Heraklion (Greece): India’s G. Rohit scored his seventh straight victory and shot into sole lead in the under-14 boys’ section of the World Youth Chess Olympiad on Friday.
In Round VIII, Rohit defeated Amin Bassen of Egypt for seven points and looks a clear favourite to win the crown if his onboard exploits are any indication.
GM P. Harikrishna settled for a quick draw against IM Shahriyaz Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan and was joined at the top by GM Ferenc Berkes of Hungary on 6.5 points.
Harikrishna, quite surprisingly, did not try very hard with his white pieces against Mamedyarov and sued for peace after just nine moves when his English Opening failed to get him the advantage he desired.
In the under-12 girls’ section, I. Ramya Krishna also maintained her joint lead with a draw against Maria Ignacz of Hungary. Ramya took her tally to 6.5 points with this draw and is leading along with Ignacz, Anna Muzychuk of Ukraine and Tan Zhongyi of China.
In joint fifth is second seed Dronavalli Harika who came back into reckoning for top honours with a facile victory over Pham Bich Ngoc of Vietnam. Harika now has six points in her kitty.
Former world under-12 champion Deep Sengupta fought back after his previous round loss in the under-14 boys’ section and crushed Alexander Fier of Brazil. Sengupta, playing white, capitalised on a rather lacklustre play by his opponent and had little troubles in moving to the six points bracket.
Indian hopes suffered a setback in the under-10 boys’ section when Parimarjan Negi blew away a winning position against Sanan Sugirov of Russia. Playing white, Parimarjan comprehensively won a pawn in the middle game arising out of a Sicilian Defence but blundered in the final stages.
The section is led by top seed Safarli Eltaz who got past Ding Liren of China. Safarli is now on 7.5 points from his eight outings while Negi is on 5.5.