Sasikiran draws to retain joint lead

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran drew with GM Michal Krasenkow of Poland to find himself in a joint four-way lead.

Updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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Esbjerg, Denmark:

Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran drew with highly regarded GM Michal Krasenkow of Poland to find himself in a joint four-way lead on two points after the third round of the 18th North Sea Cup International Chess tournament. Top seed and hot favourite GM Alexey Dreev of Russia failed to break the solid defences of GM Bruzon Lazaro of Cuba and had to settle for a draw. Luke McShane joined the three overnight leaders with a resounding victory over out-of-form former world junior girls champion GM Koneru Humpy. Four players – Krasenkow and Danish trio of GMs Lars Schandorff, Curt Hansen and Hastings Champion Peter Heine Nielsen – shared the fifth spot with 1.5 points each to their credit while Cuban GM Lenier Dominiguez was on 9th spot on one point. Humpy was languishing at the bottom of the tables, suffering her third loss in as many rounds. Six more rounds remain to be played in this 10-player all-play-all tournament. Seeded second, Sasikiran looks in fine fettle to give Dreev a run for his money here. In his game against Krasenkow, the opening was an irregular Dutch where Sasi, playing white, got a miniscule advantage. Krasenkow apparently had done some homework which came handy as he quickly wiped out white's superior center and exchanged a handful of pieces in the early middle game. Sasikiran had made a temporary pawn sacrifice in trying to work out an advantage and Krasenkow returned the favour on the 25th move to steer the game to a drawn Rook and pawns endgame where the peace treaty was signed after 27 moves. (PTI)

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