Panaji: GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly stole the thunder with a thumping victory over top seed Bu Xiangzhi of China in the ninth round of the 41st world junior chess championship Monday.
Eight players share the lead with 6.5 points apiece after the ninth round. P. Harikrishna and Surya, Levon Aronian of Armenia, Luke McShane of England, Ferenc Berkes of Hungary, R. Wojtasjek of Poland, and the Russian duo of Timofeev Artyom and Dimitry Jakovenko are jointly at the top.
Bengal player Sandipan Chanda, however, had a bad day going down to S. Poobesh Anand, who got his maiden International Master norm. Playing against a Sicilian Dragon with white pieces, Surya went for his pet Yugoslav attack and was surprised early as Bu deviated from the more popular variations.
With less than a minute each left for both the players, Surya was the first to blunder when he missed a simple winning continuation but Bu failed to notice the mistake and his erroneous reaction turned the tide decisively in the favour of the Indian. The game lasted 60 moves.
On the second board, Harikrishna had to sweat out before drawing with Jakovenko, playing with white pieces. The Indian GM got a theoretically level position with his French defence but his position remained passive in the Winawer variation till such time he initiated his counterplay bid on the queenside with a pawn sacrifice. The pieces were exchanged at regular intervals thereafter and the peace treaty was signed in the queen and minor piece endgame.
Defending champion Koneru Humpy (7 points) inched closer to leader Zhao Xue of China after defeating inform compatriot P. Priya in the ninth round of the 19th world junior girls’ chess championship.
Despite the loss, Priya secured her maiden International Women Master norm.
Seventh seed WGM Xue (7.5 points) maintained her position atop with a draw against compatriot Wang Yue. and moved to 7.5 points from nine games. Humpy, on seven points, is in sole second spot. and is closely followed by Nadezhda Kosintseva of Russia with 6.5 points.