Humpy holds Laznicka; Sasikiran, Negi also play draw games

Gibraltar: Grandmaster Koneru Humpy held higher rated GM Viktor Laznicka of Czech republic to an easy draw in the third round of Tradewise Gibraltar chess congress here.

Playing solidly with her white pieces, Humpy did not let Laznicka press for any advantage and the draw through repetition of moves was all that the Czech GM could do despite his 2700 club rating.

Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran was held to a draw on a mixed day for Indians in the over-100000 Pound Sterling tournament. The highest rated Indian in the fray split the point with David Alberto of Luxembourg in a keenly contested game.

For the second day running world second youngest GM ever, Parimarjan Negi, could not break the ice and had to settle for a draw. Marc Arnold of United States was the one to benefit after playing rock-solid chess with white.

On the brighter side, GN Gopal made the most of his chances against Swiss Roman Freuler while Abhijeet Gupta recorded his second victory on the trot following a first round loss.

At the top of the tables Nigel Short of England showed his class in defeating second seed Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan and the shocker was provided b y world women’s champion Yifan Hou of China who outplayed much higher ranked Zoltan Almasi of Hungary.

With seven rounds still to come, Short, Yifan, Michael Adams of England, Sabino Brunello of Italy and Ruben Felgaer of Argentina share the lead with a perfect score while Sasikiran, Humpy and Gopal are in joint sixth spot on 2.5 points. Abhijeet Gupta and Negi follow this pack another half point behind.

The other Indians in the fray, Rakesh Kulkarni played out a draw while Sohan Phadke posted his first victory against lower ranked opponents. Former National women’s champion Soumya Swaminathan ran out of luck and went down to Tamir Nabaty of Israel

Humpy faced the Slav defense from Laznicka and a couple of pieces changed hands early in the middle game. The players decided against any undue risk and when Humpy initiated the repetition Laznicka did not hesitate and the peace was signed in a mere 30 moves.

Sasikiran tried harder but his story had a similar fate. The Catalan opening gave enough play for Alberto in the middle game and after heaps of exchanges it was a queen and pawns endgame on board where the draw through repetition was imminent.

Important and Indian results round 3 (Indians unless specified): Nigel Short (Eng, 3) beat Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 2); Michael Adams (Eng, 3) beat Daniel Fridman (Ger, 2); Yifan Hou (Chn, 3) beat Zoltan Almasi (Hun, 2); Le Quang Liem (Vie, 2.5) drew with Mircea-Emilian Parligras (Gre, 2.5); David Howell (Eng, 2.5) drew with Judit Polgar (Hun, 2.5); Koneru Humpy (2.5) drew with Viktor Laznicka (Cze, 2.5); Gabriel Sargissian (Arm, 2) lost to Sabino Brunello (Ita, 3); Ruben Felgaer (Arg, 3) beat Viktor Bologan (Mda, 2); Krishnan Sasikiran (2.5) drew with David Alberto (Lux, 2.5); Marc Arnold (Usa, 2) drew with Parimarjan Negi (2); G N Gopal (2.5) beat Roman Freuler (Sui, 2); Abhijeet Gupta (2) beat Jose Miguel Ortega Ruiz (Esp, 1) Tamir Nabaty (Isr, 2) beat Soumya Swaminathan (1); Rakesh Kulkarni (1) drew with Angelina Fransson (Swe, 1.5); Sohan Phadke (1) beat Johan Salomon (Nor, 0.5).


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