Young Indian Grandmaster Nihal Sarin came back to title contention with a crushing victory over world junior champion Parham Maghsoodloo of Iran in the fifth round of the TePe Sigeman & Co. chess tournament in Malmo, Sweden.
With just two rounds left in the category-17 event, Sarin shares the third spot with Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu of Germany and Nils Grandelius of Sweden while Maghsoodloo and Hillarp-Persson, also of Sweden, are next in standings with two points each. Ivan Saric of Croatia is at the bottom of the table with just 1.5 point to his name.
Sarin got off to an modest start but Maghsoodloo could not come up with dominant moves, putting the Indian in the driver’s seat. Sarin then kept the pressure up till the Iranian cracked. The Kerala-based Grandmaster won a queen and finished the game with a flawless conversion.
“I spent a lot of time agonizing over the loss against Hari in the previous round. I just wanted to get better and not lose, so today was a much better day,” Sarin said.
The top seeded Indian Pentala Harikrishna was held to a draw by Saric but remained in joint lead on 3.5 points alongside England’s Gawain Jones, who split the point with Nisipeanu.
Saric seemed to emerge with a slightly better position from the opening in an Anti-Marshall against Harikrishna. However, it was an endgame and Harikrishna did not take much time to start doing what he usually does best. After the first time control, the Indian took control of the proceedings even as Saric had enough defensive resources to hold.
In the other game of the day, Grandelius accounted for his Swedish counterpart Persson.
Results of Round 5
Ivan Saric (Cro, 1.5) drew with Pentala Harikrishna (Ind, 3.5); Nihal Sarin (Ind, 2.5) beat Parham Maghsoodloo (Iri, 2); Nils Grandelius (Swe, 2.5) beat Tiger Hillarp-Persson (Swe, 2);.Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu (Ger, 2.5) drew with Gawain Jones (Eng, 3.5).
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