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It turned out to be a barren outing for the Indians in the Czech International Open chess tournament, which concluded in Pardubice (the Czech Republic), with none being able to break even into the top ten positions.
The best show for the Indians was an 11th place finish by Grandmaster Sandipan Chanda, who won his last round game against International Master Konstantin Shanava of Georgia, and a 13th place finish by International Master S Kidambi. The Indian duo initially shared the sixth spot along with 20 others on 6.5 points but once the tie was resolved, it turned out that they did not have the best tie-breaks.
Grandmaster Andrei Kovalev of Belarus emerged a clear winner of this 332-player tournament with a finely crafted victory over GM Mikhailo Oleksienko of Ukraine in the last round game.
As this happened when the other two overnight leaders -- Russians Vladimir Potkin and Evgeny Najer -- had already drawn their game, Kovalev turned out to be the sole winner, pocketing US $ 3000. He scored 7.5 points out of a possible 9.
Potkin, Najer, Sergey Azarov of Belarus and Alexander Kharitonov of Russia [Images] stood joint second scoring 7 points apiece.
The ninth and final round once again saw average performances from the 12-member Indian contingent as Kidambi did not try to test GM Daniel Fridman of Latvia. Playing the white side of a Slav defence, Kidambi sacrificed a pawn in the early middle game for some attack but decided soon enough that his counter play was probably not up to the mark. As a result the Indian proposed a draw on his 21st move that was accepted by Fridman after some thought.
Chanda, meanwhile, played a fine game to beat Konstantin Shanava who had so far displayed good temperament in the tournament. Getting a small advantage in the opening, Chanda
sustained it to end up as the winner.
IM S Poobesh Anand remained the only undefeated Indian player after successfully holding another higher rated player Sergei Zhigalko of Belarus, who played black.
The tournament yielded some advantage to Poobesh Anand as he stands to gain important rating points from here.
Woman Grandmaster-in-waiting Tania Sachdev ended the event on a disappointing note, losing her last round game against Slaby Jerzy of Poland. Tania finished with a 50 per cent score.
The other Indian girls in the fray had mixed results as Kruttika Nadig went down to Andrey Vovk of Ukraine while Eesha Karavade scored a resounding victory over Robert Havlacek of Czech Republic.
Amongst the men, GM Tejas Bakre held local GM Petr Haba to a draw, M R Venkatesh drew with local hope Viktor Lazanicka while Satyapragyan also achieved the same result with Nicolai Pedersen of Denmark.
Also drawing their games were D V Prasad, S Roy Chowdhury and Rahul Shetty.
Top board and Indian results:
Andrei Kovalev (Blr 7.5) beat Mikhailo Oleksienko (Ukr 6.5); Vladimir Potkin (Rus 7) drew with Evgeny Najer (Rus 7); Sergei Azarov (Blr 7) beat Alexander Moroz (Ukr 6); Alexander Zubarev (6.5) drew with Yuriy Kryvoruchko (6.5); Veniamin Shtyrenkov (6) lost to Alexander Kharitonov (7); Petrik Tomas (6.5) drew with Luis Febrego Comas (6.5); Valery Shalimov (Ukr, 6.5) drew with Gennadi Gutman (Ukr, 6.5); Vladislav Borovikov (6) drew with Thomas Henrichs (6.5, Ger); Sandipan Chanda (6.5) beat Konstantine Shanava (Geo 5.5); S Kidambi (6.5) drew with Daniel Fridman (Lat 6.5); Petr Heba (Cze 6) drew with Tejas Bakre (6); Poobesh Anand (6)drew with Sergei Zhigalko (Blr 6); M R Venkatesh (5.5) drew with Viktor Lazanicka (Cze 5.5); Nicolai Pedersen (Den 5.5) drew with S Satyapragyan (5.5); Ante Saric (Cro 5.5) drew with S Roychowdhury (5.5); Jerzy Slaby (Pol 5.5) beat Tania Sachdev (4.5); Devaki Prasad (5) drew with Mikulas Manik (Svk 4.5); Andrey Vovk (Ukr 5) beat Kruttika Nadig (4.); Robert Havlacek (Cz 3.5) lost to Eesha Karwade (4.5); Rahul Shetty (4) drew with Petr Jakubek (Svk 4).
Final standings: 1. Andrei Kovalev (Blr,7.5); 2-5 2. Vladimir Potkin (Rus,7), 3. Sergei Azarov (Blr,7) 4. Alexander Kharitonov (Rus, 7), 5. Evgeny Najer (Rus, 7); 6-13 6. Thomas Henerich (Ger, 6.5), 7. Valery Shamilov (Ukr, 6.5), 8. Mikhailo Oleksienko (Ukr, 6.5), 9. Alex Zubarev (Ukr, 6.5), 10. Daniel Fridman (Lat, 6.5), 11. Sandipan Chanda (Ind, 6.5), 12. Boris Grachev (Rus, 6.5), 13. S Kidambi (Ind, 6.5).
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