Wijk Aan Zee (The Netherlands): Grandmaster P Harikrishna was held to a draw by Dutchman Erwin L`Ami in the fifth round of the Group B match of Tata Steel Chess tournament here.
Starting the fifth round with a full point lead, Harikrishna stayed ahead of the field but Alexander Motylev of Russia was able to bridge the gap thanks to a hard-earned victory against D Harika.
Jan Timman of Holland, meanwhile, showed one of his old spark during a crushing victory over compatriot Sipke Ernst. The game also brought the veteran GM the best game prize in this section.
With Harikrishna in front on four points out of a possible five, Motylev is the only one close to him, a half point behind.
L`Ami and Jan Timman share the third spot on three points each, while after her second loss in the event, Harika slipped to joint last spot.
In Group C, India`s Sahaj Grover came back in the reckoning with an easy victory against Etienne Gourdiaan of Holland. While International Master Tania Sachdev did well to hold Grandmaster Daan Brandenburg of Holland but GM B Adhiban missed out on his chances and split the point with top seed Matthew Sadler of England.
In the premier Group A, Magnus Carlsen of Norway and Levon Aronian of Armenia continued to share the lead after draws in contrasting fashion in the fifth round.
Carlsen was stretched till the very end by young Dutch star Anish Giri, while Aronian had it easy with another local hopeful Loek van Wely.
In Harikrishna and L`Ami match, the draw was agreed to in 35 moves.
D Harika should have held on to her own in a level endgame against Bruzon but the Indian fell prey to some well-disguised manoeuvres in the endgame.
Grover punished an over-ambitious Goudriaan from a French defense game with black pieces. Goudriaan went on for some incorrect sacrifices soon after the opening and paid the price.
B Adhiban enjoyed a superior position for a long time and it was a lot of pressure that Sadler had to withstand.
Results of Round 5:
Group B: Kateryna Lahno (Ukr, 2) lost to Alexander Motylev (Rus, 3.5); D Harika (Ind, 1.5) lost to Lazaro Bruzon (Cub, 2.5); Viktorija Cmilyte (Ltu, 2) drew with Dmitry Reinderman (Ned, 2.5); Erwin L`Ami (Ned, 3) drew with P Harikrishna (Ind, 4); Jan Timman (Ned, 3) beat Sipke Ernst (Ned, 1.5); Vladimir Potkin (Rus, 2) drew with Daniele Vocaturo (Ita, 2.5); Sergei Tiviakov (Ned, 2.5) drew with Illya Nyzhnik (Ukr, 2).
Group C: Elisabeth Paehtz (Ger, 2) drew with Pieter Hopman (Ned, 1); Daan Brandenburg (Ned, 2.5) drew with Tania Sachdev (Ind, 2); B Adhiban (Ind, 3.5) drew with Matthew Sadler (Eng, 3); Etienne Goudriaan (Ned, 2.5) lost to SahajGrover (Ind, 3); Elina Danielian (Arm, 1) lost to Hans Tikkanen (Swe, 4); Maxim Turov (Rus, 5) beat Lars Ootes (Ned, 2); Lisa Schut (Ned, 2.5) beat Anne Haast (Ned, 1).
First Published: Friday, January 20, 2012, 21:50