Grandmaster Sahaj Grover provided the silver lining on a sluggish day for the Indian boys as he held top seed Yu Yangyi to a draw in the ninth round of the World Junior Chess Championship here.
With the championship approaching its business end, the Indian boys were in for a rude shock as only Debashish Das could score a full point. Despite a good result, Grover slipped to joint fourth with 6.5 points.
Alexander Ipatov made the most of his chances against Indian GM Vidit Gujrathi and shot into sole lead on eight points out of a possible nine. For the records, this was Ipatov’s fifth victory against an Indian in the championship in as many matches.
For the first time in the event, Yu Yangyi slumped to second on 7.5 points while Jorge Cori of Peru elevated himself to third position on seven points.
With four rounds to come, Grover shares the fourth spot with Samvel Ter-Sahakyan of Armenia, Duda Jan-Krzysztof of Poland and Aleksander Indjic of Serbia, who all have 6.5 points apiece.
Among Indian boys, S.P. Sethuraman was held to a draw by compatriot N. Srinath in a keenly-contested game wherein the former could not make much use of an extra pawn for a long time as Srinath hung in to force a liquidation into a level queen and pawns endgame.
Das defeated lower-rated Jinshi Bai to move to six points, a position he shares with Srinath, Gujrathi and Sethuraman.
Grover did not get many chances out of a Nimzo Indian against Yangyi, who came with a new idea, forcing the Indian to spend a lot of time in the opening.
Grover found the way to equality without much ado and the players arrived at a rook and opposite colour Bishops endgame that was just level.