SPORT

Harika in second place

CHENNAI June 26. Kadir Guseinov representing the host, Azerbaijan, and top seed Nana Dzagnidze of Georgia emerged the sole leaders in the two sections of the World junior chess championship at Nakhchivan on Wednesday. Both have slender half point leads with seven rounds still to be played in both sections.

Guseinov is on five points from six games after Leonid Kritz of Germany walked with his king into the fire only to surrender in 27 moves.

Surya Sekhar Ganguly, who figured in a quick 19-move draw with the black pieces against lower rated Alexander Zubov of Ukraine, is one of the five players tied for the second place with 4.5 points.

India's other title hope, Pentyala Harikrishna with four points is tied for the seventh to thirteenth places.

Dzagnidze, who has a full score of four points, next faces India's Dronavalli Harika in a crucial fifth round encounter.

Harika is in clear second place with 3.5 points. Three other Indians — Eesha Karavade, Saheli Nath and Tania Sachdev — are tied for the fourth place with 2.5 points each.

Led by a spirited victory on the second board by Harika, the Indian girls had their best day in Azerbaijan. Three of them won and two of them drew with no one losing.

Harika exchanged her wing pawns for her opponent's central pawns and used the power of the centre to win a splendid game with white in 43 moves.

Shahana Agaeva of Azerbaijan was roundly outplayed in the King's Indian defence.

The Indian boys, who started brilliantly in the morning session, let the steam escape in the evening when the Tamil Nadu International Masters, Mahesh Chandran and Deepan Chakravarthy suffered defeats.

The final round will be played on July 3.

The results:

Boys (round six): Alexander Zubov (Ukr) 4.5 drew with Surya Sekhar Ganguly 4.5, Leonid Kritz (Ger) 4 lost to Kadir Guseinov (Aze) 5, Zviad Izoria (Geo) 4.5 bt Marcin Dziuba (Pol) 4, P. Mahesh Chandran 3.5 lost to Vugar Gashimov (Aze) 4.5, P. Harikrishna 4 drew with Jan Werle (Ned) 4, Sergei Azarov (Blr) 4 bt J. Deepan Chakravarthy 3, S. Arun Prasad 3.5 drew Levan Pantsulala (Geo) 3.5, Gogineni Rohit 3 bt Wang Hao Yuan (Can) 2, Urfan Sevdimilev (Aze) 2 lost to Abhijeet Gupta 3.

Girls (round four): Cristina Calotescu (Rom) 3 lost to Nana Dzagnidze (Geo) 4, Dronavalli Harika 3.5 bt Shahana Agaeva (Aze) 2.5, Zeinab Mamedjarova (Aze) 2.5 drew with Eesha Karavade 2.5, Tania Sachdev 2.5 drew with Ekaterina Ublennykh (Rus) 2.5, Saheli Nath 2.5 bt Anne-Marie Charbonneau (Can) 1.5, Nargiz Umudova (Aze) 0.5 lost to R. Mahima 1.5

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