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Yet another draw for Negi in Biel Chess Festival

Biel: Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi continued to disappoint at the Young Grandmasters Tournament of the 43rd Biel Chess Festival here as the Indian drew his seventh round game against Dmitry Andrikin of Russia to lie at the bottom of the points table.

Negi played it safe yet again against a higher rated opponent and signed peace in just 28 moves.

After succumbing to three losses, Negi registered four consecutive draws in a row. But with only two points under his bag, the Indian is lying at the last spot along with David Howell of England with just two rounds to go in the category-17 event.

Italy’s Fabiano Caruana continued to lead the table as all the five games of the day ended in draws, leaving the positions unchanged.

As a result of the draw melee, Caruan inched himself to 4.5 points and remained half a point ahead of Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France, Wesley So of Philippines, Israel’s Maxim Rodshtein and Russian duo of Evgeny Tomashevsky and Andreikin.

Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son of Vietnam is in sole seventh spot with 3.5 points while Anish Giri of Holland occupies the eighth position with three points.

Playing white, Negi opted for the open Sicilian and faced the Paulsen set up from Andreikin. After the initial complications, the Russian came up with a thematic central break through after which the exchanges became imminent.

Negi temporarily won a pawn which he had to part with as the game progressed and the peace treaty was signed in just 28 moves.

In another game, Caruana went for the Catalan opening with his white pieces against Anish Giri but could not prove any advantage as the Nepali-Russian, who now lives in Holland, came up with some finely crafted manoeuvres in the ensuing middle game.

Caruana decided to play safe and went for an endgame that was completely equal and peace was signed after 32 moves.

Rodshtein played the longest game of the day in trying to catch up with the leader. Playing white against Howell, the Israeli went for English opening and got a miniscule advantage in the endgame.

Howell, however, remained on guard and steered the game to a draw vide repetition in 52 moves.

Vachier-Lagrave too tried hard but could not find a way to topple Tomashevsky from a Ruy Lopez Brayer where the latter played black.

Early exchanges on the queen side led to a queen and minor pieces endgame wherein it was impossible to make any worthwhile progress.

In the other game of the day, the all Asian duel between So and Truong Son also ended in no result after 26 moves of a Slav defense game.

PTI

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