Negi held by De Jong; Arun Prasad in joint lead
Leiden (The Netherlands): Grandmaster and Asian champion Parimarjan Negi slipped to joint sixth spot after he was held to a draw by International Master Jan-Willem De Jong of Holland in the 6th Leiden International chess tournament.
After conceding a draw in the second round, this was Negi`s second draw in the tournament but contrary to the previous shared point, the game against De Jong, who remains with solid positional player, was quite dry and the Indian could not get many chances.
Grandmaster S Arun Prasad meanwhile made merry and joined the leader board at the expense of local hope Miguoel Admiraal.
Notching his third victory out of four games, Arun took his tally to 3.5 points and he now shares the five-way lead with Bartosz Socko of Poland, David Howell of England, Benjamin Bok of Holland and Evgeny Vorobiov of Russia.
With five rounds still to go, Negi shares the next spot where he also has the company of other compatriots, S Kidambi and a resurgent M R Lalith Babu, who scored his third victory on the trot after losing the opener.
It was generally a quiet day as the top board battle ended in draws.
Socko played it simply safe and signed truce with Howell in just 21 moves, while Benjamin Bok could not impress Predrag Nikolic and achieved the same result in 39 moves.
Negi went for the Semi-Slav defense as black against De Jong but his efforts to look for a complicated battle went in vain. De Jong seemed a contented guy when playing a much higher rated opponent and did not give any chances to Negi.
The middle game surfaced with a level position on board and soon after quick trading of pieces led to a queen and minor piece endgame. The game was agreed drawn in just 25 moves.
Arun Prasad made most of his opportunities to beat Miguoel Admiraal. For the records, it was a French defense game where in Admiraal went for the WInawer variation as white and wild complexities ensued in the middle game.
Arun, however kept his nerves when it mattered the most and picked up a pawn en route to reaching the Bishop and pawns endgame. Admiraal resigned after 37 moves.
Kidambi got a tangible advantage playing white against Sjef Rijnaarts of Holland. Rijnaarts had earlier drawn with Negi in the event and spirits remained high in the slightly worse endgame out of an irregular opening.
Kidambi`s advantage evaporated with exchange of a few pawns and the peace was signed in 48 moves.
Important results round 4 (Indians unless stated): Bartosz Socko (Pol, 3.5) drew with David Howell (Eng, 3.5); Benjamin Bok (Ned, 3.5) drew with Predrag Nikolic (Bih, 3); Jan-Willem De Jong (Ned, 3) drew with Parimarjan Negi (3); Evgeny Vorobiov (Rus, 3.5) beat Arthur Pijpers (Ned, 2.5); Michal Luch (Pol, 3) drew with Viacheslav Zakhartsov (Rus, 3); Miguoel Admiraal (Ned, 2.5) lost to S Arun Prasad (3.5); Herman Van Halderen (Ned, 2.5) lost to Csaba Horvath (Hun, 3.5); S Kidambi (3) drew with Sjef Rijnaarts (Ned, 3); Julian Van Overdam (Ned, 2) lost to Igor Khenkin (Ger, 3); M R Lalith Babu (3) beat Alexander Van Beek (Ned, 2).