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Harikrishna maintains lead

November 25, 2004 17:02 IST

Grandmaster Pendyala Harikrishna of India continues to maintain the lead, with 7.5 points, after the completion of nine rounds in the World Junior Chess Championship in Kochi on Thursday.

Zhao Jun of China, with seven points, is in second position while Grandmaster Evgeny Alekseev of Russia, GM Tigran Petrosian of Armenia, IM Quezada Perez Yunieski (Cuba), Yuri Drozdovsky (Ukraine) and India's Deep Sengupta are jointly in third place with 6.5 points apiece.

Sixteen-year-old Sengupta shocked top seed GM Ferenc Berkes of Hungary in a Sicilian Pelican in 43 moves.

On top board, Harikrishna was held to a draw by Erwin L'Ami of the Netherlands in an English opening in 44 moves while Alekseev had to be content with a draw against Zhao Jun in a Catalan defence in 35 moves.

In other matches, Petrosian lost to IM Quezada Perez Yunieski in a close Sicilian game in 71 moves while Drozdovsky defeated India's Koneru Humpy in queens Indian defence in 32 moves.

Sai Srinivas of India scored an upset win over teammate and International Master M R Venkatesh, while Deepan Chakravarthy of India defeated Giampaolo Bucchicchio of Italy.

In the World Girls' Under-20 championship, being played simultaneously, three players -- top seed Ekaterina Korbut (Russia), Elisabeth Paehtz (Germany) and Anna Ushenina (Ukraine) are jointly leading with seven points after nine rounds.

GM Ekaterina Korbut crushed India's J E Kavitha, the Asian junior silver medallist, in 36 moves while WGM Elisabeth Paehtz defeated WFM Vinuthna of India in a closed Sicilian game in 51 moves.

WGM Anna Ushenina defeated India's Saheli Nath, the national sub-junior champion, in Kings Indian defence in 38 moves and WFM Alina Motoc of Romania lost to WIM Eesha Karavade of India in Grunfield defence in 52 moves.

Tania Sachdev of India, a former Commonwealth girls' under-18 silver medallist, did well to hold Zhang Jilin of China for a draw and split the point.

Other winners include Dana Aketayeva of Kazakhstan, Joanna Majdan of Poland, Anastasiya Gutsko of Ukraine, Nadig Kruttika, Koneru Chandra Hawsa and Sandhya (all India), and WFM Perez R Jennifer of Cuba.

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