Nakhchivan (Azerbaijan): GM P. Harikrishna scored a thumping victory over Kadir Guseinov to remain in joint second spot along with compatriot Surya Sekhar Ganguly after the ninth round of the world junior chess championship .
Shakhriyaz Mamedyarov of Azaerbaijan remained on top of the table with a fine victory over Vugar Gashimov and took his tally to seven points. Half a point adrift were Ganguly, who beat German Kritz Leonid, Harikrishna, Alexander Zubov of Ukraine and Sergei Azarov of Belarus. Russia’s Vitaly Bachin and Israeli Sergey Erenburg shared the fifth spot.
In girls’ section, Georgian Nana Dzagnidze Cruised past Zehra Topel of Turkey for her seventh successive victory in as many games.
Dronavalli Harika (5.5 points) moved to sole second position with a technical victory over Zeinab Mamedjarova. Harika has one-point lead over the next lot of players that include Asian junior girls champion Tania Sachdev and Saheli Nath.
It was a mixed day for the other Indians. Magesh Chandran defeated S. Arun Prasad, Deepan Chakravarthy went down to Rauf Mamedov of Azerbaijan, G. Rohit came good against world under-10 champion Safarli Eltaz, also of Azerbaijan and Abhijit Gupta was held by Agayev Nidzat.
Saheli was held to a draw by Romanian Cristinba Calotescu while Tania had little trouble outplaying Aytaz Ismailova of Azerbaijan. Mahima Rajmohan also drew with Martina Valickova.
Harikrishna made excellent use of his white pieces yet again. Up against a kings Indian, Harikrishna employed his pet fianchetto variation and was in for a surprise as Guseinov went for an off-beat system. The middle game gave Harikrishna a superior position even as minor pieces flew off the board in a heap. Guseinov cracked under pressure on the 24th move when he found his queen trapped edge of the board.
Surya was not far behind Harikrishna, even though his victory came in contrasting fashion. Berlin defence was the choice by Leonid but ‘the wall’ did not hold him in good stead. After routine exchanges, the players arrived at a rook and minor piece endgame where Surya’s kingside pawn majority proved too much for Leonid who made a decisive mistake on the 31st move and allowed a passed pawn. Surya wrapped the issue five moves later.