Divya Deshmukh stays ahead

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Gandhinagar, Jun 10 (PTI) International Master Divya Deshmukh maintained her slender half point lead defeating Norman Kseniya of Russia in the 8th round of World Junior girls’ chess championship now underway here.

With her six victory out of seven games beside two draws, Divya took her tally to seven points out of a possible eight and is now half a point ahead of nearest rivals Mariam Mkrtchyan of Armenia and compatriot Rakshitta Ravi who both share the second spot.

It was a crushing win by Divya who started with the Queen pawn and opted for the Fianchetto variation in the against the King’s Indian defense. With some fine manoeuvres, the Indian was able to tie down her opponent’s pieces and won a rook for a Bishop showcasing her tactical acumen.

The rest was easy as Kseniya lost a handful of pawns and never recovered.

Rakshitta also benefitted from a couple of pawn grabs as black against the English opening Ayaulym Kaldarova of Kazakhstan. Returning one pawn soon after Rakshitta obtained dangerous passed pawn on the queen side and had little troubles in converting her extra material in to a full point.

In the open section, Indian chances suffered a jolt as highest ranked Grandmaster Pranav Anand lost to Jose Gabirel Cordoso Cordoso of Columbia.

As many as four players – Nogerbek Kazybek of Kazakhstan, Mamikom Gharabyan of Armenia, Rudik Makarian of Russia and Cordoso share the lead in this section with an identical 6.5 points out of a possible eight.

Pranav Anand is still the best performing Indian on 5.5 points but to win a medal her will need a great finish.

Three rounds remain in both open and girls’ championship.

Top results open (Indians unless specified): Aleksey Grebnev (Fid, 6) drew with Nogerbek Kazybek (Kaz, 6.5); Jose Gabriel Cardoso Cardoso (Col, 6.5) beat Pranav Anand (5.5); Rudik Makarian (Fid, 6.5) beat Luka Budisavljevic (Srb, 5.5); Mamikon Gharibyan (Arm, 6.5) beat Emin Ohanyan (Arm, 5.5); Aditya Samant (5.5) drew with Daniel Quizon (Phi, 5.5); Mayank Chakraborty (5.5) drew with Ethan Vaz (5.5); Artiom Stribuk (Fid, 6) beat Sambit Panda (5); Dudin Gleb (Hun, 4.5) lost to Anuj Shrivatri (5.5); L R Srihari (5.5) beat Simon Rybka (Svk, 4.5); Sanket Chakravarty (5) drew with Marius Fromm (Ger, 5); A R Ilamparthi (5) drew with S Aswath (5); Pham Tran Gia Phuc (Vie, 5.5) beat V S Nandish (4.5); Harshit Pawar (4.5) drew with L Srihari (4.5); N Arul Prakash (4) lost to Ayush Sharma (5); Manish Anto Cristiano (5) beat S Rohith (4).

Girls: Divya Deshmukh (7) beat Norman Kseniya (Fid, 5.5); Narmin Abdinova (Aze, 5.5) lost to Mariam Mkrtchyan (Arm, 6.5); Kaldarova Ayaulym (Kaz, 5.5) lost to Rakshitta Ravi (6.5); Krasteva Beloslava (Bul, 6) beat Sneha Halder(5); Balabayeva Xeniya (Kaz, 5.5) drew with Swara Lakshmi S Nair (5.5); Agajanova Meryem (Tkm, 5) lost to Sofia Hryzlova (Sui, 6); Anna Zhurova *Fid, 5) lost to V Rindhiya (6); Lala Shohradova (Tkm, 5) lost to Sachi Jain (6); Shubhi Gupta (5.5) beat G Tejaswini (4.5); Lucia Striskova (Svk, 4.5) lost to Anupam M Sreekumar (5.5); Bristy Mukherjee (5) beat Anastasia Grozdanovic (Srb, 4); Mrittika Mallick(4) lost to Sannidhi Ramakrishna Bhat (5); Kriti Mayur Patel (5) beat Rzali Sabina (Aze, 4); Mrudul Dehankar (5) beat Chinnam Vyshnavi (4); Kheerthi Ganta (5) beat Arya G Mallar (4). PTI COR BS BS