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Harikrishna wins title in China
July 21, 2005 17:14 IST
Last Updated: July 21, 2005 20:45 IST
A thrilling draw, while his nearest rival suffered an agonising defeat in the 11th and final round, gave World junior champion Pendyala Harikrishna the title in the second Sanjin Hotel Cup Grandmasters Chess in Taiyuan in China.
Harikrishna, who had a half point lead over Russian champion Alexander Motylev going into the last round, settled for peace with Sergey Karjakin of Ukraine.
With Chinese GM Bu Xiangzhi handing Motylev a stunning defeat, the draw was enough for the Indian to clinch the crown in the category-15 event.
Harikrishna scored 8.5 points, with seven victories, four draws and a lone loss to Motylev, who finished second with 7.5 points.
The third place was shared between the Chinese duo of Wang Yue and Bu Xiangzhi, who both scored 6.5 points apiece.
Ni Hua of China finished fifth on six points while Karjakin was next in the standing list along with Tgran Petrosian of Armenia on 5.5 points.
The last round was quite exciting for Harikrishna, who could not help remember his World junior triumph late last year.
"It was [similar to] my world junior title position before the start of the last round," Harikrishna said, soon after the game, adding "there too I was in a half point lead but my nearest contender was having a better tie-break score, so I could not go for a draw quickly."
With the title, Harikrishna was richer by US $4000.
The Indian, playing white, opened with the queen pawn and Karjakin showed his peaceful intentions by going for the Queen's Gambit accepted.
Keeping pieces on the board was Harikrishna's idea of continuing and he did precisely that in one of the main variations in the early stages.
However, later Harikrishna went for many exchanges and while it looked like Xinagzhi was home against Motylev, Karjakin was pleased to accept the draw proposal of the champion.
Motylev lost an engrossing battle against Xiangzhi, who played the black side of a Sicilian Nazdorf. Going for the English attack the Russian was caught off guard by a direct attack against his own king and no matter what he tried, Xiabzhi energy compiled with his moves proved stronger. The game lasted 34 moves.
In other decisive games of the last round, Wang Hao of China lost to compatriot Zhang Pengiang while English GM Luke McShane's poor run did not end against Wang Yue also.
In the other games, Petrosian drew with Ni Hua while Zhang Zhong was held to a draw by former Wolrd junior girls' champion Zhao Xue.
Results, final round: P Harikrishna (Ind, 8.5) drew with Sergey Karjakin (Ukr, 5.5); Alexander Motylev (Rus, 7.5) lost to Bu Xinagzhi (Chn, 6.5); Zhang Zhong (Chn, 4.5) drew with Zhao Xue (Chn, 3); Tigran Petrosian (Arm, 5.5) drew with Ni Hua (Chn, 6); Wang Hao (Chn, 4.5) lost to Zhang Pengxiang (Chn, 5); Luke M cShane (Eng, 3) lost to Wang Yue (Chn, 6.5).
The moves: P Harikrishna v/s Sergey Karjakin
1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Bxc4 a6 6. O-O c5 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8. Qe2 Nc6 9. Rd1 Qe7 10. a3 Bd6 11. h3 b5 12. Ba2 Bb7 13. Nbd2 O-O 14. b4 Ne5 15. Bb2 Nxf3+ 16. Nxf3 Rac8 17. Rac1 Bb8 18. Bb1 Ne4 19. Rxc8 Rxc8 20. Qd3 h6; 21. Qd4 Nf6 22. Ne5 Bc7 23. Ng4 Rd8 24. Nxf6+ Qxf6 25. Qxd8+ Qxd8 26. Rxd8+ Bxd8 27. Bd4 f6 28. f3 Kf7 29. Kf2 Bd5 30. Bd3 e5 31. Bc5 h5 32. Bf5 Bb7 33. Bc2 Bd5 34. Bf5 draw.