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Sasikiran keeps title hopes alive

February 01, 2005 20:25 IST

Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran bounced back into the reckoning with a finely-crafted victory over veteran Grandmaster Pia Cramling of Sweden, in the seventh round of the master's section of chess festival in Gibraltar.

Having lost the previous round game, Sasikiran put himself in contention for top honours in this strong Open event that carries a total prize pool of over 15,000 pounds sterling.

Overnight leader GM Gabriel Sargissen of Armenia survived a few anxious moments before finally holding his own against top seeded Alexei Shirov of Spain in a keenly-contested game.

After settling for a draw in a position that offered some winning chances, Sargissen was joined by compatriot and former World junior champion Levon Aronian, Ukrainian Zahar Efimenko and a a very lucky Emil Sutovsky of Israel.

While all the leaders have 5.5 points each in their kitty, Sasikiran is in the next group of nine players who all have five points apiece with three rounds remaining.

Prominent among them are Shirov, second seed Alexey Dreev of Russia and United States champion Hikaru Nakamura.

In the next round Sasikiran will meet GM Kevin Spraggett of Canada.

Important results round 7:

Alexei Shirov (Esp, 5) drew with Gabriel Sargissian (Arm, 5.5); Alexey Dreev (Rus, 5) drew with Hikaru Nakamura (Usa, 5); Lovon Aronian (Arm, 5.5) beat Vasilios Kotronias (Gre, 5); Boris Avrukh (Isr, 4.5) lost to Emil Sutovsky (Isr, 5.5); Zahar Efimenko (Ukr, 5.5) beat Kiril Georgiev (Bul, 4.5); Krishnan Sasikiran (Ind, 5) beat Pia Cramling (Swe, 4); Ian Rogers (Aus, 4) lost to Dianel Gormally (Eng, 5); Mohamed Al Sayed (Qat, 4) lost to Kevin Spraggett (Can, 5); Alexander

Areshchenko (Ukr, 5) beat Kateryna Lahno (Ukr, 4); Colin Mcnab (Sco, 4.5) drew with Evgeny Postny (Isr, 4.5); Hic hem Hamdouchi (Mar, 4.5) drew with A R Saleh Jasim (Uze, 4.5); Jonathan Speelman (Eng, 4.5) drew with John Shaw (Sco, 4.5); Peter Wells (Eng, 5) beat Sergio Estremera (Esp, 4); Hamad Al-Tamimi (Qat, 4.5) drew with Gabriel Del Rio (Esp, 4.5); Chris Ward (Eng, 4) beat Arakhamia-Grant ketevan (Geo, 3. 5).

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