Negombo (Sri Lanka): Kruttika Nadig moved into a two-way lead at the Asian junior girls’ chess championship here when she stunned the odds-on favourite, International Women Master Dronavalli Harika, in Round III on Monday.
Kruttika now shares the lead with Vietnam’s Luong Phong Hanh, both tallying 3 points from as many games.
The Indian trio of Tania Sachdev — the defending champion — Y. Pratibha and J. Rajasurya, follow the leaders on 2.5 points each.
In the 26th edition of the open section, defending champion International Master Deepan Chakravarthy maintained his clean slate with a clinical disposal of Khamzim Olzha of Kazakhstan.
Deepan, on 3 points, shares the lead with Iran’s Akbarnia Seyed Arash. Close on their heels are top seed Nguyen Ngoc Trong Son of Vietnam and the Indian trio of Akshayraj Kore, P. Magesh Chandran and S. Poobesh Anand on 2.5 points each.
The Pune-based Krutika was at her attacking best in toppling Harika who played black. An attack against the Sicilian Sveshnikov is not a usual happening but Krutika was determined to carry it out after Harika went haywire in the middle-game.
Coming with a blazing rook sacrifice that looked totally unconventional and following it up with another rook sacrifice that forced resignation, Kruttika made it look simple.
In a cat-and-mouse encounter, IM Magesh Chandran drew with state-mate Poobesh Anand. Refusing an early draw offer from Poobesh Anand, Magesh Chandran found his position heading downside and offered the draw.
The Vietnamese lad Trong Son, drew with Kore in a hard fought queen, rook and minor pieces ending. The Pune boy hung on grimly in the face of big time pressure and snatched a crucial half point from the top seed.
In another upset, Sri Lankan Harshani Konara put on an impressive display defeating higher rated Indian opponent N. Vinuthna. The Wild Petroff game saw fortunes swinging both sides, but Vinuthna gave it away in time pressure when she sacrificed a bishop for two pawns, which proved inadequate in the end. (PTI)