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3 Indians in joint lead

Heraklion (Greece): Grandmaster P. Harikrishna, G. Rohit and I. Ramya Krishna shared the lead in their respective categories after the seventh round matches at the world youth chess Olympiad being held here.

Harikrishna scored a thumping victory over GM Ferenc Berkes of Hungary for the joint lead with six points in the under-18 boys section while G. Rohit maintained his position atop the tables with a victory over second seed Ramirez Alejandro of Costa Rica in the under-14 boys.

Rohit now shares the lead with Luka lenic of Slovenia and Bassem Amin of Egypt on six points. Ramya Krishna drew with Yixin Ding of China. She was leading with six points alongwith Maria Igancz of Hungary.

Harikrishna outplayed Berkes in a brilliant endgame. The players followed the opening theory of the Catalan System where Berkes managed to equalise without much ado. Going for the trade of queens very early, Harikrishna declared his intentions of a long game wherein Berkes fumbled to allow the Indian master some chances in the rook and minor pieces ending.

Harikrishna warded off Berkesí counter play bid and capitalised on his centralised bishop to win a handful of pawns. Once on top, Harikrishna clinched the issue in 47 moves without giving any more chances.

Rohit played an attacking game to beat Alejandro. Playing white, Rohit embarked on less trodden paths in the Sicilian Dragon and his efforts paid rich dividends as Alejandro found himself at sea while dealing with the intricacies of a relatively new position.

The game lasted 41 moves giving Rohit his sixth straight win in the championship after a first round loss against compatriot Namra Haren Pandya. Former world under-12 champion Deep Sengupta lost to Luka Lenic after a hard fought game.

The countryís best bet in the under-10 section for boys, Parimarajan Negiís gold medal prospects suffered a setback when he went down to top seed Safarli Eltaz of Azerbaijan in a Sicilian Defence game where the latter played white.

The under-10 boys section is now led by Eltaz and Ding Liren of China with 6.5 points each from seven games. Negi is on 5.5 while the other Indian Y. Sandeep has five points. (PTI)

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