Sunday, February 25, 2024

Arjun downs Guijarro; Narayanan holds Nodirbek

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Isle of Man (UK), Oct 27: Playing his trademark uncompromising chess, Grandmaster Arjun Erigaise scored a thumping victory over Anton Guijarro of Spain while S L Narayanan did well to hold GM Abdusattorov Nodirbek to a draw in the second round of FIDE Grand Swiss here.
Arjun, who has been losing pace towards the end, decided to cross the minefield in top gear as he went for unwarranted complications right from the beginning out of a Reti opening game by Guijarrov who played white.
The game seemed evenly poised but when it comes to complications Arjun has steely nerves. Sacrificing a pawn in the middle game the Warangal-based caught his Spanish counterpart completely off guard and a simple exchange sacrifice netted him another white piece in a couple of moves.
Guijarrov fought on for a long time but the writing was on the wall and Arjun wrapped it up without giving a second chance. After 40 moves it was an inevitable checkmate that forced Guijarro’s resignation.
Narayanan is someone people talk about but his low profile has not helped him claim much. Kerala’s strongest player finished as the best Indian bagging the third place in the Qatar masters just before this event and it doesn’t look like he will stop here.
Playing the black side of a Queen’s Gambit declined against Nodirbek, Narayanan was at ease right from the word go, won a pawn and when he was about to lose it back, too many pieces had changed hands and the position was just a draw. It took just 33 moves.
Raunak Sadhwani continued with his solid performance after holding fourth seed Anish Giri of Holland in round one. Raunak played out another draw with pre-event favourite Hikaru Nakamura of United States. (PTI)

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