Armenian GM Robert Hovhannisyan maintains top spot

Chennai: India`s hopes for a medal was all but over, while Armenian Grandmaster Robert Hovhannisyan maintained the sole lead with 10 points to have a shot at the title in the SDAT-Ramco 50th World Junior Chess Championship on Sunday.

Indian GM S P Sethuraman drew his game against compatriot Vidit Santosh Gujrathi, while B Adhiban blundered in time trouble against Sahaj Grover in the penultimate round on Sunday.

Hovhannisyan continues to lead the table with 10 points from 12 games, just half a point ahead of Polish Grandmaster Swiercz Dariusz.

In the World Junior Girls category, Russian WGM Girya Olga overpowered Georgian WGM Keti Tsatsalashvili to move into the sole lead with 10.5 points, while Indian hope Padmini Rout has only an outside chance of getting a bronze medal with the top two positions already assured among the top two girls.

In Sunday’s games on top tables, Robert Hovhannisyan beat American GM Ray Robson, while Armenian Ter Sahakyan Samvel lost to Swiercz Dariusz.

India`s hopes took a beating when GM Adhiban lost from a superior position to IM Sahaj Grover. Adhiban, playing white, played the sharp Anti-meran system against the Slav.

Soon, they reached a middle game with two rooks and a knight each, but with Adhiban`s rook placed better. But apparently, the pressure of the penultimate round game with chances for a medal was too much on Adhiban, as he took a lot of time on his moves.

In the end, Adhiban grabbed a silly pawn that was easily his own, when Sahaj drummed up quick counterplay to force the win of a rook. Adhiban resigned on the 36th move and immediately rushed out of the tournament hall.

With this win, Sahaj Grover moved into the joint third place with 8.5 points, alongwith GM Ter Sahakyan Samvel of Armenia, Vladislav Kovalev of Belarus and Vasif Durarbeyli of Azerbaijan.

In the top table, Hovhannisyan displayed superior endgame technique to outplay American GM Ray Robson. In a Sicilian Classical game, pieces were exchanged at regular intervals and a Bishop ending was reached as early as the 26th move.

While Robson was banking on his mobile kingside pawns, Hovhannisyan had faith in his own doubled passed pawns on the `c` file. In the end, Hovhannisyan, playing white, was proved right when he collected Bishop for his pawn and then promoted his remaining pawn to set up a simple win in 46 moves.

In the second table, Polish GM Swiercz Dariusz adopted the Sicilian Najdorf against Ter Sahakyan Samvel of Armenia. In the sharp Poisoned pawn variation, Ter Sahakyan sacrificed a pawn for a dangerous initiative. But Swiercz cleverly negated the early storm and used his Bishops well to conjure up counterplay against the white king.

With things going against his way, Ter Sahakyan exchanged into a Rook endgame where the Polish GM proved superior to register a crucial win 44 moves.

In the 29th World Junior Girls Championship, Olga, who has enhanced her chances of winning the coveted title defeated Georgian WGM Keti Tsatsalashvili on the second table, while the overnight joint leader WGM Cori T Deysi of Peru was held to a fighting draw in 66 moves by Indian WGM Padmini Rout.

Cori had to remain in the second place with 10 points while Padmini is on eight points in the joint fourth place, alongwith Ozturk Kubra of Turkey.

The third place is occupied by the top seed Nazi Paikidze of Georgia and Irina Bulmaga of Romania with 8.5 points. Now, Padmini has only an outside chance of getting a bronze medal from this event, with the top two positions already assured among the top two girls.


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