Former World junior champion Pendyala Harikrishna won the third Marx Gyorgy International Chess tournament after settling for an easy draw with Hungarian Grandmaster Ferenc Berkes in the 10th and final round game in Paks, Hungary.
After a forgettable show in the Aerosvit Grandmasters tournament, the much-needed victory for Harikrishna came at an appropriate time, as the Indian stands to recover a few important Elo rating points that he lost in the Aerosvit tournament, where he tied for the last spot.
From finishing last to winning this event, this has been a good turnaround for Harikrishna in a short span of time.
For the record, Harirkishna ended the event with 6.5 points and was a full point adrift of nearest contender Grandmaster Zahar Efimenko of Ukraine, who finished a clear second.
The third place was shared by last year's champion GM Zoltan Almasi of Hungary and Chinese GM Wang Yue while Berkes finished fifth on 4.5 points.
Peter Acs, another former World junior champion in the fray, ended up last spot on 3.5 points in this category-15 double round-robin tournament.
Like so many other days in the event the last round also failed to yield any decisive result with all the three games ending in a draws albeit after tough fights.
Harikrishna won three games and drew the remaining seven while the highest number of decisive games was recorded by Almasi, who won two games and lost two against Harikrishna to end with a fifty percent score.
Efimenko won just one game besides nine draws while Berkes also drew nine besides losing one game. Also ending winless was Acs, who managed seven draws with three losses while Wang Yue ended up with a victory and a lone loss.
In the final round, Harikrishna had his task cut out and he achieved what he wanted without much ado even though Berkes pressed for sometime.
It was a Nimzo Indian defense game wherein Harikrishna went for routine exchanges to get a
balanced endgame and a timely pawn sacrifice by the Indian ended all hopes of Berkes. The draw was agreed to in just 28 moves.
Wang Yue tried hard to improve upon his tournament standing but did not succeed in breaking the solid defense of Almasi, who played black.
Another Nimzo Idnian of the day witnessed Wang Yue exerting pressure in the center and Almasi was pushed to the wall as he had to sacrifice an exchange to stay in the game.
However, the Chinese miscalculated in the endgame and allowed black to seize temporary initiative in the result queen and pawns endgame.
Despite two extra pawns, Almasi's king was caught on the edge of the board and the peace was signed vide repetition after 85 moves.
Efimenko played the closed Ruy Lopeq with his white pieces against Peter Acs and apparently had some advantage when the middle game surfaced. Acs had to work for his counter play and he succeeded in eliminating threatening white pieces as the game progressed. The players arrived at a heavy pieces ending soon after and the point was split after 40 moves.
Results (final round): Ferenc Berkes (Hun, 4.5) drew with P Harikrishna (Ind, 6.5); Wang Yue (Chn, 5) drew with Zoltan Almasi (Hun, 5); Zahar Efimenko (Ukr, 5.5) drew with Peter Acs (3.5).
Final standings: 1. Harikrishna 6.5; 2. Efimenko 5.5; 3-4. Yue, Almasi (5 each); 5. Berkes 4.5; 6. Acs 3.5.
Ferenc Berkes v/s P Harikrishna
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 d5 6. Nf3 c5 7. O-O dxc4 8. Bxc4 Nbd7 9. a3 cxd4 10. axb4 dxc3 11. bxc3 Qc7 12. Be2 Nd5 13. Bb2 Nxc3 14. Bxc3 Qxc3 15. Qd6 Qc6 16. Qxc6 bxc6 17. Nd4 Bb7 18. Rfc1 Rfc8 19. Bf3 a6 20. Bxc6 Bxc6 21. Nxc6 Kf8 22. Kf1 Rc7 23. b5 Rac8 24. Rxa6 Nb8 25. Ra8 Nxc6 26. Rxc8+ Rxc8 27. bxc6 Ke7 28. Ke2 draw agreed.