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Humpy in joint lead

Panaji: Top seed Koneru Humpy jumped to joint lead with a thumping victory over Ekaterina Ubiennykh of Russia in the 11th round of the 19th world juniors girls’ chess championship Wednesday.

Overnight leader WGM Zhao Xue of China and WGM Nadezhda Kosintseva of Russia share the lead alongside Humpy with 8.5 points.

Playing white, Humpy gave no chances to Ubiennykh. She employed the Reti opening and the game took shape in a King’s Indian attack wherein Humpy enjoyed a miniscule advantage in the initial phase.

Exerting pressure on the queenside, Humpy deployed her forces well to gain further ground in the middlegame and squeezed out the defensive resources of Ubiennykh who blundered on the 24th move.

Playing black, Zhao Xue had an escape when she salvaged a half point against Eva Moser of Austria. Xue faced the closed set up against her Sicilian Defence and felt the heat as Moser went for a direct attack against the king.

Zhao initiated an attack along the central files but Moser was quick to rip open the kingside. However, Xue got lucky in mutual time pressure as Moser blundered and blew away the advantage.

Poobesh loses

In men’s section, GM Levon Aronian of Armenia and IM Artyom Timofeev of Russia emerged joint leaders with wins over India’s S. Poobesh Anand and GM Luke McShane of England, respectively.

With both leaders taking their tally to 8 points, as many as seven players remain in hunt for top honours with 7.5 points each. They are GM P. Harikrishna, GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly, GM Ferenc Berkes of Hungary, GM Ghaem Maghami of Iran, IM Sergey Erenburg of Israel, IM Radoslav Wojtaszek of Poland and McShane. (PTI)

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