Gopal, Harikrishna finish joint fifth in Gibraltar chess

Gibraltar: Grandmasters G N Gopal and P Harikrishna finished joint fifth after drawing their final round games against Salome Melia of Georgia and Hungarian Viktor Erdos respectively in the 10th and final round of the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess tournament.

Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine topped his excellent performance with another fine victory at the expense of Daniel Fridman of Germany to win the 17,000 pounds first prize ahead of Nigel Short of England.

Ivanchuk finished with a commendable nine points out of a possible 10 and remained half a point clear of Short who accounted for Viktor Bologan of Moldova in the final round.

Kulaots Kaido of Estonia and Michael Roiz of Israel tied for the third spot on 7.5 points while Gopal and Harikrishna ended in the next group of seven pointers. Both the frontline Indian finishers will also get some valuable rating points from the tournament.

The best women`s prize worth 10,000 Pounds was won by Nana Dzagnidze, who scored an upset victory over top-rated Indian Krishnan Sasikiran in the last round. Dzagnidze finished with seven points in all and matched the score of Salome Melia with a better tie-break scored.

Double GM norm holder D Harika finished joint third among women after settling for a draw with Emanuel Berg of Sweden. Harika ended her campaign with 6.5 points.

Also scoring 6.5 points and finishing ahead of GMs Sasikiran, Sandipan Chanda and Deep Sengupta was young International Master Vaibhav Suri who stunned Grandmaster Jon Speelman of England. Both Sasikiran and Suri had started the tournament with a half point bye following late arrival here.

Deep Sengupta could not keep the momentum going in the last round and went down to Kiril Georgiev of Bulgaria after an excellent tournament.

The Indian had to be content with six points in all, like compatriots Chanda and Arghyadip Das. Chanda won his final round against Toms Kantans of Latvia while Das found his nemesis in Vyacheslav Ikonikov of Russia.


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