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Harikrishna finishes at the bottom

October 22, 2007 00:47 IST

Grandmaster Pendalya Harikrishna suffered another double blow against Sergey Karjakin of Ukraine even as Bu Xiangzhi of China asserted his supremacy by winning the Bilbao Chess Blindfold World Cup, which concluded in Bilbao, Spain, on Sunday.

Harikrishna, who had lost to Xiangzhi in both games on day four, could not recover on the final day and blunders led to his second double defeat in the tournament.

Xiangzhi meanwhile did the needful, winning one and losing one against the world's top rated women player Judit Polgar of Hungary to claim the title.

The Chinese ended up with 21 points, which was in the end four more than Karjakin who finished second in the event.

Norwegian talent Magnus Carlsen finished third on 16 points, winning one a drawing one game against former World champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria.

The fourth place went to Polgar on 12 points, Topalov finished fifth on nine while Hari finished at the bottom of the table, tallying six points in all.

For the first time in the event, Harikrishna met his nemesis in the French defense that had otherwise been serving him well with black pieces so far.

It was the Winawer variation by Karjakin that helped him get a slightly better position and even though Harikrishna got his chances, the form of the Indian yet again played a decisive role. The game lasted 49 moves.

In the return game, Harikrishna played white and faced the queen's gambit declined. A positional blunder by Harikrishna resulted in a won position for Karjakin and he romped home after 38 moves.

Xiangzhi continued with his fine form and defeated Polgar in the first game of the final day to seal his first place with one game to spare. It was a King's Indian defense by Polgar that gave Xiangzhi a win after 67 moves.

The ever competitive and mother of two  Polgar, however, came back strongly in the return game to level the scores. A feat achieved only by her against Xiangzhi in the entire tournament.

Carlsen defeated Topalov, whose bad run continued on the final day too. Winning the first game from a Nimzo Indian defense game, the Norwegian drew the second game to finish well in this 6-players double round robin event.

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

Final standings: 1. Xiangzhi 21; 2. Karjakin 17; 3. Carlsen 16; 4.Polgar 12; 5. Topalov 9; 6. Harikrishna 6.

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