Sasikiran held by Korchnoi

Gibraltar: Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran was held to a draw by Swiss veteran Viktor Korchnoi in the sixth round of the Tradewise Giblartar chess tournament.

On an average day for the Indian contingent only Eesha Karavade managed to win her games while for the others, including P Harikrishna, it turned out to be tough outing in the 126000 Pounds Sterling prize money tournament.

Harikrishna was held to a draw by El Debs Felipe De Cresce of Brazil while another Brazilian Alexander Fier dented the hopes of young International Master Vaibhav Suri.

One of the early co-leader Deep Sengupta played out a draw with Giorgi Kacheishvili of Georgia.

Another Indian Grandmaster in the fray G N Gopal also achieved the same result against a resurgent Nadezhda Kosintseva of Russia.

Top seed Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine emerged as the sole leader after a clinical performance against overnight leader Nigel Short of England. The Ukrainian took his tally to 5.5 points out of a possible six and is now trailed by Daniel Fridman of Germany, Viktor Mikhaelevsky of Israel and Short a half point behind.

Sharing the fifth spot are Sengupta and Gopal along with 14 others while Harikrishna and top rated Indian Sasikiran are amongst those who have 4 points so far.

Amongst other Indians in the fray, GM Sandipan Chanda too failed to break the ice and had to settle for a draw with Ram Soffer of Israel while Arghyadip Das met his nemesis in French GM Romain Edouard.

It was Bogo Indian defense where Sasikiran could do little against Korchnoi. The middle game followed a routine pattern wherein Sasikiran tried to get the advantage through queenside break through but Korchnoi kept himself in contention with timely exchanges. The players arrived at a rook and minor piece endgame where the draw was a just result.

Playing black against Kacheishvili Sengupta went for the Dutch Stnewall and did not have many troubles equalising. The game was drawn in 49 moves.