The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sasikiran, McShane extend lead

Esbjerg (Denmark): Second-seeded GM Krishnan Sasikiran scored yet another smart victory, against Cuban GM Lenier Dominiguez, in the fifth round of the 18th North Sea Cup international chess tournament.

Sasikiran and English GM Luke McShane, both on four points, stretched their lead to a full point over nearest rivals ó top seed GM Alexey Dreev of Russia and Danish Curt Hansen.

Danish GMs Lars Schandorff and Peter Heine Nielsen, and Polandís Michal Krasenkow share the fifth spot with 2.5 points.

Koneru Humpy remained at the bottom of the table without any score following a defeat against Krasenkow. Four more rounds remain in this 10-player round-robin tournament.

Having won a game of fluctuating fortunes against Lazaro in the previous round, Sasikiran did not show any sign of fatigue and carried on nonchalantly with his white pieces. Dominiguez employed the Slav Defence and Sasikiran managed a slightly better position in the middle game.

The Cuban had a few technicalities to take care of and he did not falter in the complexities to reach a dynamically balanced endgame with just a slightly weakened pawn structure on the kingside.

Sasikiran appeared to be waiting just for that. Dominiguez faltered and lost a pawn on the 46th. Sasikiran won another pawn and the ensuing rooks-and-pawns endgame with two extra pawns was easy for him. Dominiguez resigned after the 64th move.

Krasenkow gave a positional lesson to Humpy whose form continued to desert her for the fifth day in succession. An irregular queen pawn game by Humpy with white pieces only gave Krasenkow an easy equality and it took just a bit of effort for the latter to emerge with an advantage in the middle game.

Humpy was forced to use up the remaining time in trying to work out a way to equalise but that did not happen. Krasenkow rolled his queenside pawns and maintained his stronghold with a massive central control through his pawns. Humpy found her rook flanked and soon-to-be-trapped by the opposition pawns and resigned after 34 moves.

If the Andhra girl does not bounce back in the tournament now she will end up losing a lot of important rating points.

On the other hand, made excellent use of his better pawn structure to carve out a fine victory. The middle game arising out of a Ruy Lopez had Lazaro in some difficulty as he was saddled with a perennially bad dark square bishop after routine exchanges leading to a queen-and-minor piece endgame. McShane controlled proceedings well to come up triumphs.

Dreev failed to make most of his white pieces and conceded an easy half-point to Schandorff in a Queenís Indian Defence game. Trading a couple of minor pieces very early in the opening, Schandorff opened the queenside with thematic counter play and the peace treaty was signed after 26 moves when the same position occurred thrice. (PTI)

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