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Harikrishna joint-winner in Reykjavik
March 15, 2006 20:33 IST
Grandmaster and former World junior champion Pendyala Harikrishna emerged joint winner in the 22nd Reykjavik International Open chess tournament after settling for a quick draw with Grandmaster Gabrielo Sargissian of Armenia in the ninth and final round in Reykjavik, Iceland.
After a rather shaky start in the tournament, this turned out to be a good finish by Harikrishna. It should help his Elo rating get a little push upwards.
It was a five-way tie at the top, with Sargissian winning the top slot thanks to his excellent tie-break under the Bucholz system.
The second place went to Adly Ahmed of Egypt, who played a fine game to beat Norwegian wonder boy Magnus Carlsen in the final round. Grandmaster and twice junior World champion
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan finished third while Igor-Alexander Nataf of France was fourth.
Having drawn his first round game itself against Gudmundur Kjartansson of Iceland, Harikrishna's tie-break was the worst among the top finishers. It was some excellent work in the second half of the tournament that earned the Indian a place at the top.
For the record, Harikrishna's biggest victory came in the penultimate round when he defeated Israel's Sergey Erenburg. In the final round there was little hard work required by the Indian. Earlier, in the sixth round, Harikrishna had also beaten Ahmed in a fine game.
Sargissian, on the other hand, led from the beginning of the event and was a worthy winner on all counts. The Armenian was temporarily under the threat of finishing second when Magnus Carlsen was pressed for victory against Ahmed in a better position in the final round. But a subsequent blunder by the Norwegian sealed the tournament's fate in favour of Sargissian.
Had Carlsen won against Ahmed, he would have finished clear first as he was in joint lead along with Harikrishna and Sargissian at the start of the final round.
Another Indian who participated in the event was former Asian junior champion P Magesh Chandran, who now lives in the United States. Chandran finished the tournament on five points
after losing the final round game against experienced Grandmaster Jaan Ehlvest of Estonia.
Harikrishna will next play in a blitz tournament at the same venue in which Viswanathan Anand will also participate.
Important results (final round): P Harikrishna (Ind, 7) drew with Gabriel Sargissian (Arm, 7); Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 6.5) lost to Adly Ahmed (Egy, 7); Hannes Stefansson (Isl, 6) lost to Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 7); Igor-Alexander Nataf (Fra, 7) beat Hichem Hamdouchi (Mar, 6); Ivan Sokolov (Ned, 6.5) beat Pavel Tregubov (Rus, 5.5); Luis Galego (Por, 6.5) beat Laurent Fressinet (Fra, 5.5); Christopher Ward (Eng, 6.5) beat Sergey Erenburg (Isr, 5.5); Ian Rogers (Aus, 6) beat Throstur Thorhallsson (Isl, 5.5); P Magesh Chandran (Ind, 5) lost to Jaan Ehlvest (Est, 6); Hedinn Steingrimsson (Isl, 5) lost to Ivan Ivanisevic (Scg, 6).
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