Negi beats Sasikiran, shares lead with Wojtaszek

New Delhi: Grandmaster and Asian champion Parimarjan Negi crashed through the defenses of countrymate Krishnan Sasikiran to emerge as the joint leader after the second round of AICF-AAI Chess Cup here today.

After a hard-earned draw from a difficult situation in his opener against Radoslav Wojtaszek of Poland, the city-based Negi showed top class preparation complimented with excellent decision making to score his first victory in the tournament.

Wojtaszek, meanwhile, outclassed Evgeny Alekseev of Russia to emerge as the other winner in the day while Anton Korobov played out a draw with former World junior champion Abhijeet Gupta.

With eight rounds still to go in the six-players double round robin tournament, Negi and Wojtaszek share the lead with 1.5 points apiece. They are being followed by Gupta and Korobov, who both have a point each in their kitty.

The fifth spot is shared by Sasikiran and Alekseev on half a point each and the two have some catching up job to do in the category-18 event.

Negi capitalised on an erroneous opening plan by Sasikiran to get the upper hand.

The Ruy Lopez Breyer by Sasikiran did not yield desirable result as Negi had a vice-like grip on the position and he meticulously deployed his forces to increase the advantage.

When the first time control approached Sasikiran already was in serious difficulties and found some solace in giving a rook for a Bishop. However, the counter-play remained elusive for the rest of the game as Negi showed fine technique to pocket the full point in 43 moves.