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Harikrishna, Adhiban joint third in Gibraltar


Gibraltar: Indian Grandmasters P Harikrishna and B Adhiban got desired results in the final round to tie for the third spot in the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess festival that concluded here.

Up against Hikaru Nakamura in the final round, Harikrsihna had to undergo a long grind lasting almost six hours before the Indian could secure a draw. Nakamura won the tournament handsomely with the draw taking his tally to 8.5 points out of a possible ten.

Adhiban had the harder task on hand but the Indian continued with his fine run to beat last year’s winner Ivan Cheparinov of Bulgaria in his final round.

World women’s champion Yifan Hou of China missed out on a winning opportunity to let David Howell of England off the hook. Howell finished clear second on 8 points.

It was a nine way tie in the end for the third spot featuring the Indian duo of Harikrishna and Adhiban besides, Yifan Hou, Russian duo of Nikita Vituigov and Maxim Matlakov, Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria, Dennis Wagner of Germany, Wei Yi of China and Axel Bachmann of Paraguay.

Besides finishing joint third Yifan Hou also finished the top woman player in the tournament pocketing a cool 15000 Pounds Sterling (About Rs. 14.5 Lakhs).

There were cheers for Indian eves as well as Padmini Rout held on to her own to hold David Anton Gujjaro to a creditable draw. Besides the Grandmaster norm that she earlier earned in the tournament, Rout went home richer by close to Rs. 5 Lakhs out of about Rs. 1.7 Crores reserved as prizes in the festival.

Harikrishna was involved in a long theoretical duel against Nakamura out of a Queen’s Indian defense. Playing black, the Indian did not shy away from the complexities of a pawn down endgame that ensued with only rooks on board.

Nakamura tried hard to covert his extra pawn in to a victory but Harikrishna was perfect in putting up the best defense. The peace was signed after 68 moves.

Adhiban scored one of the memorable victories in his career at the expense of Cheparinov. The Neo-Grunfeld defense by Adhiban gave white nothing and it was a shadow-boxing for a long time as both players manoeuvred pieces in their own territory.

Adhiban went for liquidation and was immensely relieved when Cheparinov failed to spot a simple tactic. The result was a loss of piece for the Bulgarian on the 34th move and he resigned immediately.

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