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Sasi, Hari finish joint second

April 28, 2004 17:14 IST

Grandmasters Krishnan Sasikiran and Pendyala Harikrishna drew their ninth and final round games to finish joint second with ten others in the Dubai International chess championship.

Nineteen-year-old World junior champion, Grandmaster Shakhriyaz Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan clinched the Dubai Cup with seven points after defeating overnight leader Grandmaster Pavel Eljanov of Ukraine in the last round on Tuesday.

Twelve players, GMs Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu of Romania, Viorel Iordachesvu of Moldova, Evgeny Vladimirov of Kazakhstan, Artashes Minasian of Armenia, Mohamad Al-Modiahki of Qatar, Ukrainian trio of Evgenij Miroshnichenko, Pavel Eljanov and Alexander Goloshchapov of Ukraine, International Masters Magnus Carlsen of Norway, Rauf Mamedov of Azerbaijan, Sasikiran and Harikrishna shared the second spot with 6.5 points each.

Grandmasters Zahar Efimenko of Ukraine, Vugar Gashimov of Azerbaijan, Ghaem Maghami Ehsan of Iran, Saidali Iuldachev of Uzbekistan, Yuri Kruppa of Ukraine, Goran Dizdar of Croatia,

IM Al Sayed Mohamad of Qatar and Georgian GMs Merab Gagunashvili Tamaz Gelashvili, Jobava Baadur, Izoria Zviad and Fedorov scored six points each to share the 14th position in the US $41,000 prize-money event.

The last round was not devoid of excitement as quite a few players seemed interested in catching up with Eljanov, who had only a slender half point lead before the start of the final round.

Mamedyarov cashed in bravely on the offered opportunities with a fine performance that not only yielded the full point but also gave him the winner's purse of US $5000.

Eljanov employed the Grunfeld defence as black but appeared at sea in a complex middle game that eventually saw him losing a pawn without much counter play. Mamedyarov clinched the issue in 70 moves after netting another pawn.

Sasikiran appeared to have caught GM Alexander Goloshchapov of Ukraine off guard in a deeply analysed variation of the Semi Slav as white, but a gritty display by the latter helped the Ukrainian snatch half point from the jaws of defeat.

Sasikiran could not do much as his own king came under the firing line following a finesse by Goloshchapov and forced the draw on the 29th move.

Like Sasikiran, Harikrishna also enjoyed an advantageous position against Alexei Fedorov of Belarus but the defensive endgame skills of the latter came to his rescue once the queen's got traded. Deciding there was not much left to play for, Harikrishna accepted the draw after 35 moves.

"I definitely had the advantage but time pressure was the key factor. Also he came back with a strong counter attack," said Harikrishna about his game.

Indian International Master-norm aspirants Manthan Chokshi and Parimarjan Negi failed to make their second norm after losing the last round game.

While Chokshi found it hard to tackle Imad Hakki of Syria, Parimarjan found a tough customer in Megaranto Susanto of Indonesia.

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