Negi finishes second in Leiden International Chess
Leiden (The Netherlands): Grandmaster and Asian champion Parimarjan Negi outclassed Benjamin Bok of the Netherlands in the ninth and final round to finish sole second in the Leiden International chess tournament that concluded here.
Having lost to David Howell of England in the previous round, the Delhi-based GM came out firing on all cylinders against Bok who proved no match and lost rather tamely after being subjected to a king-side attack.
Negi ended with seven points out of possible nine and is going to add some points to his growing ELO rating.
Howell meanwhile annexed the title after a fighting draw with Predrag Nikolic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the final round. The English Grandmaster finished with an impressive 7.5 points.
Indian Grandmasters S Arun Prasad and M R Lalith Babu finished in a six way tie for the third place. Bartosz Socko of Poland, Evgeny Vorobiov of Russia, Csaba Horvath of Hungary and Nikolic were the other four players who scored 6.5 points apiece.
As the tie was resolved, Arun Prasad finished sixth while Babu was declared eighth. The other Indian GM S Kidambi had to be content with 5.5 points and finished 17th in the final ranking.
Negi was at his attacking best against Benjamin Bok and the disparity in class showed in this encounter. Bok went for the Berlin defense as black and Negi went for principled closed Ruy Lopez that was giving him many points off late.
The middle game featured routine manoeuvres with Bok consuming more time on his clock and giving Negi a chance to conduct a king side attack.
The course of the game changed rapidly when Bok fell under time pressure and tried to open the king side. Negi responded with a manoeuvre he can be proud off -- a cool queen move which was followed by a knight sacrifice.
Black`s king side was shredded in to pieces soon after as Negi picked up three pawns in addition to a dangerous attack. Not giving any chances thereafter the Indian wrapped the game in 38 moves.
Arun Prasad played out an easy draw with Vorobiov in his last game of the tournament. The queen pawn game gave little to Arun Prasad and after a couple of pieces got traded, both the players decided to shake hands.
Meanwhile, Lalith Babu had an impressive finish after a forgettable start. After losing the first round, it was indeed commendable for the Andhra Pradesh GM to come back and finish joint third. In the last round, Michal Luch of Poland was outdone by the Indian in the complexities.