Romanian holding on in India

by Vishal Sareen
9/11/2004 – In a tournament full of ups and down, Dieter Nisipeanu is staying up. (That's not him, but we needed someone smiling.) With one round to go he is clinging to a half-point lead in the Pune GM tournament. FIDE champion Kasimdzhanov is right on his tail. Local hopes for a place on the podium are good with Harikrishna and Chanda vying for third. Report and photos.

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Nisipeanu holding on to the lead

Pune, India • Sep. 2-12, 2004 • Standings after round 8View and download games

By Vijay Kumar / Vishal Sareen

The lead positions have changed a bit but not dramatically. But certainly the equations at the half-way stage in the Category 16 at Pune have taken a beating.

P Harikrishna provided the proverbial twist in the tale of the biggest closed event in India by beating Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu in the sixth round game. Obviously it is not so easy to come back firing on all cylinders after that. The result? Kasimdzhanov after a none-too-eventful draw with the erstwhile sole leader is now sharing the lead with Nisipeanu on 4.5 points after 7 rounds.

Beliavsky and Harikrishna at the post-mortem of their draw

With just two rounds remaining it could be anyone's title as Harikrishna and Sandipan Chanda, the big draw for the Indian buffs, follow both the leaders with 4 points each in their kitty.

Another half a point adrift are Sutovsky, Beliavsky and Azmaiparashvili who all have 3.5 while Ganguly moved to 3 points following a fine victory over Sasikiran in round 7.

India's upcoming star GM Sandipan Chanda held Kasimdzhanov to a draw

Things apparently have not shaped well for Sasikiran who lost a complete winning position against Beliavsky in Round 6 and was outdone yet again.

Ganguly proved that on a given day he could match almost anyone. The Indian National Champion gets tips from none other than Viswanathan Anand these days and certainly he has picked up after a rather subdued start owing to some bad hits and a few misses.

Clash of leaders Nisipeanu and Kasimdzhanov resulted in a draw

Strangely, Ganguly-Sasi was the only decisive game of round 7 while the peace was restored in the remaining. Could it be the lull before the final storm?

[Late news: In the eighth round Nisipeanu beat Sutovsky with black to regain the sole lead. Kunte beat Chanda to get out of the cellar.]

Indian Number Two GM Krishnan Sasikiran lost to Slovenian GM Alexander Beliavsky

Israeli GM Emil Sutovsky explaining few tricks of his game to Indian Grandmasters


Having played chess and achieved the title of International Master, Vishal Sareen has hung up his boots as a player, and enjoys his life as a teacher. He works as a chess trainer, writer and consultant, and is one of the prominent coaches of the country. He is currently building the Dakshin Institute of Chess Excellence in Chennai.


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