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Tuesday, July 31, 2001

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Ramesh still in joint lead

BIEL, JULY 30. International Master R.B. Ramesh played a draw with IM Arizmendi Martinez of Spain to remain in joint lead with his opponent after the 6th round of the masters section in Biel international open chess tournament here.

GM Mihail Kobalija of Russia joined the two leaders in lead on 5 points with a thumping victory over FIDE Master Zollbrecht Josef of Germany.

It was a cautious day for the Indian contingent as only IM P. Konguvel managed to win his game with the others drawing after intense fights. Konguvel, alongwith GM Abhijit Kunte and IM D.V. Prasad, is on four points.

Playing white, Ramesh was unfortunate not to win after nearly outplaying Arizmendi in all departments of the game. The opening featured established manoeuvres of the Sicilian Sveshnikov defence and Ramesh out-prepared his opponent in the early phase itself.

The middlegame commenced with Ramesh holding the cushion of an extra pawn and pieces started fleeing the board in a tandem. The players eventually arrived at a queen and pawns endgame having promoted their second queens where Ramesh had two pawns against the lone king.

The Indian's victory was never in doubt but for the faux pas he committed in the crucial final moment. The result was consistent checks on his king and whenever Ramesh managed to wriggle out of the checks, the pawn promotion was made difficult. The game lasted 77 moves before Ramesh proposed the draw. In the next round Ramesh will take on Kobalija with white pieces.

Kunte drew with veteran Swiss GM Ivan Nemet in his favourite Queen's Indian defence opening with black pieces. Cautious moves by Nemet did not allow Kunte to gain any ground in the complexities and the pieces got exchanged at regular intervals.

To seize the initiative, Kunte surrendered the bishop pair but his knight did not get much space in the ensuing minor piece endgame. The draw was agreed to in 43 moves.

Prasad did not get much against the Sicilian defence of IM Gennadi Fish of Ukraine. It was a dynamic middlegame and fish gradually improved his position in the Scheveningen set up.

The queens got traded on the 24th move and to get maximum mobility for his rooks, fish sacrificed a pawn.

In the end, Prasad had to part with his extra material and he steered the game to a peace result after 44 moves.

Konguvel made mincemeat of Lichman Petr of Ukraine in the Grunfeld Indian defence game with black pieces. Lichman was caught off guard in one of the popular variations where Konguvel voluntarily opted out of castling and walked his king over to the king side.

In trying to initiate an attack against the king, Lichman left his pawns vulnerable and Konguvel capitalised on the mistake to transpose the game into the ending with a handy extra pawn. Lichman called it a day after 41 moves.

Double woman Grandmaster norm holder Aarthie Ramaswamy's prospects suffered as she drew with Swiss Leutwyler Martin to be left with 2.5 points from six outings.

The moves: R.B. Ramesh vs Arizmendi Martinez: 1.E4 C5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. D4 Cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 E5 6. Ndb5 D6 7. Bg5 a6 8. Na3 B5 9. Bxf6 Gxf6 10. Nd5 Bg7 11. C3 F5 12. Bd3 Ne7 13. Nxe7 Qxe7 14. O-O O-O 15. Nc2 Rb8 16. Exf5 E4 17. Re1 D5 18. Bf1 Rd8 19. Nd4 Rd6 20. Qd2 Qe5 21. Qg5 H6 22. Qh5 B4 23. Rad1 Bxc3 24. Bxc3 Rb2 25. Re2 Rxe2 26. Bxe2 Qf4 27. G3 Qg5 28. Qxg5 Hxg5 29. G4 Rb6 30. Nb3 Bxc3 31. Rxd5 Bb7 32. Rc5 Rc6 33. Rxc6 Bxc6 34. Bxa6 Bd5 35. Kf1 Kg7 36. Ke2 Kf6 37. Nd2 Bxd2 38. Kxd2 Bxa2 39. Kc3 Ke5 40. Bc4 Bxc4 41. Kxc4 Kf4 42. Kd5 F6 43. Ke6 Kf3 44. Kxf6 Kxf2 45. Kxg5 E3 46. F6 E2 47. F7 E1=Q 48. F8=Q+ Kg2 49. H4 Qe5+ 50. Kh6 Kg3 51. G5 Kxh4 52. G6 Kg4 53. Qb4+ Kf5 54. Qb1+ Ke6 55. Qb3+ Kd7 56. Qh3+ Ke7 57. G7 Qf4+ 58. Kh7 Qe4+ 59. Kh8 Qe5 60. Qd3 Qh5+ 61. Qh7 Qe5 62. Qh3 Kf7 63. Qf3+ Ke6 64. Qc6+ Ke7 65. Qb7+ Kd8 66. Qf7 Qh2+ 67. Kg Qe5 68. Kh7 Qh2+ 69. Kg6 Qg2+ 70. Kh6 Qd2+ 71. Kh7 Qh2+ 72. K 8 Qe5 73. Qf3 Ke7 74. Qb7+ Ke8 75. Qg2 Ke7 76. Qf3 Ke8 77. Qf7 draw agreed.

- PTI

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