Top seed Pendalya Harikrishna played out a draw against Swiss GM Viktor Korchnoi and stayed at the bottom of the table after the second round of fifth Marx Gyorgy Memorial International Chess tournament in Paks, Hungary.
Having lost the first round game against Hungarian GM Peter Acs, Harikrishna had little to do with black pieces as the immensely experienced Korchnoi, a former world championship finalist, could not make much impact with his white pieces.
Harikrishna fianchettoed his Bishop on the King side and routine exchanges led to a balanced queen and minor pieces endgame where neither player had any chances. The game lasted 45 moves.
The oldest participant at 77 years, Korchnoi, emerged the sole leader after the second round on 1.5 points as the other two winners of the opening day bit the dust.
Chinese girl-sensation Hou Yifan made her presence felt with a finely crafted victory over Csaba Balogh of Hungary while another Hungarian Ferenc Berkes defeated Peter Acs.
As things stand with eight rounds still to come in the category-14 douhble round robin tournament Korchnoi is followed by Yifan, Berkes, Balogh and Acs on 1 point each.
The Indian will get his first white in the event against Berkes in the next round.
In the Paks Cup GM tournament being organized simultaneously, Indian women's champion Tania Sachdev went down to International Master Papp Gabor of Hungary.
This was Tania's second loss in as many rounds after she had lost to GM Attilia Groszpeter of Hungary.
Aided by the victory, Gabor jumped in to sole lead on two points from as many games and is now followed by GMs Vladislav Nevednichy of Russia, Groszpeter and Krisztian Szabo of Hungary, who all have 1.5 points each.
Like Harikrishna, Tania is also at the bottom of the tables currently with no scores to her credit.
Yifan was quite impressive in her triumph over Balogh, who was outdone in a Sicilian Scheveningen game playing black. The middle game featured wild tactics from the Chinese and Balogh was all at sea. The tactical melee ended in favour of Yifan vide a fine Bishop sacrifice that left Balogh defenseless.
Berkes had to work harder against Acs, who defended for a long time before succumbing in a long drawn endgame. It was another Slav of the day wherein Berkes managed a slightly better position in the queen less middle game and latter outwitted Acs in a rook and minor piece ending. The longest game of the day lasted 54 moves.
Results round 2 (Marx Gyorgy Memorial): Viktor Korchnoi (Sui, 1.5) drew with P Harikrishna (Ind, 0.5); Hou Yifan (Chn, 1) beat Csaba Balogh (Hun, 1); Ferenc Berkes (Hun, 1) beat Peter Acs (Hun, 1).
Paks Cup: Gyozo Pataki (Hun, 1) beat Yu Shaoteng (Chn, 0.5); Krisztian Szab (Hun, 1.5) beat Andras Flumbort (Hun, 0.5); David Smerdon (Aus, 1) beat Mihai Grunberg (Hun, 0.5); Tania Sachdev (Ind, 0) lost to Papp Gabor (Hun, 2); Vladislav Nevednichy (Rus, 1.5) drew with Attilia Grszpter (Hun, 1.5).
The moves: Viktor Korchnoi v/s P Harikrishna
d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3 a6 5. Qc2 g6 6. Bd3 Bg7 7. Nf3 O-O 8. O-O Bg4 9. Ne5 Be6 10. cxd5 Nxd5 11. Nxd5 cxd5 12. Bd2 f6 13. Nf3 Bg4 14. Qb3 Qd7 15. Rfc1 Bxf3 16. gxf3 Nc6 17. Rc5 e6 18. Rac1 Rfc8 19. Kh1 Bf8 20. R5c2 Bd6 21. Rg1 Ne7 22. f4 Rxc2 23. Qxc2 Rc8 24. Qd1 f5 25. Qb3 Kf7 26. Rc1 Rxc1+ 27. Bxc1 h6 28. Bd2 Nc6 29. Kg2 Qe7 30. h3 Bb4 31. Bxb4 Qxb4 32. Qc2 Qd6 33. Qb3 Qc7 34. Qc2 Qb6 35. a3 Ke7 36. b4 Kd8 37. h4 Nb8 38. Qd1 Qc7 39. Qe1 Nd7 40. a4 Nf6 41. a5 Ne4 42. b5 draw agreed.