Former World Junior Champion P Harikrishna drew with Grandmaster Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan in the first game for the third place fight in the Lausanne Young Masters International Chess tournament in Switzerland.
At the top, seeded Grandmaster Andrei Volokitin of Ukraine defeated second seed United States Champion Hikaru Nakamura to go one up in the two-game mini-match. In the return game now, Volokitin has a relatively easier task as he just needs a draw to win this prestigious event in which top young stars of the world are taking part.
Harikrishna who lost to Volokitin in the semifinals had no troubles whatsoever after Mamedyarov decided to test his opening knowledge instead of going for a full fledged battle.
Opting out for the less played Vienna opening with his white pieces, the Azerbaijani was just a bit surprised to find Harikrishna well armed in the side variation too and the result was a draw vide perpetual checks in just 15 moves.
In the return game now, Harikrishna will have the advantage of playing with white pieces and in a case of a draw again, the Indian will have to take part in the tiebreaker that will feature games of shorter duration.
Volokitin was simply brilliant in his effort against Nakamura who played the black side of a French defense. Going in for a side variation, Nakamura couldn't maintain the balance for long as Volokitin unleashed an excellent combination leading to a pawn plus endgame after a piece sacrifice.
The American tried hard to salvage a half point but the relentless Ukrainian increased his advantage consistently to romp home in 80 moves.