| HARI: Still in with a chance
Panaji: Second seed GM Levon Aronian shot into sole lead with 9 points with a swift victory over Grandmaster Pentyala Harikrishna in the 12th and penultimate round of the 41st world junior chess championship here on Thursday.
World under-18 champion GM Ferenc Berkes of Hungary and GM Luke Mcshane of Engalnd shared the second position jointly on 8.5 points with one more round remaining in the championship that will determine the best player in the world in the under-20 age-group.
Grandmaster-in-waiting Surya Shekhar Ganguly is in a group of four players on 8 points each and has chances of making it to top three should he win in the last round.
Harikrishna also has some remote chances but needs quite a few favourable results on the top boards.
Giving little chances to Harikrishna, Armenian Aronian, in black, displayed his deep opening preparation in the Nimzo Indian defence and surprised the Indian on the sixth move itself.
Knowing this was his last white in the meet, Harikrishna initiated a direct attack against the king. Aronian defended the early onslaught quite well, digested the pawn easily after the exchange of queens and played energetically in the rook and opposite colour bishops end game to romp home in 43 moves.
Humpy survives scare
Defending champion Grandmaster Koneru Humpy survived some anxious moments before overwhelming WIM Eva Moser of Austria in the 12th and penultimate round of the 19th world juniors girls chess championship in Panaji.
Humpy, thus, remained in joint lead with WGM Zhao Xue of China who made short work of Ioulia Makka of Greece. The leaders are tied at 9.5 points.
The other overnight leader WGM Nadezhda Kosintseva of Russia was held to a draw by 12-year-old Dronavalli Harika. who gave yet another demonstration of her potential.
Zhao plays against Harika while Humpy will have to battle out the last round against Sophie Millet of France.
Humpy nearly spoiled a clear better position against Moser. Playing black, Humpy had an irregular opening and had to struggle to attain equality in the middle game. The endgame was quite complex and Humpy had to work out the right plan before winning in 72 moves.
Aarthie finishes second
Former world under-18 girls’ champion Aarthie Ramaswamy settled for another draw in the final round game against Gerard Nicolas of France to finish a creditable second in the IM group B event of the first Saturday Chess tournament in Budapest, according to information received in New Delhi.
Double GM-norm holder R.B. Ramesh drew his last round game vs Anka Emil of Hungary and was placed in a tie for fourth.