Harika holds Melkumyan, Ravichandran loses to Maghami

Updated: Apr 10, 2010, 11:56 AM IST

Dubai: International Master Dronavalli
Harika held Armenian Grandmaster Hrant Melkumyan to a draw,
while compatriot Tejas Ravichandran`s dream run was halted by
Grandmaster Ghaem Maghami Ehsan of Iran in fourth round of the
12th Dubai International Open Chess tournament here.

Harika played solidly with white pieces to keep the
aspirations of Melkumyan at bay in a King`s Indian defense
game and the Armenian could do no better than holding on to an
equal position in a keenly contested encounter.

Harika now shares the second spot with eight others,
including compatriot Parimarjan Negi, on 3.5 points each in
the nine-round event.

Meanwhile, Maghami emerged as the sole leader in the USD
45,000 tournament after getting the better of Ravichandran,
who had beaten three Grandmasters coming in to the fourth

The Indian teenager, however, could not match a wily
Maghami and lost from an English opening with white pieces in
39 moves.

Negi defeated Spanish GM Martinez Julen Lius Arizmendi in
33 moves from a French defense game and ensured that he
remains on the heels of the leader.

But it turned out to be a tough day for former world
junior champion Abhijeet Gupta as he could not find his rhythm
against fellow Indian International Master S Satyapragyan,
playing the white side of a Bogo Indian defense. Abhijeet was
under pressure for a long time before he could force parity
and got half point.

M R Lalith Babu did well to hold 15th seed Georgian GM
Merab Gagunashvilli, while R R Laxman shared the point with GM
Aleksej Aleksandrov of Belarus in the other games involving
Indians on the top boards.

International Master Sahaj Grover found his nemesis in
Austrian GM David Shengelia who was on a roll with white
pieces. The game was over quickly after Sahaj played badly in
the English opening.

Among the Indian girls in the fray apart from Harika,
Eesha Karavade made her presence felt at the expense of
Azerbaijan`s Nargiz Umudova who played black while Alexei
Federov proved better than S Meenakshi.