Chess: Harikrishna held to draw in opener

Gibraltar: Former junior world champion Grandmaster P Harikrishna was held on to a draw by Justin Sarkar of United States in the first round of Tradewise Gibralatar Chess Festival that got underway.

International Master Eesha Karavade was impressive in the opener as she held English GM Gawain Jones to a draw in the 126000 Pounds (Appr. Rs 91 Lacs) prize money tournament, which saw most of the big guns scoring.

At the top of the table, stalwarts Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine, defending champion Michael Adams of England and Fabiano Caruana of Italy did not have much problems in cruising home against their modestly rated opponents.

Other Indians -- Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran and International Master Vaibhav Suri -- who arrived late here, got only a half point bye in the first round.

Due to the weather conditions their flight was re-routed to Malaga in Spain and since they did not possess a Schengen Visa, the documentation took a lot more time delaying their departure to Gibraltar.

So both Sasikiran and Vaibhav will commence their `real tournament` from the second round.

Meanwhile, Grandmaster Sandipan Chanda scored a routine victory over Mads Andersen of Denmark while the other two Indians GMs Deep Sengupta and GN Gopal also got off to a flier against Nils-Ake Malmdin of Sweden and David Cummings of Canada, respectively.

IM Arghyadip Das, too, managed to outplay Alan Byron of England.


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