| Surya Sekhar had it easy against James Simpson
Edinburgh: Grandmaster P. Harikrishna scored a crushing victory over IM Enamul Hossain of Bangladesh in the second round to maintain his clean slate in the British Chess Championship Wednesday.
On a day when most of the Indians recovered from their bad start, WGM norm holder Swati Ghate defeated highly rated IM Pert Nicholas of England.
The lead is now shared by four Englishmen — Adam Hunt, Nassir Ahmad, Rajko Vujatovik and Aaron Summersclae — besides Harikrishna and Swati who all have two points each from as many games.
As many as 22 players remain on the heels of the leaders with just half a point difference. The pack includes GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly, IM Neelotpal Das, IM S. Kidambi, IM Tejas Bakre and WGM Aarthie Ramaswamy.
This is a 94-player, 11-round contest that carries the winners’ purse of £10,000.
Commonwealth champion Dibyendu Barua, who suffered a rather uncharacteristic loss to Adam Hunt in the opening round, was back to his winning ways as Nicholas Thomas of England proved no match for him.
However, Hunt continued to make merry against the Indians as he scored yet another victory, accounting for GM Abhijit Kunte. Hunt, rated 2395, can really make a dash for a GM norm now with his excellent start.
The other Indians had a field day with Neelotpal Das and S. Kidambi securing draws against local GMs Jonathan Rowson and Paul Motwani, respectively, after intense battles.
Tejas Bakre too did a good job, holding former champion, GM Joe Gallagher of Switzerland who played black.
Surya Sekhar recovered from a first round draw and cruised past James Simpson of England while special entrant Gurpreet Pal Singh scored a fine victory over English Alan Walton.
Swati was the pick of Indian eves as she put up yet another brave front after beating compatriot WGMs Vijayalakshmi in the first round.
The latter came back into reckoning after accounting for Ad-am Ashton of England while Aarthie Ramaswamy scored over South African Gordon Meyer.
Nisha Mohota also won her game while Eesha Karavade and S. Meenakshi opened their accounts with hard fought draws.
For Harikrishna it proved to be a very easy outing with white pieces against Enamul Hossain. The Bangladeshi fell prey to some positional tricks right from the opening and did not get a chance to recover.
Neelotpal Das misplayed what could have been an easy full point against Rowson. In a Sicilian nazdorf where the latter played black, Neelotpal got a nearly decisive advantage with well-calculated manoeuvres. However, what should have been a smooth cruise, resulted in a uphill task for Neelotpal who went for an erroneous plan and had to be content with a draw against Jonathan Rowson.