Baku (Azerbaijan), Sep 26 : Parimarjan Negi stayed in tied third place, half a point behind twin leaders Baris Esen of Turkey and Eltaj Safarli of Azerbaijan at the end of the fourth round of the International Chess Festival Baku Open here.

Negi, facing a strong Grandmaster from Azerbaijan, Gadir Guseinov, got a very early draw in just 16 moves with black pieces as the matches on the top three boards ended in draws. Esen and Safarli played a draw as did Anton Korobov and Rauf Mamedov.

While Esen and Safarli have 3.5 points each, Negi along with Korobov, Vasif Durabayli, Evgeny Alekseev, Gulnar Mamadova, defending champion Segei Zhigalko and four others has three points.

In the fifth round, the Asian champion Negi has an interesting pairing with the leader, Esen and the Indian will have white pieces. "I am looking forward to this game," said Negi, who will play on the second board. On the top board, the top seed Anton Korobov (2705), with three points, will take on Safarli.

In the fourth round against Negi played in a g3 Taimanov and seemed to improve on what had been done the Azerbaijani’s previous games.

The tournament is being held near the famous Aqua Park near Caspian Sea carries a purse of $50,000 with the winner taking $10,000. It is a nine-round Swiss tournament and the winner last year was Belarusian Sergei Zhigalko, who is currently tied eighth with two points from one win and two draws.


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