Parimarjan is joint fifth after Round 3

Chotowa Czarna: Indian Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi defeated Daniyyl Dvirnyy of Italy to jump to joint fifth spot after the third round of the World Junior Chess Championship here.

After an uncharacteristic draw in the second round from a position of strength, Negi bounced back in to reckoning with a finely crafted game with black pieces.

In the girls’ championship being played simultaneously, Woman Grandmaster Padmini Rout continued with her winning streak, defeating Nazerke Rysbayeva of Kazakhstan in a keenly contested game.

Padmini is now in a nine-way lead in this section with three points from as many games.

In the open section, four players share the lead jointly with a perfect score. They are Axel Delorme of France, Kirill Stupak of Belarus and Polish duo of Jacek Tomczak and Dariusz Swiercz.

Debashish Das is the other Indian besides Negi on 2.5 points. Das continued his dream run in the event and defeated Samvel Ter-Sahakyan of Armenia in his third round game.

With 10 rounds still to come, Negi seems to be getting in the rhythm and temperament that is required for a long and gruelling tournament.

Playing the black side of a Sicilian dragon, the Indian came up with an excellent plan in the middle game that required sacrifice of a rook for a Bishop and once that was accepted by Dvirnyy, all black pieces coordinated well for the final onslaught.

Dvirnyy could not withstand the pressure and blundered almost immediately, calling it a day in just 25 moves.

Meanwhile, Padmini displayed fine positional sense to outwit Rysbayeva from the white side of a Caro Kann defence game. A cautious approach in the opening paid high dividends as Nazerke took it easy and fell in to a positional trap after the trade of queens. Padmini gave no chances thereafter.

Among other Indians in the fray, M R Lalith Babu drew with Estonian Aleksndr Volodin, Swapnil Dhopade did well to hold Robert Hovhannisyan of Armenia and Anwesh Upadhyay also played out a draw with Stef Soors of Belgium.

The other Indians in the open section did not have a good time as an out-of-sort S P Sethuraman, Ashwin Jayaram and Sagar Shah lost their games.

In the girls’ section, the all Indian duel between B Pratyusha and Bhakti Kulkarni was won by the latter with black pieces.

The World Junior is an annual event to determine the best under-20 player in the world. Viswanathan Anand, P Harikrishna and Abhijeet Gupta are the three Indians who have won this event in the past.

Among the girls, Koneru Humpy, D Harika and Soumya Swaminathan have all won it once.

Negi leads the Indian challenge in the open section while Padmini plays as the top rated Indian in the girls’ section in this fortnight-long event.