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Indians remain 2nd
- Sasikiran, Harikrishna, Surya Sekhar stay in title hunt

Dubai: Indian Grandmasters Krishnan Sasikiran, P. Harikrishna and Surya Sekhar Ganguly returned to their winning ways to remain in joint second position at the end of the fourth round of the Dubai international chess championship here.

The trio, who had to contend with a draw in the earlier round, came back strongly to garner full points and remain in title hunt with five more rounds to go in this tournament.

Top seed GM Liviu-Dieter Nispeanu of Romania emerged as the sole leader with four points from as many rounds after outplaying Tamaz Gelashvili of Georgia. He is now followed by a pack of 11 players including Sasikiran, Surya Sekhar and Harikrishna, with 3.5 points each in their kitty.

GM R B Ramesh also posted a much-needed victory over compatriot Deepan Chakravarthy who fell prey to a well analysed variation in the Sicilian Sveshnikov.

Also scoring a victory were International Master Rahul Shetty and IM norm holder Manthan Chokshi who defeated Atousa Pourkashiyan of Iran and Mohamed Eissa of UAE respectively.

Young hopeful Parimarjan Negi continued with his fine form and held Women Grandmaster Firuza Velinkhanli to a creditable draw while S Satyapragyan failed to deliver the goods against GM Al-Modiahki Mohamad of Qatar who played a fine attacking game to catch his younger rival off-guard.

Also on the receiving end were WGM Aarthie Ramaswamy and double IM norm holder Abhijeet Gupta who went down to Almulla Mohammed of UAE and former champion Alexander Goloshchapov of Ukraine, respectively. Sasikiran defeated GM Saidali Iuldachev of Uzbekistan in just 25 moves from a King’s Indian defence game where the former played white.

In the opening itself, Iuldachev found himself at sea after achieving a complicated position and Sasikiran took control of the proceedings in copy-book fashion to knock down a pawn on the king side that drew curtains.

Harikrishna was again at his resourceful best as he accounted for GM Zurab Sturua of Georgia. The opening featured a slightly off-track variation of the Grunfeld defence where Harikrishna, black, had little trouble in obtaining the dynamic balance.

Sturua went for some unwarranted piece play that helped the Indian secure the double bishop advantage and the rest was a delight to watch as the Indian forced white king into a mating net. The game lasted 35 moves.

National champion Surya Sekhar was also not far behind in making his day a memorable one as he gave an endgame lesson to Indonesian Awam Wahono.

Playing white, the Calcutta-based player was up against an irregular opening set up that gave him a tangible advantage in the ensuing middle game.

The endgame came with Surya Sekhar having an extra pawn and the technicalities were handled perfectly.

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