Wijk Aan Zee (The Netherlands): Asian champion P Harikrishna needs to remain vigilant against Illya Nyzhnyk of Ukraine to stay ahead of the field in the group `B` of Tata Steel chess tournament here.
Post the second rest day, there will be two matches and after the final rest day in the marathon tournament, the home challenge will begin.
With four wins and four draws thus far, Harikrishna has certainly shown fantastic skills and will look forward to add to his tally in the next two games.
Going by the record books, the remaining matches are quite tough as after black against Nyzhnyk, the Indian will take on Daniele Vocaturo in the tenth round.
After that, Hari will have two back to back black games and then finally he plays white against Reinderman. Amongst his black games is also the crucial tie with second-placed Alexander Motylev who too has done little wrong thus far and is just a half point behind Harikrishna.
Erwin L`Ami of Holland and Lazaro Bruzon seem like the other threats for the Indians but importantly he has played with both of them. For top seed Bruzon, the tide is finally turning his way after a disastrous start.
D Harika has drawn six and lost two games here and this result is good enough for her rating.
In Group `C` being held simultaneously it looks like a race between Hans Takkanen of Sweden and Maxim Turov of Russia who are both tied first on 6.5 points.
Grandmaster B Adhiban has a chance of catching up in the coming rounds but currently the Indian stays a full point behind.
Another half a point adrift is the young International Master Sahaj Grover whose hunt for the elusive final Grandmaster norm has continued here. Its not out of reach still but a tall order indeed. The other Indian in the fray Tania Sachdev has misplayed many good positions and its time to rectify them.
In the premier group `A`, the two ranked players in the world, Magnus Carlsen of Norway and Levon Aronian of Armenia are in joint lead and the form in the remaining matches is going to be the most important factor.
Pairings round 9 group `B`: Viktorija Cmilyte (Ltu, 3) v Alexander Motylev (Rus, 5.5); Erwin L`Ami (Ned, 5) v D Harika (Ind, 3); Jan Timman (Ned, 3) v Kateryna Lahno (Ukr, 3);Vladimir Potkin (Rus, 3.5) v Lazaro Bruzon (Cub, 5); Sergei Tiviakov (Ned, 3.5) v Dmitry Reinderman (Ned, 4); Illya Nyzhnik (Ukr, 4.5) v P Harikrishna (Ind, 6); Daniele Vocaturo (Ita, 3) v Sipke Ernst (Ned, 4)
Group `C`: B Adhiban (Ind, 5.5) v Pieter Hopman (Ned, 2); Etienne Goudriaan (Ned, 3.5) v Daan Brandenburg (Ned, 4.5); Elina Danielian (Arm, 2.5) v Elisabeth Paehtz (Ger, 3.5); Maxim Turov (Rus, 6.5) v Tania Sachdev (Ind, 3.5); Lisa Schut (Ned, 3.5) v Matthew Sadler (Eng, 4.5); Anne Haast (Ned, 2) v Sahaj Grover (Ind, 5); Lars Ootes (Ned, 3) v Hans Tikkanen (Swe, 6.5).