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Indians make merry

By Rakesh Rao

BIKANER, DEC. 25. What a Christmas it turned out to be for the Indians!

S. Poobesh Anand and Abhijeet Gupta made merry at the expense of Nguyen van Huy before Soumya Swaminathan stunned leader Hoang Thi Bao Tram as the dramatic day brought the Indians to the fore after six rounds of the Asian junior chess championship here on Saturday.

As Nguyen found himself knocked down from the pedestal, Deepan Chakkravarthy overpowered G. N. Gopal to join Poobesh, Abhijeet and S. Arun Prasad in the lead with 4.5 points. Prasad and roommate Poobesh drew on the top board.

For the top two seeds, Uzbek Anton Filippov and M. R. Venkatesh, the struggle continued. Filippov had to split points with Bangladesh's Mehdi Hasan and G. Rohit while Venkatesh suffered a defeat at the hands of Turkmenistan's Mesgen Amanov and then just about managed to hold Akshayraj Kore.

Nguyen, the ninth-seeded leader for the last two rounds, was made to play to his true strength. If Poobesh needed 43 moves to end Nguyen's winning run, Abhijeet pulled off the desired result in just 28 moves.

In Pelican, Poobesh sacrificed a rook for a knight and had adequate compensation but missed a continuation that could have led him to a quick victory. A little later, Nguyen traded his rook for two minor pieces but it did not help him much.

The Abhijeet-Nguyen battle in Kings Indian Defence was fought on an even keel before the Vietnamese allowed Abhijeet to advance his pawns on the queen's side. Suddenly the scenario changed as Abhijeet's queen threatened to polish off the pawns. Soon, Nguyen accepted defeat.

Soumya humbles Hoang

In the girls' section, Soumya's 55-move victory over Hoang in Sicilian Defence completed a forgettable day for the Vietnamese duo.

The result meant top seed Dronavalli Harika found herself on par with Hoang with five points each. Harika posted hard-fought wins over Malaysia's Siti Zulaikha and Kruttika Nadig.

The action resumes on Monday after a day's rest.

The results (Indians unless stated):

Sixth round: Boys: S. Poobesh Anand (4.5) drew with S. Arun Prasad (4.5); Abhijeet Gupta (4.5) bt Nguyen van Huy (Vie) (4); Deepan Chakkravarthy (4.5) bt G. N. Gopal (3.5); Arghyadip Das (4) bt Mesgen Amanov (Tkm) (3.5); G. Rohit (3.5) drew with Filippov Anton (Uzb) (3.5); Soumitra Mujumdar (3) lost to Mehdi Hasan (Ban) (4); M. R. Venkatesh (3) drew with Akshayraj Kore (3); Sriram Sarja (3) drew with K. Nikhilesh Kumar (3); Nurdin Samakov (Krz) (3.5) bt Raveen Thrivaitharana (Sri) (2); Abhyudaya Rajpurohit (2) lost to Bahodir Kholmirzaev (Uzb) (3); T. U. Navin Kanna (3) bt Foudzi Kamal Firdas (Mal) (2); Wahab Ahmad (Pak) (1.5) lost to Johan Iskandar (Mal) (2.5); Kartikey Batra (2) drew with Roushan Jaiswal (Nep) (1.5); Niyazglych Niyazov (Tkm) (1) lost to M. V. Lakshminarayanan (2).

Girls: Hoang Thi Bao Tram (Vie) (5) lost to Soumya Swaminathan (4.5); Kruttika Nadig (3.5) lost to D. Harika (5); Saheli Nath (4) bt N. Raghavi (3.5); Siti Zulaikha (Mal) (3) lost to Y. Prathiba (4); N. Sandhya (3) lost to Mary Ann Gomes (4); S. Nabeela Farheen (3) drew with P. Priya (3); Amrutha Mokal (3.5) bt J. E. Kavitha (2.5); Anuprieta Patil (3) drew with Bahar Hallaeva (Tkm) (3); Maya Kurbanova (Tkm) (3) bt P. Sivasankari (2); Janyl Tilenbaeva (Krg) (1.5) lost to H. Sowmya (3); Samathi Wettasinghe (Sri) (1) lost to U. G. Y. Methmali (Sri) (2); Irina Gevorgyan (Uzb) (2.5) bye.

Fifth round: Boys: Nguyen lost to Poobesh; Abhijeet drew with Deepan; Prasad bt Das; Hasan drew with Anton; Amanov bt Venkatesh; Gopal bt Sarja; Nikhilesh drew with Kore; Kholmirzaev lost to Mujumdar; Iskandar lost to Rohit; Ahmad lost to Samakov; Thrivaitharana drew with Rajpurohit; Jaiswal lost to Kanna; Foudzi bt Niyazov; Lakshminarayanan lost to Batra.

Girls: Raghavi lost to Hoang; Harika bt Siti; Kruttika drew with Soumya; Mary bt Kavitha; Sowmya lost to Prathiba; Bahar lost to Sandhya; Priya drew with Anuprieta; Maya lost to Saheli; Irina lost to Nabeela; Methmali lost to Amruta; Sivasankari bt Samanthi; Janyl bye.

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