Kocaeli (Turkey): Grandmaster Sahaj Grover provided the silver lining on a sluggish day for the Indian boys as he held top seed Yu Yangyi to a draw in the ninth round of the World Junior Chess Championship here.
With the championship approaching its business end, the Indian boys were in for a rude shock as only Debashish Das could score a full point. Despite a good result, Grover slipped to joint fourth with 6.5 points.
Alexander Ipatov made the most of his chances against Indian GM Vidit Gujrathi and shot into sole lead on eight points out of a possible nine. For the records, this was Ipatov`s fifth victory against an Indian in the championship in as many matches.
For the first time in the event, Yu Yangyi slumped to second on 7.5 points while Jorge Cori of Peru elevated himself to third position on seven points.
With four rounds to come, Grover shares the fourth spot with Samvel Ter-Sahakyan of Armenia, Duda Jan-Krzysztof of Poland and Aleksander Indjic of Serbia who all have 6.5 points apiece.
Among Indian boys, S P Sethuraman was held to a draw by compatriot N Srinath in a keenly-contested game wherein the former could not make much use of an extra pawn for a long time as Srinath hung in their to force a liquidation into a level queen and pawns endgame.
Das defeated lower-rated Jinshi Bai to move to six points, a position he shares with Srinath, Gujrathi and Sethuraman.
Grover did not get many chances out of a Nimzo Indian against Yangyi, who came with a new idea, forcing the Indian to spend a lot of time in the opening.
Grover found the way to equality without much ado and the players arrived at a rook and opposite colour Bishops endgame that was just level..
In the Girls` championship Padmini Rout kept herself in contention despite missing chances to beat Meri Arabidze of Georgia. The game was drawn leaving Padmini on 6.5 points and in joint third spot.
Irina Bulmaga of Romania regained sole lead in this section on 7.5 points after scoring over top seed ALina Kashlinskaya of Russia.
Aleksandra Goryachkina of Russia is now in sole second spot here on seven points while Padmini shares the third spot along with Arabidze, Kashlinskaya and defending champion Deysi Cori of Peru.
Important and Indian results round 9 open (Indians unless stated): Sahaj Grover (6.5) drew with Yu Yangyi (Chn, 7.5); Alexander Ipatov (Tur, 8) beat Vidit Gujrathi (6); Jorge Cori (Per, 7) beat Pouya Idani (Iri, 6); Vladislav Kovalev (Blr, 6) lost to Samvel Ter-Sahakyan (Arm, 6.5); Duda Jan-Krzysztof (Pol, 6.5) beat A R Salem Saleh (Uae, 5.5); N Srinath (6) drew with S P Sethuraman (6); Wei Yi (Chn, 6) drew with Andrey Stukopin (Rus, 6); Aleksandar Indjic (Srb, 6.5) beat Tamas Petenyi (Svk, 5.5); Debashis Das (6) beat Jinshi Bai (Chn, 5); S L Narayanan (5) lost to Marcel Kanarek (Pol, 6); Paul Velten (Fra, 5) beat Rakesh Kulkarni (4); Sameer Kathmale (4) drew with Soysal Serkan (Tur, 4).
Girls: Irina Bulmaga (Rou, 7.5) beat Alina Kashlinskaya (Rus, 6.5); Zhansaya Abdumalik (Kaz, 6) lost to Aleksandra Goryachkina (Rus, 7); Meri Arabidze (Geo, 6.5) drew with Padmini Rout (6.5); Aulia Medina Warda (Ina, 6) drew with Sabina Ibrahimova (Aze, 6); Deysi Cori (Per, 6.5) beat Wang Jue (Chn, 5.5); J Saranya (4.5) lost to Ekaterini Pavlidou (Gre, 5.5); Lena Miladinovic (Srb, 5) drew with Rucha Pujari (5); Nguyen Thi Mai Hung (Vie, 5) beat G K Monnisha (4); Ivana Maria Furtado (5) beat Riya Savant (4); Shristi Shetty (3.5) lost to Marvorii Nasriddinzoda (Tjk, 4.5); Bibissara Assaubayeva (Kaz, 4.5) beat Anjana Krishna (3.5).