GM Salgado, IMs Kacper, Romabaldoni share the lead

Chennai: Grandmaster Ivan Lopez Salgado of Spain and two IMs Piorun Kacper of Poland and Axel Romabaldoni of Italy shared the lead with three points at the end of the third round of the SDAT-Ramco 50th World Junior Chess Championships.

Salgado outplayed Indian IM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi in a top board game. He employed the Grunfeld defence favoured by most former world champions like Kasparov, Fischer, Botvinnik.

Vidit, playing white, went for tactics a little too early and found himself losing two pieces for a Rook. The Spanish GM converted the advantage into a full point easily.

Rombaldoni upset GM Nils Grandelius in an irregular Sicilian game. The Swedish GM faced uncomfortable pressure by the Italian IM`s major pieces.

In an attempt to neutralise pressure, Grandelius entered into a king and pawn ending, possibly misjudging the strength of queenside majority. With a couple of deft moves, Rombaldoni won an extra pawn and converted it into a win in 45 moves, maneuvered his king deep into Black territory.

In another top board tie, IM Piorun Kacper outwitted Petenei Tamas in a Queens Gambit exchange variation.

In a third board game, unheralded Indian G A Stany from Karnataka held GM Rasulov Vugar Ural Oglu to a draw to share second spot with 2.5 points, while the Indian duo of S L Narayanan and Aditya Udeshi, who had scalped GM`s yesterday, went down tamely to IM Lalith Babu and GM Ray Robson.

In the 29th World Junior Girls section, top seed Nazi Paikidze of Russia, third seed Cori Deysi of Peru and Padmini Rout of India sailed into the third round with easy wins.

While Paikidze scored over Kubra Ozturk of Turkey in a Queens Gambit accepted game, Cori beat Elena Semanova of Russia in a Queens Gambit Anti Meran game. WGM Rout scored over Terao Juliana Sayumi of Brazil in a Sicilian Paulsen game.

Young Michelle Catherina of India caught the eye when she handed a second consecutive defeat to second seed Russian WGM Anastasia Savina. Michelle outplayed the Russian WGM from the white side of a Sicilian Classical variation.