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Gopal in second spot in Asian chess

April 26, 2010 14:32 IST

Grandmaster G N Gopal outclassed GM Darwin Laylo of Philippines to move into the joint second spot after the end of the fifth round of the Asian continental chess championship Subic Bay, Phillipines.

Playing black, Gopal showcased his top form in the event and cruised home without giving any chances to Laylo who lost a handful of pawns before reaching a lost rook and pawns endgame.

The victory took Gopal to four points out of a possible five and the Indian is just a half point adrift of tournament leader Wesley So of Philippines who scored over Megaranto Susanto of Indonesia.

Highest rated Indian in the fray, Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran came back in to reckoning for top honours with a thumping victory over Nguyen Anh Dung of Vietnam.

Sasikiran opened with his pet queen pawn and it was a fascinating battle after the Indian sacrificed an exchange in the endgame. Nguyen promoted one pawn to queen while Sasikiran in the end was able to promote two in this entertaining game.

The 2008 World junior champion Abhijeet Gupta missed out on many chances and was lucky eventually to salvage a draw against Yu Yangyi of China.

It was a Catalan opening through Slav defense wherein Abhijeet, first mixed up the theoretical moves, outplayed Yangyi in the middle game and blundered a full piece for just two pawns to finally draw in the endgame after 125 moves.

Tejas Bakre continued with his fine run and held compatriot fifth seed P Harikrishna to an easy draw. Tejas stood better in the middlegame arising out of an Accelerated Dragon by Harikrishna but played it safe.

National Champion B Adhiban continued with his winning ways for the second day running at the expense of Neelotpal Das. The Nimzo Indian gave Adhiban a god position after the opening with black pieces and he nurtured it well to reach 3.5 points.

Former world juniors girls' champion D Harika scored over Emmanuel Senador of Philippines in what she described as her best effort so far here while Kidambi and Padmini Rout played contrasting draws with their respective opponents. The other Indian in the fray – S P Sethuraman won his third game in the event defeating Namkhai Battulga of Mongolia.

In the women's championship being organized simultaneously, Kiran Manisha Mohanty and Tania Sachdev went down to Chinese duo of Wang Yu and Yixin Ding respectively.

Kiran misplayed a promising position out of the opening while Tania simply missed a one move win. S Meenakshi reached 2.5 points in this section after beating Nafisa Muminova in a one sided affair. Wang Yu of China leads this section with 4.5 points.

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