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Ganguly loses, drops to fourth place
June 25, 2003 19:37 IST
Surya Shekhar Ganguly failed to keep his momentum going and went down fighting against Kadir Guseinov of Azerbaijan in the fourth round of the World Junior chess championship at Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan.
It turned out to be a disappointing day for the Indian boys as not only did Ganguly slip to joint fourth position after his loss, but other in-form players, International Master P Magesh Chandran and National junior champion Abhijit Gupta also lost their games against Kritz Leonid of Germany and Sergei Azarov of Belarus respectively.
Grandmaster Pendyala Harikrishna, who suffered a rather uncharacteristic loss to Abhijit in the second round, scored his second successive victory and moved to 2.5 points, half a point behind Ganguly.
Marcin Dziuba of Poland, Leonid and Guseinov, all with 3.5 points apiece, share the lead while a pack of eight players including Ganguly followed them on three points each.
Magesh Chandran and Harikrishna were in the next lot comprising nine players. Abhijit, national sub-junior champion S Arun Prasad and Asian junior champion Deepan Chakravarthy have two points each.
In the girls' championship being played simultaneously, India's youngest Women International Master Dronavalli Harika gave yet another emphatic display of her growing positional acumen but missed out on a victory and settled for truce with compatriot, Asian junior girls' champion Tania Sachdev.
Harika lost her joint lead after the deadlock and is now in joint third position along with Shahna Agaeva of Azerbaijan, having amassed 2.5 points from three rounds played in this section so far.
Top seed Georgian Nana Dzagnidze, who defeated Zeinab Mamedjarova of Azerbaijan, and Romanian Cristina Calotescu, who had a smooth sailing over Maria Sergeeva of Kazakhstan, share the lead in the girls' section with an absolute score of three points.
Ganguly was unlucky in blowing up a level position against Guseinov. It was a Sicilian defence, where the Indian played black and neutralised after tackling some tricks effectively.
The queens got traded in the middle game and Ganguly won a pawn in the ensuing rooks and pawns endgame. Guseinov got his share of counterplay on the king side where he obtained dangerous looking passed pawns and advanced it unchecked till Ganguly fumbled in finding the right defence.
White rooks penetrated the seventh rank thereafter and created irresistible threats against the king. Ganguly resigned on the 63rd move.
Magesh Chandran's excursion in a French defence with black pieces was a short and sweet affair, albeit from his opponent's perspective.
Trying to use the opening as a surprise element, Magesh had to pay heavy price as Leonid built his king side attack in no time in a well-prepared variation of Winawer variation.
Magesh fell into a tactical sortie in the early middle game itself and allowed the invasion of white's queen that proved disastrous. The game lasted just 20 moves.
Abhijit Gupta also fell prey to some well-calculated tactics by Azarov, who is among the favourites here. It was a Sicilian defence, where Azarov played white and launched the Velimirovic attack against the king.
A thematic piece sacrifice enabled Azarov to control key squares on the board and Abhijit lost his extra material but after giving a tough fight. Azarov wrapped the issue in 32 moves.
Harikrishna played a superb attacking game to beat Andrei Murariu of Romania in just 23 moves while S Arun Prasad scored over unrated South African Frans Wille Vermaak.
Among the Indian girls, Eesha Karvade took her tally to two points after defeating Zehra Topel, Saheli Nath secured her first full point in the championship cruising past Margiz Umudova while Mahima Rajmohan was on the receiving end against Anne Charbonneau.
Important results (Indians unless specified)
Boys' (round 4): Kadir Guseinov (3.5, Aze) beat Surya Shekhar Ganguly (3); Kritz Leonid (3.5, Ger) beat P Magesh Chandran (2.5); Rustem Sadykov (3, Kaz) drew Alexader Zubov (2.5, Ukr); Craig Hanley (2.5, Eng) lost to Marcin Dziuba (2.5, Pol); Jan Werle (2.5, Ned) drew Shakhriyaz Mameyarov (2.5, Aze); Vugar Gashimov (3, Aze) beat Deepan Chakravarthy (2); Sergei Azarov (3, Blr) beat Abhijit Gupta (2); P Harikrishna (2.5) beat Andrei Murariu (1.5, Rom); G Rohit (1.5) drew Linus Olsson (1.5, Swe); S Arun Prasad (2) beat Frans Wille Vermaak (1, RSA);
Girls' (round 3): Nana Dzagnidze (3) beat Zeinab Mamedjarova (2, Aze); Cristina Calotescu (3, Rom) beat Maria Sergeeva (2, Kaz); Dronavalli Harika (2.5) drew Tania Sachdev (2); Shahna Agaeva (2.5, Aze) beat Autaz Ismailova (1.5, Aze); Ekaterina Ubiennykh (2, Rus) beat Mendoza Morales (1.5, Per); Eesha Karvade (2) beat Zehra Topel (1, Tur); Anne Charbonneau (1.5, Can) beat Mahima Rajmohan (0.5); Saheli Nath (1.5) beat Margiz Umudova (0.5, Aze).