Grandmaster and former under-10 world champion Sahaj Grover came up with an inspired performance to beat compatriot Grandmaster Vidit Gujrathi in the sixth round of the World Junior chess championship in Kocaeli.
The victory with white pieces helped Grover to jump to joint second spot on five points out of a possible six. Yu Yangyi of China regained sole lead on 5.5 points defeating S.P. Sethuraman in a keenly contested game.
Grover was in his elements in a Nimzo Indian defence game against Gujrathi. It was a complex middle game wherein Gujrathi was the first to err and Grover won a pawn to reach a better endgame.
On the 40th move Gujrathi made the fatal error resulting in loss of another pawn that sealed the fate of the game.
Grover picked the full point without much ado thereafter.
Sethuraman played the Najdorf Sicilian and showed excellent preparation in the early part of the game. However, Yangyi got the balance in his favour with an over-the-board improvement and Sethuraman’s king came under fire.
The Indian sacrificed a piece but could only reach a slightly worse endgame where Yangyi’s technique was too good.
Yangyi is now followed by Grover, defending champion Alexander Ipatov of Turkey, Urii Eliseev of Russia and Debashish Das who all have five points apiece.
Debashish Das came close to attaining the Grandmaster title for which he needs to touch the 2500 rating mark. In the sixth round Das defeated Jahongir Vakhidov of Uzbekistan.
Aulia Warda Melina of Indonesia seized the lead in the girls’ championship being played simultaneously defeating top seed Alina Kashlinskaya of Russia. The Indonesian girl took her tally to 5.5 points in all.
The all-Indian duel between Rucha Pujari and Padmini Rout ended in a draw and both inched to four points out of their six games.
G K Monnisha also reached four points after settling for a draw with Zhansaya Abdumalik of Uzbekistan.
Amongst other Indians in the fray in the open section, S L Narayanan and N Srinath played out draws while Sameer Kathmale and Rakesh Kulkarni scored victories.
In the girls’ category, J Saranya, Shristi Shetty and Riya Sawant posted victories, Anjan Krishna lost while Ivana Maria Furtado was held to a draw.
Important and Indian Results round 6 open (Indians unless stated): Yu Yangyi (Chn, 5.5) beat S P Sethuraman (4.5); Tamas Petenyi (Svk, 4) lost to Alexander Ipatov (Tur, 5); Sahaj Grover (5) beat Vidit Gujrathi (4); Urii Eliseev (Rus, 5) beat Marcel Kanarek (Pol, 4); Duda Jan-Krzysztof (Pol, 4.5) drew with Pouya Idani (Iri, 4.5); Debashis Das (5) beat Johangir Vakhidov (Uzb, 4); Jorge Cori (Per, 4.5) beat Paul Velten (Fra, 3.5); Vahe Baghdasaryan (Arm, 3.5) lost to Vladislav Kovalev (Blr, 4.5); N Srinath (4) drew with Sanal Vahap (Tur, 4); Ashiku Franc (Alb, 3) drew with drew with S L Narayanan (3); Cem Gundogan (Tur, 2) lost to Sameer Kathmale (3); Rakesh Kulkarni (2) beat Erdene Baasansuren (Mgl, 1).
Girls: Alina Kashlinskaya (Rus, 4.5) lost to Aulia Warda Medina (Ina, 5.5); Irina Bulmaga (Rou, 5) drew with Deysi Cori (Per, 4.5); Meri Arabidze (Geo, 4.5) drew with Wang Jue (Chn, 4.5); Aleksandra Goryachkina (Rus, 4) drew with Anastasiya Rakhmangulova (Ukr, 4); Sabina Ibrahimova (Aze, 3.5) lost to Dinara Saduakassova (Kaz, 4.5); Rucha Pujari (4) drew with Padmini Rout (4); G K Monnisha (4) drew with Zhansaya Abdumalik (Kaz, 4); Sarasadat Khademalsharieh (Iri, 3.5) drew with Ivana Maria Furtado (3.5); Xiao Yiyi (Chn, 3.5) beat Anjana Krishna (2.5); Cansu Soylemez (Tur, 2.5) lost to J Saranya (3.5); Melisa Birgelir (Tur, 1.5) lost to Shristi Shetty (2.5); Riya Savant (2) beat Zivile Urbonaviciute (Ltu, 1).
Keywords: World Junior chess championship