Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi played out his third draw on the trot, signing peace with Anish Giri of Holland in the sixth round of the Young Grandmasters tournament, a part of the 43rd Biel Chess Festival in Biel, Switzerland.
After three losses in the first three rounds, this has been a good recovery by Negi and the Indian can now look forward to an improved finish in the last three rounds slated to start after the only rest day in the tournament.
Fabiano Caruana of Italy remained in sole lead after thwarting the challenge of Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son of Vietnam. Being on the defensive for the major part of the game, Caruana managed to eke out good defensive moves to get a draw.
The Italian took his tally to four points out of a possible six and he now remains a half point adrift of the nearest contenders.
Top seeded Maxime Vachier-Lagrave scored his first victory in the tournament to elevate himself to joint second spot. On the receiving end was British David Howell who proved no match in the complexities of a King's Indian defense game.
Vachier-Lagrave now shares the second spot with Maxim Rodshtein of Israel, Wesley So of Philippines and Russian duo of Dmitry Andreikin and Evgeny Tomashevsky.
With his sixth draw from as many games, Truong Son is on sole seventh spot in the ten players tournament with three points in his kitty. Giri comes next in standings a half point behind while Negi now shares the last spot along with Howell.
Yet again, the day produced just one decisive game leaving the percentage of draws very high in the tournament. Negi played the black side of a Queen pawn game and it was an irregular choice by the Indian that made Giri use a lot of time on his clock in the initial stages of the game.
The Dutch could not make an impact with his pieces against a solid approach by Negi and barely 20 moves in to the game, the players decided to sign the peace treaty.
Rodshtein also drew in just 20 moves against Andreikin from an English opening game. Playing black, Rodshtein equalised comfortably and the point was split after the players reached a middle game with bishops of opposite colours.
Tomashevsky drew in 24 moves against So from a Slav defense gave where the former played black. Tomashevsky has been approaching each game cautiously and round six was no different.
Results round 6: Anish Giri (Ned, 2.5) drew with Parimarjan Negi (Ind, 1.5); Dmitry Andreikin (Rus, 3.5) drew with Maxim Rodshtein (Isr, 3.5); David Howell (Eng, 1.5) lost to Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra, 3.5); Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son (Vie, 3) drew with Fabiano Caruana (Ita, 4); Evgeny Tomashevsky (Rus, 3.5) drew with Wesley So (Phi, 3.5).