Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Harikrishna wins Spice Cup title

LUBBOCK (Texas): India's Pentala Harikrishna won the Spice Cup chess with an exciting last-round win that not only got him into a four-way tie, but also earned him the title with the best tie-break score.

The 22-year-old Harikrishna, the former world junior champion and second highest rated Indian after Viswanathan Anand, was lying third before the final round.

He fought till the very last and snatched a win against the Russian-born American Gregory Kaidanov, who is currently the most active chess coach in the United States.

It was a major win for Hari, who in 2004 won the world juniors and then in 2006, won the Chess960 title in Germany.

Harikrishna took his tally to 5.5 points from nine rounds and was tied with Alexander Onischuk, Leonid Kritz and Varuzhan Akobian.

Akobian and Kritz were leading with five out of eight going into the last round, where they had to play each other. Their game ended in a draw but it was not a quick one.

Onischuk and Harikrishna, who were sharing third place, won their respective games with White pieces to join for a four-way tie. Harikrishna had the best tie-break score of 23.2 and was adjudged the winner. He received the Spice Cup put up by Susan Polgar (and a Swiss watch).
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