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Harikrishna crushes Timman, extends lead to one point

Wijk Aan Zee (The Netherlands): Asian champion P Harikrishna came up with another inspired performance, putting it across Jan Timman of Holland in the sixth round to continue to lead group B of Tata Steel Chess tournament, here.

The excellent victory which also won the game of the day prize, took the Indian to five points out of a possible six and Harikrishna now enjoys a full point lead over second-placed Alexander Motylev of Russia.

Grandmaster D Harika also put up a fine defensive show to hold higher-ranked Kateryna Lahno of Ukraine. With seven rounds still to come in the marathon event, Harika is now on two points.

In the group C, Tania Sachdev held B Adhiban to a draw. The standings remained unchanged in this section after the tournament leader Maxim Turov of Russia conceded his first half point, drawing with Hans Tikkanen of Holland.

With Turov on 5.5 points, Tikkanen is the only one in proximity a full point behind. Adhiban holds the third spot solely here on four points while young Indian International Master Sahaj Grover is a close joint fourth a half point behind along with top seed Matthew Sadler of England and Dutch girl Lisa Schut.

In the premier group A, Armenia`s Levon Aronian showed his impeccable technique once again to down Vugar Gashimov of Azerbaijan. Aronian nosed ahead of Magnus Carlsen in the standings after the later was held to a draw by Navara David of Czech Republic.

Harikrishna showed one side which many were unaware off. So far, the Indian had been showcasing his technique but against Timman he chose a complicated and tactical battle out of a French defense.

Timman, formerly a top player in the world, was at his wits end as Harikrishna sacrificed as many as three pawns for an attack and picked up all the lost material with some wily manoeuvres.

Though Timman had his chances towards the end of the game, the exercise had probably drained out the veteran who blundered on move 39.

Adhiban went for the Benko gambit and achieved a slightly better position against Tania but the latter put up a fine counter attack to keep the balance. In the end, it was a rook and pawns endgame wherein draw was a just result.

Sahaj Grover`s idea of playing a dry position against Elina Danielian backfired as the Armenian easily found her way to an easy equality. Grover needed precise defense to salvage the draw which he did.

Results round 6 Group B: Alexander Motylev (Rus, 4) drew with Illya Nyzhnik (Ukr, 3); Daniele Vocaturo (Ita, 3) drew with Sergei Tiviakov (Ned, 3); Sipke Ernst (Ned, 2.5) beat Vladimir Potkin (Rus, 2); P Harikrishna (Ind, 5) beat Jan Timman (Ned, 3); Dmitry Reinderman (Ned, 3) drew with Erwin L`Ami (Ned, 3.5); Lazaro Bruzon (Cub, 3.5) beat Viktorija Cmilyte (Ltu, 2); Lateryna Lahno (Ukr, 2.5) drew with D Harika (Ind, 2).

Group C: Pieter Hopman (Ned, 2) beat Anne Haast (Ned, 1); Lars Ootes (Ned, 2) lost to Lisa Schut (Ned, 3.5); Hans Tikkanen (Swe, 4.5) drew with Maxim Turov (Rus, 5.5); Sahaj Grover (Ind, 3.5) drew with Elina Danielian (Arm, 1.5); Matthew Sadler (Eng, 3.5_ drew with Etienne Goudriaan (Ned, 3); Tania Sachdev (Ind, 2.5) drew with B Adhiban (Ind, 4); Elisabeth Paehtz (Ger, 2.5) drew with Daan Brandenburg (Ned, 3).

PTI

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