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Sasikiran, Morozevich share lead
July 26, 2004 18:26 IST
Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran scored a brilliant victory over local hope Yannick Pelletier and joined top seed GM Alexander Morozevich of Russia at the top of the tables after the sixth round in the Biel International Chess festival in Switzerland.
Sasikiran and Morozevich are now on four points each and former World champion Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine follows the leaders just half a point behind.
Etienne Bacrot of France and Pelletier remained on 2.5 losing their games while Luke McShane crawled to 1.5 after a hard-earned draw with Morozevich.
Four more rounds remain in this category 18 event, being played on a double round-robin basis between six Grandmasters.
Sasikiran spends a lot of quality time on his opening preparation and it was on display in his near-effortless victory over Pelletier, who did not know what had hit him.
Playing the black side of the Tchigorin variation of Ruy Lopez, Sasikiran followed routine theory and the position should have been level had Pelletier not allowed black to seize control with a thematic 19th move.
"I got a good bind in the middle game. The initiative passed on after he allowed me the central thrust and the advantage soon became significant," Sasikiran said after the game.
In the exchange spree that followed Sasikiran quickly exchanged his pieces. After the dust subsided, Pelletier was certainly not pleased to end up a piece less and resigned after 27 moves.
Having started the tournament with a victory over Pelletier in the first round, Sasikiran appeared pleased with the second win against the lone Swiss challenge in the event.
"It's nice to move into the second half with a victory, I hope to do better," said Sasikiran.
If Sasikiran showcased his tactical ability, Ponomariov did an excellent endgame job against Bacrot who played black.
The Slav defence did not come up to Bacrot's expectations as he was saddled with a passive rook after routine exchanges that led to the endgame.
Handling technicalities in copybook fashion, Ponomariov pressed hard in an approximately equal position and was rewarded when Bacrot failed to sustain the pressure. The Frenchman lost a pawn and was beaten after both players had promoted a new Queen on board. The game lasted 70 moves.
Morozevich tried his best to get past McShane with flying colours but the latter simply did not relent even though he felt the heat for the major part of the game.
The Glek variation does not normally find followers amongst Grandmasters these days and McShane realised who soon after the middle game arrived. Morozevich was in absolute control
but McShane's position did not have any real weaknesses that could be cracked.
Leading the game to a minor piece endgame, the Russian won a pawn by force but the final position was drawn in a theoretical fashion. Last one to end in the day, the duel lasted 83 moves.
In the Master's section, P Magesh Chandran lost to Alexander Riazantsev of Russia in the sixth round and will have to score extremely well in the remaining five games if he has to be in contention for his second GM norm.
Former National champion P Konguvel drew with Ciric Dragoljub of Serbia while R R Vasudevan continued with his impressive run to hold Grandmaster Thomas Pahtz of Germany.
National Sub Junior champion Parimarjan Negi defeated Stephe Fairbairn of Canada.
Grandmaster Christian Bauer of France emerged as the sole leader in this section with 5.5 points after beating GM Pavel Eljanov of Ukraine. GM Boris Avrukh of Israel and GM Andrei Shariyazdanov of Russia share the second spot with five points apiece.
Grandmaster's section: Luke McShane (1.5, Eng) drew with Alexander Morozevich (4, Rus); Yannick Pelletier (2.5, Sui) lost to Krishnan Sasikiran (4, Ind); Ruslan Ponomariov (3.5, Ukr) beat Etienne Bacrot (2.5, Fra).
Important results round 6 (Indians unless specified): Pavel Eljanov (4.5, Ukr) lost to Christian Bauer (5.5, Fra); Boris Avrukh (5, Isr) drew with Mikhail Kobalia (4.5, Rus); Vladimir Kosyrev (4.5, Rus) drew with Evgeny Alekseev (4.5, Rus); Kritz Leonid (4.5, Ger) drew with Alexander Rustemov (4.5, Rus); Edward Porper (4.5, Isr) drew with Zahar Efimenko (4.5, Ukr); Andrei Shariyazdanov (5, Rus) beat Andrei Lukin (4, Rus); Michail Brodsky (4.5, Ukr) beat Papa Severin (4, Sui); P Magesh Chandran (3.5) lost to Alexander Riazantsev (4.5, Rus); Rukavina Josip (4, Cro) drew with Ognjen Civitan (4, Cro); Nadezhda Kosintseva (4, Rus) drew with Nukhim Rashkovsky (4, Rus); Alexandra Kosteniuk (3.5, Rus) lost to Alexander Raetsky (4.5, Rus); R R Vasudevan (3) drew with Thomas Pahtz (3, Ger); P Konguvel (3) drew with Ciric Dragoljub (3, Scg); Parimarjan Negi (3) beat Stephe Fairbairn (2, Can).
Y Pelletier v/s K Sasikiran
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 O-O 9. h3 Na5 10. Bc2 c5 11. d4 Qc7 12. Nbd2 Rd8 13. Nf1 cxd4 14. cxd4 exd4 15. Nxd4 d5 16. e5 Ne4 17. f3 Bc5 18. Be3 Nc4 19. Nb3 d4 20. Bxd4 Rxd4 21. Nxd4 Nxb2 22. Qc1 Bxd4+ 23. Kh2 Nc5 24. Qf4 Bc3 25. Re3 Nbd3 26. Bxd3 Nxd3 27. Rxd3 Bxa1 white resigned.
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