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Harikrishna in the lead

January 02, 2008 19:37 IST

Grandmaster P Harikrishna got the better of David Navara's defence and tamed the Czech to leapfrog to the lead after the fourth round of the 50th Reggio Emilia Chess tournament.

After his first round loss against Zoltan Almasi of Hungary, this was Harikrishna's second victory in the 10-player round robin event and the Indian now leads the tables along with Konstantin Landa of Russia, Vugar Gashimov of Azerbaijan and Almasi with 2.5 points each. 

Dutch Grandmaster Sergei Tiviakov came back strongly in the event, making good use of the clock against Michele Godena of Italy to jump to joint fourth spot on two points along side Viktor Korchnoi of Switzerland, Chinese Ni Hua and Mihail Marin of Romania.

Languishing at the bottom are Godena and Navara, both of whom have just one point each with five rounds still remaining in this category-16 tournament.

In other fourth round games, Ni Hua held Viktor Korchnoi, Landa played out a draw with Almasi while Mihail Marin and Gashimov too signed truce.

The earlier encounter between the two had an interesting story to it during the Mainz Chess Classic last year when Harikrishna forgot about his ticking clock in a completely winning position and was declared lost on time.

Navara had went on to win that tournament and Harikrishna finally made amends on Wednesday.

The King pawn opening by Harikrishna always packs a punch for his opponents as he employs it not so regularly. Navara was up against a closed set-up and spent a lot of time when Harikrishna opened up the centre in early middle game. 

With his king stuck in the centre, the Czech GM saw his position collapsing and despite exchanges at regular intervals, the big holes in his position remained. 

Reaching the queen and minor piece endgame, Harikrishna gobbled a couple of pawns and did not look back. The game lasted 43 moves.

In the fourth round, Harikrishna displayed originality once again and outwitted Navara.

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