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Laxman upsets GM Iuldachev
January 13, 2004 23:00 IST
Giant killer R R Laxman of Chennai upset Grandmaster Saidali Iuldachev of Uzbekistan in the fourth round of the Commonwealth Chess Championship in Mumbai on Tuesday.
After the end of the round, Russian Grandmasters Pavel Smirnov and Alexander Fominyh joined India's P Harikrishna in the lead with hard fought victories over double IM norm holder Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury and George Michelakis of South Africa respectively.
All the three leaders have 3.5 points each from four games and are followed by a pack of 26 players with three points apiece. Those in the joint second spot include top seed Nigel Short of England, Krishnan Sasikiran and national champion Surya Shekhar Ganguly.
Short came back to his winning ways with a comfortable win against International Master Prathamesh Mokal while Sasikiran and Ganguly drew their games against Harikrishna and Chandrashekhar Gokhale respectively.
Five more rounds remain in this 174-player, $10000 prize money event.
Today's win was Laxman's second over a Grandmaster in a span of four days. In the first round, he had beaten Asian women champion Koneru Humpy in a tense fight.
Playing white, Iuldachev was taken aback by some fine and effective manoeuvres by Laxman, who made his opponent struggle for rhythm in the early part of the game.
Laxman employed the Grand Prix attack against the Sicilian defence.
Laxman cashed in on his opportunities in the ensuing middle game and was right on top till he blundered a piece. But he was lucky as Iuldachev failed to take advantage of it.
Soon after, the Indian sealed the issue with some fine moves.
Short finally did not fall short of expectation and outplayed Mokal in all departments of the game. The opening was a Ruy Lopez where Mokal, white, fell in to an inferior middle game after opting for some wrong exchanges.
Short showed his class in the rest of the game that was over in 37 moves.
The top board between Harikrishna and Sasikiran turned out to be a cool affair with neither player taking any undue risk. Sasikiran, who is playing the in the country after a
year's gap, tried to make his positional tactics work for some time but Harikrishna neutralised easily after allowing his opponent to get an easy equality as black.
Smirnov came up with a theoretical novelty against Roy Chowdhury and surprised him early in the Sicilian closed game. Despite having the advantage of playing white, the Indian was seen struggling for the major part of the game and never recovered.
Fominyh defeated Michelakis in a hard fought game with black pieces.