Sorokin moves ahead

VIJAYAWADA, AUG. 21. Maxim Sorokin moved to the fore defeating Koneru Humpy in the fourth round of the Hotel Ilapuram eight-match Grand Master chess series for the Krishna Industrial and Agricultural Exhibition Pushkar Festival Trophy here on Saturday. The former now has 2.5 points to Humpy's 1.5.

The Vijayawada lass opened with Queen pawn, which Sorokin countered with Queens Indian defence. Humpy had the opportunity to repeat moves and settle for a draw, but chose to go for a win, considering she had a more active positioning of pieces.

Valiant effort

In trying to neutralise white's initiative, the Russian Grand Master exchanged a bishop for a knight, which however gave white full control over the white squares.

At the 16th turn, Humpy stationed her queen on c6, which paralysed her opponent's play. Humpy next went for f4, which in her opinion was a bad move.

Sorokin did not agree, in that white still maintained pressure. It took him nearly 20 minutes to make his next move by which he found a good manoeuvre for his knight, helping him equalise.

The opposite colour bishops had all the makings of a drawn ending. Humpy however lost valuable time in calculations and overshot her time limit, in a position where Sorokin could only have enforced a draw by perpetual check.

Lalith Babu draws level

M.R. Lalith Babu caught up with Dasari Sai Srinivas in the frontline of the international round robin FIDE-rating tournament, as each of them finished round four with 3.5 points. J. Malleswara Rao was lying close behind with three points, after subduing K. Chandrahawsa.

The results (fourth round): S.K. Khasim 1.5 bt Natalia Sorokina 1, Y. Sandeep 2 drew with D. Laxmana Rao 2, J. Malleswara Rao 3 bt K. Chandrahawsa 2, G. Muralikrishna 1 lost to M.R. Lalith Babu 3.5, K.V.K. Karthik 2 bt S. Bhanupriya 0, D. Sai Srinivas 3.5 drew with M.L.A. Reddy 2.5.