FIDE Grand Swiss chess tournament | K. Sasikiran slips to joint-15

Harikrishna and Nihal join him; Firouzja regains sole lead

The front-runner among Indians, K. Sasikiran lost for the second time in three rounds, this time to Russia’s Andrey Esipenko, to slip down the order after the 10th and penultimate round of the $425,000 FIDE Grand Swiss chess tournament in Riga, Latvia, on Saturday.

The 60-move defeat saw Sasikiran slip to joint 15th spot at six points. P. Harikrishna and Nihal Sarin drew their games to catch up with Sasikiran at six points.

At the top, France’s Alireza Firouzja (7.5) reclaimed the lead with a win over England’s David Howell. The other overnight leader Fabiano Caruana (USA) drew with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France) to slip to joint second spot at seven points.

Meanwhile, China’s Lei Tingjie (8.5) took a title-winning lead in the women’s section after a draw with Ukraine’s Mariya Muzychuk. Lei enjoys an unsurpassable 1.5 point lead before the final round.

Tenth round results (involving Indians): Open: Andrey Esipenko (Rus, 6.5) bt K. Sasikiran (6); Sanan Sjugirov (Rus, 6) drew with P. Harikrishna (6); Vladimir Fedoseev (Rus, 6) drew with Nihal Sarin (6): Alexey Sarana (Rus, 6) bt Raunak Sadhwani (5); Arjun Erigaisi (5) drew with David Navara (5); R. Praggnanandhaa (4.5) drew with Boris Gelfand (4.5); Haik Martirosyan (4.5) drew with S.P. Sethuraman (4.5); Kiril Georgiev (Mkd, 3.5) lost to D. Gukesh (4.5); Aleksey Dreev (Rus, 3.5) lost to Surya Shekhar Ganguly (4.5); Nikita Meshkovs (Lat, 3.5) drew with B. Adhiban (3.5).

Women: D. Harika (6.5) drew with Elisabeth Paehtz (Ger, 6.5); Antoaneta Stefanova (Bul, 5.5) lost to R. Vaishali (5.5); Nataliya Buksa (Ukr, 4.5) lost to Vantika Agrawal (6); Elina Danielian (Arm, 4) drew with Padmini Rout (4); Divya Deshmukh (4) bt Jesse Nikki February (RSA, 0).

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