Negi holds Mamedyarov, climbs to joint second

Gibraltar: Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi showcased his deep opening preparation to easily hold Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan to a draw in the seventh round of Tradewise Gibraltar chess tournament.

Continuing with his excellent run in the tournament so far, which will see him cross the crucial 2650 Elo rating barrier, Negi took his tally to 5.5 points to share the second spot.

Grandmaster Michael Adams of England moved ahead of the field with a 115-moves victory against compatriot David Howell from what should have been a drawn game.

Adams` persistence paid in this game as Howell blundered and fell in to a study-like finish giving the former sole lead.

The Indian duo of K Sasikiran and G N Gopal played a draw amongst themselves to also move up to 5.5 points apiece, half a point behind Adams.

After the debacle in the previous round, Koneru Humpy rose back to beat Craig Hanley of England and now has five points in her bag.

The fight for the women`s prize became quite intense as world women champion Yifan Hou of China defeated world`s top woman player ever Judit Polgar in a long-awaited clash.

Yifan Hou and Nana Dzagnidze of Georgia are amongst those who have 5.5 points and Humpy is sharing the third spot in the women`s section.

The comeback chances of other Indian, Abhijeet Gupta however, ended as he succumbed to former women`s world champion Zhu Chen of China.