Hari crushes Socko; Gupta held by cornette
P Harikrishna, the highest rated Indian in fray, crashed through the defences of Polish Grandmaster Bartosz Socko while Abhijeet Gupta played out a hard-fought draw with French Grandmaster Matthieu Cornette in the fourth round of Qatar Masters International Open Chess tournament now underway here.
Losing the third round to Mikhailo Oleksienko of Ukraine, Harikrishna bounced back in style and outwitted Socko out of a King’s Indian defense game where the Indian played white.
Socko went for the thematic central breakthrough in the centre but soon realised that white had too much counter play on the queen side.
Harikrishna was at his technical best in the middle game after the queens got traded and exerted pressure in copy-book fashion to win a pawn.
The Bishop pair caused further damage thereon and the Indian, aided by a couple of passed pawns, registered an emphatic victory in 45 moves to jump to three points out of a possible four.