Indian Grandmasters Vidit Gujrathi and S.P. Sethuraman registered victories to jump to joint second spot with 3.5 points after the end of the fourth round of World Junior Chess Championship here.
While Gujrathi outclassed Jurab Javakhadze of Georgia, Sethuraman got the better of Vahe Baghdasaryan of Armenia in their fourth round encounters.
On what turned out to be a good day for the Indian boys, Gujrathi made most of the opportunities in a complex game against Javakhadze from the black side of an irregular opening. Getting his knight posted in the centre of the board, Gujrathi exerted pressure and the Georgian did not have a chance.
Sethuraman also fought for the blood out of a Semi-Slav defense and won a pawn with precise calculations. The technicalities were far from easy but the Indian made them look like child’s play when his two passed pawns marched down in the ensuing Bishops and pawns endgame.
The other Indian Grandmaster in the fray, Sahaj Grover also scored a fluent victory over Benjamin Arvola of Norway.
Playing the white side of a Nimzo Indian defense, Grover made early inroads in black’s position with some finely crafted maneuvers in the middle game.
Arvola could not resist for long as the pressure mounted on the queen side resulting in a loss of piece for the Norwegian. The game lasted just 25 moves and Grover took his tally to three points out of a possible four.
Top seed Yu Yangyi of China emerged as the sole leader after scoring his fourth victory on the trot. On the receiving end was A.R. Saleh Salem of UAE who was outdone in a Scotch opening game.
With Yangyi in front, as many as eight players are in close pursuit half a point behind including Gujrathi and Sethuraman.
Grover and Debashish Das are both on three points after the latter was held to a draw by Muhammad Luthfi Ali of Indonesia.
Meanwhile, G.K. Monnisha continued with her winning ways and defeated Sarasadat Khademalsharieh of Iran. The victory helped the Indian girl jump to joint lead with six others on 3.5 points in the girls section being played simultaneously.
Padmini Rout continued with her comeback attempt at the expense of compatriot Ivana Maria Furtado. Ivana played aggressively but met with some perfect defense that proved decisive in the end.
Rucha Pujari, J Saranya and Anjana Krishna ended on the winning side while Shristi Shetty and Riya Sawant lost their respective fourth round games.
Nine rounds still remain in the premier event for the under-20 players in the world.