In the background of the slow start of Viswanathan Anand and Parimarjan Negi in the Corus chess tournament, the positive displays of two former World junior champions P. Hari Krishna and Abhijeet Gupta have stood out for India so far in the premier competition.
Anand and Negi have drawn all four games in their respective sections before Wednesday’s rest day and need to strike big time in order to be in title-contention in the 13-round event.
Quite understandably, Anand is satisfied by playing the position well rather than taking undue chances in search of a win. Negi, too, has exhibited good understanding of the complex positions and come out impressive.
Hari, with two back-to-back victories, has more than made up for the opening round loss and shares the third place. He appears to make things happen over the board instead of waiting for them to happen, like he showed in the fourth round game against top seed Arkadij Naiditsch.
In group ‘C’ Abhijeet Gupta with a victory and three draws, has raised visions of doing well in rounds to follow. The group, this year, is weaker than the one seen in 2008 and Abhijeet can be expected to score a few more victories.
World junior girls champion Soumya Swaminathan, however, has not been able to play above her rating. This Pune-girl has lost three games. She opened her tally with a draw against lowest ranked Dutch rival Sjoerd Plukkel.
Standings (after four rounds):
Group ‘A’: 1. Alexei Shirov (Esp, 4); 2-4. Hikaru Nakamura (USA), Magnus Carlsen (Nor), Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr) (3 each); 5-8. Viswanathan Anand, Sergey Karjakin (Rus), Leinier Dominguez (Cub), Vladimir Kramnik (Rus) (2 each); 9-11. Peter Leko (Hun), Fabiano Caruana (Ita), Sergey Tiviakov (Ned) (1.5 each); 12-13. Loek van Wely (Ned), Nigel Short (Eng) (1 each); 14. Jan Smeets (Ned, 0.5).
Group ‘B’: 1-2. Ni Hua (Chn), Anish Giri (Ned) (3 each); 3-5. P. Hari Krishna, David Howell (Eng), Erwin L’Ami (Ned) (2.5 each); 6-10. Parimarjan Negi, Tomi Nyback (Fin), Arkadij Naiditsch (Ger), Wesley So (Phi), Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu (Rom) (2 each); 11-12. Emil Sutovsky (Isr), Anna Muzychuk (Slo) (1.5 each); 13. Varzhan Akobian (USA, 1); 14. Dimitri Reinderman (Ned, 0.5).
Group ‘C’: 1-2. Ray Robson (USA), Li Chao (Chn) (3.5 each); 3-7. Abhijeet Gupta, Robin Swinkels (Ned), Daniele Vocaturo (Ita), Kjetil Lie (Nor), Peng Zhaoqin (Ned) (2.5 each); 8. Robin van Kampen (Ned, 2); 9-11. Stefan Kuipers (Ned), Benjamin Bok (Ned), Nils Grandelius (Swe) (1.5 each); 12. Mariya Muzychuk (Ukr, 1); 13-14. Soumya Swaminathan and Sjoerd Plukkel (Ned) (0.5 each).