Parimarjan Negi slipped to the bottom of the points table after going down to second seed Evgeny Tomashevsky in a hard-fought second-round contest of the Young Grandmasters tournament in the 43rd Biel Chess Festival in Biel, Switzerland.
With his second loss in as many games, the Indian who is the second youngest Grandmaster ever in the history of the game, is last in the 10-player field as of now. In the first round, Parimarjan had lost to Maxim Rodshtein of Israel.
Russia's Tomashevsky emerged as joint leader on 1.5 points along with Rodshtein and Wesley So of Philippines on a day that saw the other four games reaching peaceful draws albeit after tough fights and high quality games.
Top seeded Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France, Fabiano Caruana of Italy, Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son of Vietnam, Anish Giri of Holland and Dmitry Andreikin of Russia share the third spot on one point each having drawn both games played so far while David Howell of England is sole ninth after he opened his account with a draw.
With seven rounds still remaining in the category-17 tournament, Parimarjan will be hoping to open his account in the next round when he gets his first white in the event. The Indian faces Caruana in his third outing.
Back-to-back black games are difficult and yet if a player draws number five in a ten-player field, it is mandatory to have two black games in the first two rounds.
Parimarjan got the ill-fated number in the draw of lots and the first two games have not gone well despite him showing a new idea early in the opening.
Tomashevsky went for one of the topical variations in the Queen's gambit declined and it as early as on the 10th move that Parimarjan came up with a new idea and equalized subsequently.
On the 17th move, the Indian gave a temporary pawn sacrifice and when he recovered it five moves later, the experts believed it was a "no-problem" position.
However, as the game progressed, a few inaccuracies forced Parimarjan to part with one of his pawns and the ensuing endgame after tactical complexities proved difficult to handle.
It was a long a slow grind in the final stages that saw Tomashevsky securing the full point in 94 moves.
Parimarjan's was the last game to finish but the longest game of the tournament was played by Anish Giri and Andreikin that went till 109 moves before Giri finally decided it was impossible to make a progress. The Dutchman had a rook for a Bishop in the endgame but Andreikin managed a fortress that could not be breached.
The shortest game was also keenly contested after Rodshtein employed the Grunfeld defense against Caruana who played white. Accepting a pawn sacrifice early in the opening, Caruana decided to play it safe and allowed perpetual checks to split the point in just 25 moves.
Vachier-Lagrave was in a spot of bother against So from another queen pawn game of the day where the latter played white. Just while So was building pressure, Vachier wriggled out with a timely exchange sacrifice forcing a drawn endgame.
In the other game of the day, Truong Son employed the sharp Trompowski attack but could break the defenses of David Howell. After regulation exchanges the peace was signed in 35 moves.
Results round 2: Evgeny Tomashevsky (Rus, 1.5) beat Parimarjan Negi (Ind, 0); Wesley So (Phi, 1.5) drew with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra, 1); Fabiano Caruana (Ita, 1) drew with Maxim Rodshtein (Isr, 1.5); Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son (Vie, 1) drew with David Howell (Eng, 0.5); Anish Giri (Ned, 1) drew with Dmitry Andreikin (Rus, 1).