Krishnan Sasikiran kept the Indian hopes alive in the Asian Games chess tournament, while Suryasekar Ganguly, Dronavalli Harika and Tania Sachdev receded a bit on the penultimate day of competition, in Guangzhou today.

Indian Grandmaster Sasikiran remained the lone unbeaten participant from the country as he continued his good show with two wins and a draw today, to sit at joint second on 5.5 points along with top seed Le Quang Liem of Vietnam.

Sasikiran ended the day half a point behind sole leader Rustom Kasimdzhanov of Uzbekistan with whom he drew his fifth round clash.

The two are quite close in ELO ratings, with just three points separating them.

In the other two matches of the day, Sasikiran defeated lesser ranked rivals Nguyen Ngoc Truong of Vietnam and So Wesley of Philippines to keep himself firmly entrenched in the hunt for a medal.

He has won four matches and drawn three so far.

Meanwhile, Ganguly finished the day at joint fifth with 5 points, having registered five wins and two losses.

Among women, Harika and Tania are at joint fourth on five points each after the seventh round.

Harika could have done more consistently. She raised hopes after holding Grandmaster and top seed Hou Yifan, with 160 ELO points better than her, to a draw in the sixth round.

But then she herself was held to a draw by her lower ranked opponent Pham Le Thao Nguyen of Vietnam.

She stared the day by outclassing Atous Pourkashiyan in round five.

Tanya began the day with a loss against Grandmaster Pham Le Thou Nguyen but then stayed in the hunt with successive wins over Mongolia’s Tuvshintugs Batchi and Irene Sukandar Khan of Indonesia.

The women’s bunch was led by Hou Yifan with six wins and the surprise draw against Harika. She was a full point clear of Pham Le Thao Nguyen, who was in second spot.