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Harikrishna loses to Xiangzhi

October 20, 2007 19:34 IST

Grandmaster Pendalya Harikrishna suffered a double jolt at the hands of leader B U Xiangzhi of China on the fourth day of the Bilbao Blindfold World Cup of chess in Spain.

With just two games remaining in the unique event that gives three points for a win and one for a draw, Harikrishna was pushed to the bottom of the standings after suffering back to back defeats against Xiangzhi, who looks set to win the event.

The Chinese took his tally to 18 points and is just a draw away on the final day to assert his supremacy in this variant of the game.

Six points behind Xiangzhi is Magnus Carlsen of Norway, who has 12 points, while Sergey Karjakin of Ukraine stands third on 11.

The world's top-rated woman player Judit Polgar of Hungary is fourth on 9 points while a full point adrift of her is former world champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria.

Harikrishna remained on six points after the defeat and meets Karjakin in the final round.

Playing white in the first game, Harikrishna made a blunder that has been a common feature in the tournament. The players have to feed in the moves through the keypad of a desktop computer and it is quite clear that the Indian has not been able to adapt to that so far especially under the faster time control.

It was a Slav defense wherein Harikrishna looked well-placed with a better position to outplay Xiangzhi from the top slot.

However, soon after Harikrishna made the fatal error and found that his queen was trapped. Xiangzhi won quickly thereafter as there was little compensation for white.

In the return game, Harikrishna played black and went for the Grunfeld defense. Employing one of the popular systems, Xiangzhi was on track in the middle game and eventually won after 70 moves.

Carlsen defeated Polgar in a keenly-contested match. The first duel between the two ended in a draw with Carlsen choosing the Moller defense as black, while in the second game the youngster outwitted Polgar in just 27 moves of an English Symmetrical.

Karjakin won the first game against Topalov with black pieces but lost the second. However, it was better than a draw for both as the two got three points from this drawn encounter.

Results day four: Bu Xiangzhi (Chn) beat P Harikrishna (Ind) 2-0; Sergey Karjakin (Ukr) drew with Veselin Topalov (Bul) 1-1; Magnus Carlsen (Nor) beat Judit Polgar (Hun) 1.5-0.5.

Standings after round 8: 1. Xiangzhi 18; 2. Carlsen 12; 3. Karjakin 13; 4. Polgar 9; Topalov 8; Harikrishna 6.

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