FIDE Grand Swiss: Harikrishna posts win, Harika held to draw in round four

Indian Grandmaster P Harikrishna continued his recovery from a poor start by notching up his second straight win to move to 2.5 points after four rounds in the FIDE Grand Swiss chess tournament.

FILE PHOTO: Indian Grandmaster P Harikrishna.   -  The Hindu

Indian Grandmaster P Harikrishna continued his recovery from a poor start by notching up his second straight win to move to 2.5 points after four rounds in the FIDE Grand Swiss chess tournament here.

The India number three beat Armenia's Sergey Movsesian in 56 moves in a Ruy Lopez game late on Saturday and is among a bunch of players with 2.5 points which also includes GMs D Gukesh and K Sasikiran.

Harikrishna, the seventh-seed, was the only winner among the Indian men while R Vaishali secured the sole victory among the women.

The in-form Nihal Sarin drew his game with Pavel Ponkratov. In a semi-Slav defence, Sarin was thinking for a long time whether he wanted a draw or not but, in the end, he decided not to risk it and went for repetition as white.

The talented, young GM R Praggnanandhaa lost his first game to Samuel Sevian after three straight draws.

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Among the other Indian players, Sasikiran drew with Vladislav Artemiev (Russia), Gukesh held Vladimir Fedoseev (Russia) and Arjun Erigaisi after holding higher-rated opponents in the first three rounds went down to Sanan Sjugirov (Russia).

The experienced Surya Sekhar Ganguly was beaten by young Dutchman Jorden van Foreest and S P Sethuraman shared the point with veteran Boris Gelfand.

The poor run of former under-16 world champion B Adhiban continued as he lost to Jonas Buhl Bjerre of Denmark for his third consecutive loss.

All the games on the top five boards in the Open section ended in a draw, leaving Alireza Firouzja as the sole leader on 3.5/4, with more than 10 players behind on three points.

World number two, Fabiano Caruana, is in the third tier of players, with 2.5 points.

In the women's event, Lei Tingjie became the sole leader with 3.5 points after defeating Valentina Gunina in a Caro-Kann game in round four.

There are now nine players with three points including Indian WGM D Harika, who drew against China's Zhu Jiner.

Vaishali defeated Meruert Kamalidenova (Kazakhstan) to move to two points. Padmini Rout lost to Russia's Alina Kahslinskaya while Vantika Agrwal and Divya Deshmukh drew their games.

Ten Indian men and five women feature in the tournament.

The Grand Swiss Tournament and Women's Grand Swiss 2021 are part of the qualifications for the 2021-23 World Championship cycle. The top two finishers will qualify for the Candidates Tournament 2022.

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