Gibraltar Chess: Harikrishna beats Vidit, jumps to joint lead

Gujrathi’s attempt to seek counter play on the queen side did not come good while Harikrishna demolished his king side in the middle game. In the end, the attack proved irresistible and Gujrathi had to call it a day.

P. Harikrishna is ranked 13th in the world rankings. (File photo)   -  V. V. Subrahmanyam

Former world junior champion GM P. Harikrishna continued his brilliant run as he outplayed compatriot Vidit Gujrathi to jump into joint lead after the end of the 8th round of the masters section of Tradewise Gibraltar International Chess Festival now underway here.

Gujrathi’s attempt to seek counter play on the queen side did not come good while Harikrishna demolished his king side in the middle game. In the end, the attack proved irresistible and Gujrathi had to call it a day.

Harikrishna took himself up to 6.5 points out of a possible eight and now shares the lead with David Anton Gujarro of Spain and French duo of Etienne Bacrot and second seed Maxime Vachier—Lagrave of France.

With two rounds still to come in the 185000 Pound Sterling festival, as many as twelve players including Indians Abhijeet Gupta, S. P. Sethuraman and M. R. Lalith Babu share the fifth spot on six points apiece.

The fortunes did not change for former world champion Viswanathan Anand as he was held to another draw in the tournament. Little known American International Master Marc Esserman got a creditable draw against Anand.

Anand is losing heavily on the ratings and has slipped out of the top ten in world rankings after a long time. He is ranked 13, a point ahead of Harikrishna.

In the women’s section, which is a part of the masters, the Indian aspirations suffered a massive setback as both Padmini Rout and D. Harika lost their eighth round games. While Padmini went down to Lenic Luka of Slovenia, Zoltan Almasi of Hungary proved stronger than Harika.

In a big upset of the day, Lalith Babu defeated former world championship challenger Nigel Short.

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