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Monday, September 16, 2013

World Junior Chess: Mixed Results for Indians in Kocaeli, Turkey

Kocaeli, Turkey, September 16: Grandmaster Vidit Gujrathi played out a fighting draw with Bai Jinshi of China, while GM Sahaj Grover lost to defending champion Alexander Ipatov of Turkey in the third round of World Junior chess championship here.

It was an English opening by Gujrathi that did not promise much hope in the middle game even as Jinshi exchanged off pieces at regular intervals to retain the parity. The players arrived at a queen and pawns endgame where the draw was a just result after 38 moves.

A faulty variation in the Queen’s gambit cost Sahaj Grover dearly as he was outdone in quick time by Ipatov.

Playing black, Sahaj made an error in the opening to allow a dangerous king side attack. Known for his fondness for attack, Ipatov pounced on the chance and reached a winning endgame that was easy to convert.

The other Indian Grandmaster in the fray – S.P. Sethuraman - made amends for his draw in the previous round and outplayed Ayan Akhmetov of Kazakhstan. A sacrifice in the middle game by Sethuraman led to a winning position.

With ten rounds still to go, Yu Yangyi of China, A.R. Salem Saleh of UAE, Duda Jan-Krzysztof of Poland and Ipatov emerged as joint leaders with a perfect score.

Sethuraman, Gujrathi and Grandmaster-in-waiting Debashish Das are among those who have 2.5 points each, while Grover and S.L. Narayanan are another half a point adrift.

Among other Indians in the fray, S.L. Narayanan defeated Temur Igonin of Uzbekistan while Das overpowered Saiyn Zhanat of Turkey. Rakesh Kulkarni and Sameer Kathmale ended on the losing side against Jorge Cori of Peru and Temizkan Denizcan of Turkey, respectively.

In the girls’ championship being played simultaneously, G.K. Monnisha continued with her excellent run to beat Mitra Hejazipour of Iran and took her tally to 2.5 points. -- PTI

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