New Delhi: India's Krishnan Sasikiran drew his final round against women's world champion Hou Yifan of China to finish sole second in the inaugural AAI Grandmasters Chess tournament on Saturday. (Agencies)
Sasikiran was one point behind Italian Fabiano Caruana who took no chances and played a solid 30-move draw against Wesley So of Philippines to clinch the title.
Playing with black pieces, Sasikiran drew the last round game against Yifan in Ruy Lopez Breyer to finish with six points at the double round-robin Category 17 tournament.
The World Junior No. 1 Caruana, who emerged winner with seven points, only lost to Viktor Laznicka in the ninth round of the 10-round event.
In the third game of the day, Indian national champion Parimarjan Negi split the point with Viktor Laznicka of the Czech Republic from a 42-move Caro-Kann, which the Czech player admitted he knew nothing about.
So the tournament that began with three decisive results two weeks ago, ended with three draws on the final day.
Caruana received the winner's trophy and a cheque of $8,000, while Sasikiran's winnings purse was $6,000 for the tournament. The third to sixth finishers received $4,000, $3,000, $2,000 and $1,500.
Sasikiran said he was quite content with the latter part of the tournament, especially after starting on a wrong note.
"After the two losses I had at the start of the tournament, I felt it was good recovery with four wins and four draws and no more losses," he said.
"In the final round I thought if I got a clear advantage I would try and go for a win. But it turned out to be a draw, which is fine," he added.
Sasi said he enjoyed the last two weeks and his next target is the World Championship.
"I was playing a tournament at this level (Category 17) after a very long time. I enjoyed it but I would have liked to score a little more. I did have chances in some of the other games, but I suppose it is alright. Now I need to prepare and take some rest before the World Team Championships," he said.
His compatriot Negi was somewhat disappointed with his performance in the tournament.
"An even score or a plus one was my target, but it did not happen like that for me. It was a combination of small factors but hopefully I will quickly make up for this," said Negi.
"Overall it was great to have a Category 17 event like this as it is very good for us Indians to have such events at home."
Caruana said he didn't want to take any risk in the final round and was happy with his performance overall.
"I thought I would play for a win if there was a way, but yes I was not going to take risks. I certainly did not want two losses. Except for that loss in ninth round (to Viktor Laznicka) it was a good tournament for me," said Caruna, who played d4 on the opening move and got his draw from a Catalan.
"Overall it was a fine tournament and I enjoyed and it is always good to win a title."
Final standings after the tenth round:
7 points - Fabiano Caruana (Italy)
6 - Krishnan Sasikiran ( India)
5.5 - Viktor Laznicka (Czech rep)
5 - Wesley So (Philippines)
3.5 - Parimarjan Negi (India)
3 - Hou Yifan (China)
Results of the tenth and final round:
F Caruana drew with W So;
H Yifan drew with K Sasikiran;
Negi P drew with V Laznicka.
New Delhi: India's Krishnan Sasikiran drew his final round against women's world champion Hou Yifan of China to finish sole second in the inaugural AAI Grandmasters Chess tournament on Saturday.