FIDE Grand Swiss: Nihal Sarin stays in second spot

Nihal Sarin maintained his joint second position following a draw with Russia’s Ponkratov to reach three points after four rounds of the FIDE Grand Swiss chess tournament.

File picture of Nihal Sarin.   -  K. K. Mustafah

In-form Nihal Sarin maintained his joint second position following a draw with Russia’s Pavel Ponkratov to reach three points after four rounds of the $425,000 FIDE Grand Swiss chess tournament in Riga, Latvia, on Saturday.

France’s Alireza Firouzja stayed ahead of the pack at 3.5 points.

It was a day of mixed fortune for the 15-member Indian contingent. Spearhead P. Harikrishna posted his second straight victory, S. P. Sethuraman drew with former World championship finalist Boris Gelfand while D. Gukesh and K. Sasikiran continued their unbeaten run but there were a few unexpected reverses.

READ: Another win for Harikrishna

B. Adhiban suffered his third successive loss, Surya Shekhar Ganguly his second and youngsters R. Praggnanandhaa and Arjun Erigaisi faced their first.

Among the women, fourth seed D. Harika stayed unbeaten after drawing with China’s Zhu Jiner to share the second spot.

Fourth-round results (involving Indians)
Open: Nihal Sarin (3) drew with Pavel Ponkratov (Rus, 3); Vladimir Fedoseev (Rus, 2.5) drew with D. Gukesh (2.5); Vladislav Artemiev (Rus, 2.5) drew with K. Sasikiran (2.5); Samuel Sevian (USA, 3) bt R. Praggnanandhaa (2); Sergei Movsesian (Arm, 1.5) lost to P. Harikrishna (2.5); Sanan Sjugirov (Rus, 2.5) bt Arjun Erigaisi (1.5); Jorden van Foreest (Ned, 2) bt Surya Shekhar Ganguly (1); Maxim Matlakov (Rus, 1.5) drew with Raunak Sadhwani (1.5); S. P. Sethuraman (1) drew with Boris Gelfand (Isr, 1.5); Jonas Buhjl Bjerre (Den, 2) bt B. Adhiban (0.5).

Women: Zhu Jiner (Chn, 3) drew with D. Harika (3); Padmini Rout (2) lost to Alina Kashlinskaya (Rus, 3); M. Anna Sargsyan (Arm, 2.5) drew with Vantika Agarwal (2.5); R. Vaishali (2) bt Meruert Kamalidenova (Kaz, 1); Divya Deshmukh (1) drew with Sophie Millet (Fra, 1).

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