Harikrishna in sole lead at Tata Steel Chess tourney
Wijk Aan Zee (The Netherlands): Grandmaster and Asian champion P Harikrishna defeated Kateryna Lahno of Ukraine to jump into sole lead after the end of Group B second round of the Tata Steel chess tournament.
Following his patient triumph over top seed Lazaro Bruzon of Cuba in the opener, the Indian was a picture of confidence and even though there were some tense moments in the game against Lahno, Harikrishna tackled them effectively to win his second straight game in a row.
D Harika continued with her solid play in this group and played out a draw with Sipke Ernst of Holland to inch herself up to one point from two games so far.
Harikrishna now enjoys a half point lead over Illya Nyzhnyk of Ukraine, Daniele Vocaturo of Italy and local star Erwin L`Ami who all have 1.5 points apiece.
Harika shares the fifth spot here with 11 rounds still to come in the marathon event played on a round-robin basis between 14 players.
B Adhiban missed his chances against Lars Ootes of Holland in the C group and was relegated to joint second spot on 1.5 points.
India`s Sahaj Grover made his present felt in this section at the expense of Elisabeth Paehtz of Germany while Tania Sachdev let go of a winning position and finally signed peace with top seed Matthew Sadler of England.
Maxim Turov of Russia emerged as the sole leader in this section with two points while Grover and Adhiban are close behind on his heels a half point behind.
In the premier group Levon Aronian of Armenia shot in to lead defeating Hikaru Nakamura of United States in the second round. Aronian sacrificed his queen for two pieces and Nakamura remained off-form in this key contest.
Harikrishna meanwhile opened with the king pawn and faced the Sicilian defense by Lahna who held on to her own for a long time and it was the last move of the first time control that proved disastrous for the Ukrainian prodigy. Harikrishna cashed in on the error in the rook and pawns endgame and converted it in to a full point.
Grover, 16, was the pick of the Indians in the C group showing great maturity in converting a miniscule advantage against Paehtz. Winning a pawn in a technical skirmish, Paehtz was the last to err when she tried recovering the pawn and Grover simply outsmarted her in quick time thereafter.
Tania could have won easily but for a blunder that brought back Sadler in the game and it was a similar story for Adhiban who surprisingly repeated thrice when many considered his position to be won.