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Harikrishna finishes tied first

August 15, 2007 22:45 IST

Defending champion Grandmaster P Harikrishna had to settle for a shared first place with Hungarian Peter Acs after playing an easy draw with home challenge GM Csaba Balogh in the final round of the 5th Marx Gyrogy memorial international chess tournament that concluded in Hungary on Wednesday.

Harikrishna had little to do with slightly unfavourable colour in chess as Balogh was quite content going for level territories in the Ruy Lopez opening as white. Harikrishna yet again followed a recent game played by Jakovenko of Russia and equalised in quick time.

All the minor pieces changed hands in the middle game and there was little to play for thereafter.

Harikrishna ended his stint with 6 points out of a possible 10 and it was a good midway recovery by the Indian after a disastrous start that helped him finish tied first.

The Indian was close to winning the event solely but for a final round mishap by veteran Swiss Viktor Korchnoi, who resigned in a defendable position against Peter Acs.

The game was within the boundaries of a draw when Korchnoi suddenly failed to spot the saving grace amidst tactical complexities and called it a day. Had Acs drawn, he would have been half a point behind Harikrishna.

While Harikrishna and Acs, who defeated the Indian in the first round, dominated the event, Csaba Balogh of Hunagry finished sole third on 5.5 points.

Ferenc Berkes of Hungary finished fourth with five points. Korchnoi, after leading mid-way, slumped to fifth spot in overall rankings while Hou Yifan, though impressive in patches, finished last in the category-14 tournament.

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