Four-way tie for first at SPICE Cup

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The 2nd SPICE Cup has finished in a four-way tie for first: Pentala Harikrishna, Alexander Onischuk, Leonid Kritz and Varuzhan Akobian all ended on 5.5 out of 9. Harikrishna had the best tiebreak and received the cup (and a Swiss watch).

The second SPICE Cup took place 19-28 September at the Texas Tech University located in Lubbock, Texas. We left the tournament after the sixth round (with that beautiful attack by Akobian), when Mikhalevski and Akobian shared the lead with 4.0/6, followed by Becerra, Harikrishna, Onischuk and Kritz who were on 3.5/6.

In the seventh round Mikhalevski had to say goodbye to his lead after he lost a tough game with White against Kritz. In the same round Perelshteyn won a 113-move game (a queen's ending with 4 against 3 on one wing) against Stefansson while Miton beat Kaidanov, also in a long endgame.

In the eight round the standings didn't change very much: four draws, and the only win for Hannes Stefansson, who had a very bad tournament in Texas.

And so Akobian and Kritz were leading with 5 out of 9 going into the last round, where they had to play each other! Their game ended in a draw, but not a quick one, as we see so often. Onischuk and Harikrishna, who were sharing third place, both won their White games to join for a four-way tie.
Round 1 Akobian 1-0 Perelshteyn Becerra 1/2 Onischuk Stefansson 1/2 Harikrishna Kaidanov 0-1 Kritz Mikhalevski 1-0 Miton Round 2 Onischuk 1/2 Mikhalevski Harikrishna 1/2 Becerra Kritz 1/2 Perelshteyn Kaidanov 1-0 Stefansson Miton 1/2 Akobian
Round 3 Stefansson 0-1 Kritz Akobian 1/2 Onischuk Mikhalevski 1/2 Harikrishna Becerra 1/2 Kaidanov Perelshteyn 1/2 Miton Round 4 Onischuk 1-0 Perelshteyn Kritz 1/2 Miton Harikrishna 1/2 Akobian Kaidanov 0-1 Mikhalevski Stefansson 1/2 Becerra
Round 5 Perelshteyn 1/2 Harikrishna Akobian 1/2 Kaidanov Miton 1/2 Onischuk Mihalevski 1/2 Stefansson Becerra 1-0 Kritz Round 6 Becerra 1/2 Mikhalevski Kritz 1/2 Onischuk Harikrishna 1-0 Miton Stefansson 0-1 Akobian Kaidanov 1-0 Perelshteyn
Round 7 Onischuk 1/2 Harikrishna Mikhalevski 0-1 Kritz Akobian 1/2 Becerra Miton 1-0 Kaidanov Perelshteyn 1-0 Stefansson Round 8 Kritz 1/2 Harikrishna Mikhalevski 1/2 Akobian Kaidanov 1/2 Onischuk Becerra 1/2 Perelshteyn Stefansson 1-0 Miton
Round 9 Akobian 1/2 Kritz Perelshteyn 1-0 Mikhalevski Miton 1/2 Becerra Onischuk 1-0 Stefansson Harikrishna 1-0 Kaidanov
[TABLE=409]

Here's a selection of games from the last three rounds:



The four winners (Akobian, Harikrishna, Onischuk and Kritz) and Susan Polgar



All the people involved in the 2nd SPICE Cup



Here's a video interview with Pentala Harikrishna, by Zeljka Malobabic of Monroi: [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"462","attributes":{"class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image","height":"344","width":"425","style":""}}]]


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