Al Ain (UAE) :-
Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran was held to a draw by Uzbek Marat Dzhumaev in the second round of the Asian Continental chess championship here on Tuesday.
After a hard-earned first round win, Sasikiran was not able to press home for more against Dzhumaev who played it very safe with his white pieces. Employing the Scotch opening, Dzhumaev went for simplifications and Sasikiran’s temporary pawn sacrifice also failed to ignite any complexities. The game was drawn after 28 moves taking both players to 1.5 points.
Indian Grandmasters Surya Shekhar Ganguly, Sandipan Chanda, M R Lalith Babu and V Vishnu Prasanna maintained a clean slate winning their second game on the trot to be among leaders after the second round.
With seven rounds still remaining in the premier Asian tournament, Commonwealth champion Abhijeet Gupta is among those who are on the heels of the leaders with 1.5 points in his kitty. The championship is a part of next world championship cycle and top five players from here will qualify to take part in the next world chess cup.
After heroic performance in the opening round, International Master K Rathnakaran could not do much and went down fighting against Jahongir Vakhidov of Uzbekistan. Among other Indians in the fray, Grandmasters Deep Sengupta and G N Gopal could not break the ice for the second day running and were held to draws while World number three woman player Koneru Humpy bounced back from her first round debacle at the expense of Byambaa Zulzaga of Mongolia.
Abhijeet Gupta had the easiest of outings defeating Wang Yiye of china from the black side of a Sicilian Najdorf game. Gupta sacrificed a pawn early in the middle game and romped home in the ensuing endgame without any counter chances.
In the women’s championship being held simultaneously, best Indian hope Padmini Rout continued with her winning ways despatching Mitra Hejazipour of Iran. Playing white, Padmini was in her elements in this game.
Soumya Swaminathan got a good result holding higher ranked Shen Yang of China to a draw but the day belonged to Mary Ann Gomes who put it across fancied Iranian Sarasadat Khademalsharieh. Rout and S Vijayalakshmi are amongst the leaders in this section.
Among other Indian eves, Tania Sachdev came back in to reckoning defeating Mir Mahmoud Afamia of Syria. Sachdev had lost her first round against lesser known Ranaa Hakimifard of Iran in the opener.