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Ramesh defeats Timofeev

ABU DHABI, AUG. 19. Grandmaster R.B. Ramesh defeated Grandmaster Artyom Timofeev of Russia, the third seed, to roar back in the reckoning after the fifth round of the Master's section of 14th Abu Dhabi chess festival here.

GM P. Harikrishna missed out on a good opportunity to join the leading pack as he could not put it across GM Artashes Minasian of Armenia after being on top for the major part of the game.

At the half way stage in this 56-players 9-rounds event, five players emerged joint leaders with 4 points from a possible 5. They are GMs Ashot Anastasian of Armenia, Ghaem Maghami Ehsan of Iran, Pavel Kotsur of Kazkhstan and the Russian duo of Mikhail Kobalia and Evgeny Gleizerov.

Harikrishna, Ramesh and GM Tejas Bakre jointly share the sixth spot along with top seed GM Evgeny Vladimirov of Kazakhstan, GM Marat Dzhumaev of Uzbekistan, GM Artashes Minasian of Armenia and International Master Imad Hakki of Syria.

The day belonged to Ramesh after many not-so-exciting duels on the top boards ended in draws. Having lost the third round match against Ehsan, the Indian has now scored two victories on the trot to be in reckoning for top honours.

Timofeev, with his high rating of 2611 ELO points, traded on thin ice after choosing the Classical Sicilian. The Russian found himself in grave danger as Ramesh showed little mercy in launching a direct attack on the kingside after a mechanical pawn sacrifice.

As a result Timofeev's king was seen dancing in the middle of the board and soon after in the middle game, a tactical squeeze forced an exchange plus position for Ramesh. Not resting a moment thereon, Ramesh finished the game in style with a checkmating combination on move 48.

Harikrishna had his chances against Minasian but the Armenian fought hard after he was pushed to the wall in a position akin to the Benko Gambit where the former played white.

Thoughtful exchanges by Harikrishna led the game to a pawn plus ending that was not at all easy to convert and in the end Minasian salvaged the half point in the rook and pawns endgame.

Bakre was all charged up against Jasper Lauridsen of Denmark and sprang an early surprise by going for the Colle system with white pieces.

After the initial phase Lauridsen could only manage an inferior position and a tactical oversight cost him the queen. The game lasted just 27 moves.

The results: Round 5 (Indians only): P. Harikrishna (3.5) drew with Artashes Minasian (3.5, Arm); R.B. Ramesh (3.5) beat Artyom Timofeev (2.5, Rus); Tejas Bakre (3.5) beat Jasper Lauridsen (2.5, Den); S. Kidambi (2.5) drew with Tania Sachdev (2.5); Neelotpal Das (2.5) drew with Julia Mashinskaya (2.5, Rus); Aarthie Ramaswamy (1.5) lost to Kivanc Haznedaroglu (2.5, Tur); James Coleman (2, Eng) drew with Nisha Mohota (2). — PTI

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