NEW DELHI: Former World under-10 champion Girish A. Koushik of Karnataka and FIDE Master Shardul Gagare of Maharashtra were in the lead with seven points after eight rounds in the 23rd National under-13 chess championship at the Bapu Samaj Sewa Kendra, Panchkuian Road, here on Wednesday.

Girish overcame S. Kaushik of Tamil Nadu in 41 moves, while Shardul beat fifth seed and last year’s runner-up Utkal Ranjan Sahoo of Orissa in 45 moves.

Karma Pandya of Gujarat, Eshwanth Dev Kumar of Tamil Nadu, local lads Vaibhav Suri and Prince Bajaj, followed half a point behind.

In the girls’ section, G. Lasya of Andhra Pradesh emerged the sole leader after eight rounds, as she beat N. Akshaya of Tamil Nadu.

Overnight joint leaders, P.V. Nandhidhaa of Tamil Nadu and Nisha N. Patkar of Karnataka agreed to a draw after 10 moves. The two along with Bala Kannamma of Tamil Nadu were breathing down Lasya’s neck with 6.5 points.

The results (eighth round): Open: Girish A. Koushik (Kar) 7 bt S. Kaushik (TN) 6; Shardul Gagare (Mah) 7 bt Utkal Ranjan Sahoo (Ori) 6; Vaibhav Suri (6.5) bt Chandrasish Majumdar (WB) 5.5; Sayantan Das (WB) 5.5 lost to Eshwanth Dev Kumar (TN) 6.5; Karma Pandya (Guj) 6.5 bt Niraj Saripalli (Goa) 5.5; Vasantha Ruba Varman (TN) 5.5 lost to Prince Bajaj (Del) 6.5; G. Akash (TN) 6 drew with J. Nishvin (TN) 6; Akash Iyer (TN) 6 drew with V. Varun (AP) 6; Shiven Khosla (Mah) 6 bt K.G. Chaithanyaa (TN) 5.5; Abir Sinha (Del) 5.5 drew with Sumit Kumar (WB) 5.5.

Girls: Nisha N. Patkar (Kar) 6.5 drew with P.V. Nandhidhaa (TN) 6.5; G. Lasya (AP) 7 bt N. Akshaya (TN) 5.5; Bala Kannamma (TN) 6.5; bt Sonakshi Rathore (Raj) 5.5; Dharani Sree (TN) 5 lost to Cholleti Sahajasri (AP) 6; Michelle Catherina (TN) 6 bt M. NIvedhitha (TN) 5; Rutuja Bakshi (Mah) 6 bt Soumya Shrivastava (Mah) 5; Sohini Ganguly (WB) 6 bt G. Aarthi (TN) 5; G. K. Monnisha (TN) 5.5 bt Srinidhi Sridharan (TN) 4.5; Uma Bharathi (TN) 5.5 bt Tarini Goyal (Chd) 4.5. — Special Correspondent

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