pieces. Gabriel Sargissian assured himself of the title after crushing local hope Manuel Perez Candelario.
With his fifth victory in the event, Sargissian raced to an unassailable 5.5 points out of a possible 6.
Julio Granda Zuniga of Peru is in sole second spot on 4 points while former World champion Ruslan Ponomariov is a close third on 3.5 points, a half point ahead of Candelario.
In the sixth round, Zuniga defeated Sokolov and Ponomariov accounted for Hou Yifan of China. With just one more round remaining, Sasikiran stands joint fifth along with Sokolov on 2.5 points and a not-so-distant seventh is Stefanova on 2 points.
Hou Yifan is at the bottom of standings on just one point.Sasikiran had his chances but the Indian could not find his winning ways again.
Stefanova employed the Semi Slav defense and after the game took shape in one of the sharpest variations Sasikiran's form was again wanting as he allowed Stefanova to get the dynamic balance at the expense of a pawn.