Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran played out an enterprising draw with Hungarian GM Ferenc Berkes in the 10th and final round game to finish third in the third Marx Gyrogy memorial Grandmasters chess tournament that concluded in Paks, Hungary, on Thursday.
Hungarian Zoltan Almasi won the category-15 double round-robin event after playing out a quick draw with compatriot Peter Acs, while Viktor Korchnoi of Switzerland drew with top seed Emil Sutovsky of Israel in the other game of the last round.
Almasi finished with an impressive tally of 6.5 points out of a possible 10, while Korchnoi, after a flying start, finished with an overall tally of 6, half a point more than Sasikiran. Berkes was a deserving fourth with five points while Sutovsky and Acs tied for the last spot on 3.5 points apiece.
Sasikiran's winning run towards the end was halted by Berkes in a well-fought game. Playing the black side of a Queen's gambit declined, the Hungarian won a sacrificed pawn early in the middle game but soon he fell under some difficulties as Sasikiran's tactical motives came to light.
The Indian started off with a piece sacrifice on the 18th move but an alert Berkes swiftly declined it and settled for a middle game with wild complexities. As Sasikiran unleashed his final attack, Berkes was just in time to defend against menacing white pieces and steered the game to a draw vide perpetual checks in 32 moves.
The Indian, however, could draw some consolation from the fact that he finished with 2.5/3 in the last three games after a dismal start that saw him losing one and drawing six games in the first seven rounds.
Following the draw, Sasikiran also made sure that he fulfilled his required quota of points to maintain his present Elo rating and, in fact, will be adding a point. It may be recalled here that after his fine victory in the Sigeman &Co. tournament some weeks back, Sasikiran is again trying to break past the important 2650 Elo rating mark in the next FIDE rating list scheduled to come out next month.
Almasi had little worries with his white pieces against Acs, who expectedly decided not to press with his black pieces.
The result was a peace agreement in just 14 moves when the players were still in the established manoeuvres of the Ruy Lopez opening.
Unlike Acs, Sutovsky wanted to improve his tournament situation a little bit and he played on for a while against Korchnoi, who regained the lost composure to get an easy half point in the end. It was a Ruy Lopez open, a favourite of 74-year old Korchnoi, that gave an easy equality to the Swiss, who played black.
The middle game lasted a short while as soon after the opening the players traded queens and landed in an endgame that was a bit complex. However, Korchnoi made sure that Sutovsky did not have his way with a perfect plan that forced the Israeli to give perpetual checks after he had lost a pawn.
The game lasted 30 moves.
Results final round: Zoltan Almasi (Hun, 6.5) drew with Peter Acs (Hun, 3.5); EMil Sutovsky (Isr, 3.5) drew with Viktor Korchnoi (Sui, 6); Krishnan Sasikiran (Ind, 5.5) drew with Ferenc Berkes (Hun, 5).
Final standings: 1: Almasi; 2: Korchnoi; 3: Sasikrian; 4: Berkes; 5-6: Sutovsky and Acs.
Krishnan Sasikiran v/s Ferenc Berkes
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. d4 Be7 5. Bg5 O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 7. Rc1 a6 8. c5 b6 9. cxb6 c5 10. Be2 Qxb6 11. O-O Qxb2 12. Na4 Qa3 13. Rc3 Qb4 14. Qc2 c4 15. Rb1 Qa5 16. Ne5 Bd6 17. Nc6 Qc7 18. Bxc4 Ne4 19. Bxd5 Nxc3 20. Nxc3 exd5 21. Nxd5 Bxh2+ 22. Kh1 Qd6 23. e4 Kh8 24. Rb3 Nf6 25. Nxf6 gxf6 26. e5 Bxe5 27. dxe5 fxe5 28. Qc5 Qd1+ 29. Kh2 Qh5+ 30. Kg1 Qd1+ 31. Kh2 Qh5+ 32. Kg1 draw agreed.