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Adhiban beats Kuzubov; Kramnik beats Giri

Chess board

Doha (Qatar), Dec 3 (PTI) Grandmaster B Adhiban scored his fifth victory on the trot, beating Ukraine’s Yuriy Kuzubov, to grab the joint fifth spot after the seventh round of the Qatar Masters International Open Chess tournament here.

Starting with losses in the first rounds of the tournament, Adhiban emerged as the best performing Indian in the tournament after a fine attacking victory against Kuzubov with black pieces. For the records it was a King’s Indian defense wherein the Indian checkmated his higher ranked opponent.

Vladimir Kramnik proved his true mettle when it mattered the most and scored a crushing victory against overnight leader Anish Giri. The Semi Slav by Giri met with the Fianchetto system and Kramnik was at his technical best in a must-win situation.

This result threw the tournament open again as Kramnik and Giri emerged as joint leaders on six points apiece and these two are now followed by A R Salem Saleh and Yu Yangyi of China who both have 5.5 points in their kitty.

With just two rounds to come, Adhiban shares the fifth spot along with 13 others.

In other important games involving Indians, P Harikrishna was held to a draw by Daniil Dubov of Russia while Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta played out another draw with a top-50 member, holding Ding Liren of China in a wild game of the seventh round.

Adhiban, however, stole the show with a crushing win against Kuzubov. The King’s Indian by the Indian met with the Classical system and Kuzubov sacrificed a pawn on the king side early.

Adhiban was in control throughout as he capitalised on his extra material to put pressure in the center. As the game progressed, Kuzubov lost a rook for a Bishop and the outcome of the game was never in doubt thereafter.

Meeting his third 2700+ opponent in a row and the highest rated Chinese, Gupta again stood out to be a better prepared than his opponent and got the half point after wild complexities ensued out of a Grunfeld.

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