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Nakamura jumps to lead on penultimate day

IANS  |  Kolkata 

of the US recorded three successive wins to take the lead along with Armenian Aronian on the penultimate day of the India 2018 here on Saturday.

World rapid champion drew his sixth straight game of the tournament to stay undefeated. Anand is placed mid-table at number four with three points.

With three rounds to go in the final day of the rapid event, Nakamura and Aronian lead the table with 4.5 points apiece from a maximum six points.

Indian No.2 Pentala Harikrishna is one point adrift. He drew American with the white pieces of the defence in round six to slip to third place.

Anand looked promising with the Black pieces but Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of had a strong initiative to eke out a draw.

Surya Shekhar Ganguly had a poor outing as he managed to score only 0.5/3 and lost to Aronian in his last game of the day with the white pieces in the Italian opening.

Reigning champion Aronian looked in trouble to start off with but the Armenian star said it was his strategy to deceive him.

"That's generally my strategy for the game. I tried to create imbalance position just to press Surya on the clock. He is a very solid So I thought to create some disbalance and I think I managed to get him excited," Aronian, a winner of the 2017 St Louis rapid and blitz title, revealed.

"At the very last moment, he could still make a draw but I think he thought it's a good moment to have his first win and he lost his way."

Nakamura, who has a world ranking of second in rapid, began on a high when he got the better of overnight leader

Mamedyarov, playing white, had an equal position against the speed superstar GM of USA but blundered with a Knight move on the 33rd move and there was no coming back and he went on to lose.

"He refused to go for a draw and things simply started going my way. Things became smooth (from round five) after I won the game," Nakamura, who outwitted Ganguly and in the fifth and sixth rounds, said.

Playing each other for the first time on Indian soil, Anand and Pentala Harikrishna had an interesting draw that saw no taking extra risks.

Meanwhile, 14-year-old Sarin was on the cusp of causing an upset by beating Mamedyarov who managed to hold on with some tricks and ended in perpetual checks on the 60th move.

"I'm playing quite well here. It's a very good experience, it's my first super tournament and a nice exposure. But I'm not under any extra pressure," Nihal, who is the world number one in U-14 section, said.

Results (round six):

Surya Shekhar Ganguly (1) lost to Aronian (Arm, 4.5); Vidit Gujarati (2.5) beat (Rus, 3); Pentala Harikrishna (3.5) drew with (USA, 3); Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 3) drew with (3); (USA, 4.5) beat (2).



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, November 10 2018. 21:04 IST