Nakchivan (Azerbaijan): Failure to hold their nerves cost Grandmasters Surya Sekhar Ganguly and P. Harikrishna their respective 10th round games and caused them to slip further in the World Junior Chess championship here on Tuesday.
Top seed local star Shakhriyaz Mamedyarov strengthened his position at the top after beating Harikrishna. Mamedyarov took his tally to 8 points and maintained his slender half-point lead over Sergei Azarov of Belarus who beat Surya.
Sergey Erenburg of Israel and Vitaly Bachin of Russia are joint third on 7. Surya and Harikrishna have slipped to joint fifth along with Alexander Zubov of Ukraine, the Azeri duo of Vugar Gashimov and Kadir Guseinov, Levan Pantsulaia of Georgia and Dimitros Mastrovasislis of Greece on 6.5 points apiece.
Three more rounds remain to be played.
In the girls’ section, Georgian Nana Dzagnidze’s winning run was finally halted as she drew her eighth round game with Ekaterina Ubiennykh of Russia. India’s Dronavalli Harika held on to her sole second position after drawing with Afag Khudaverdieva of Azerbaijan from a nearly lost position.
Harika remained 1.5 points adrift of the leader on 6 points and is followed by Zeinab Mamedjarova of Azerbaijan on 5.5 points. A pack of five players, including Asian junior girls’ champion Tania Sachdev, remain in hunt for a medal with 5 points each.
In other games involving Indians, G. Rohit struck back and regained chances for his second International Master norm after defeating Giga Kuparadze of Georgia. Rohit moved to six points with this victory and now needs to score well against tougher opponents in the remaining games.
IM P. Magesh Chandran lost to Dmitry Schneider of the US after battling on the black side of a Ruy Lopez Opening and Abhijeet Gupta scored over Charles Monroy of France. S. Arun Prasad settled for a truce with Johannes Mayedi Mabusela of South Africa.
In the girls’ section, Tania drew a slightly better endgame against higher rated Cristina Calotescu while Saheli Nath and Mahima Rajmohan lost to Mamedjarova Cecile and Henriette Van Der Merwe respectively.