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Harika maintains sole second spot

October 13, 2007 15:43 IST

Women Grandmaster and top seed D Harika kept herself in contention for the gold medal after beating compatriot Eesha Karavade in the ninth round of the World Junior Girls Chess Championship Yerevan, Armenia on Saturday.

The victory helped Harika move to 7.5 points out of a possible 9 and she remained a half point behind Russian leader Vera Nebolsina, who defeated Sabrina Vega Gutierrez of Spain.

Going by the points, it seems either Harika or Nebolsina will walk away with the title.

No other Indian girl was in medal contention after the defeat of Soumya Swaminathan and Mary Ann Gomes at the hands of Elena Tairova of Russia and Gulmira Dauletova of Kazakhstan respectively.

P Priya won her game against Ghazal Hakimifard of Iran to inch to 5.5 points while Padmini Rout defeated Anna Hairapetian of Armenia.

In the boys event, top seed Wang Hao of China defeated overnight sole leader Ahmed Adly of Egypt to emerge as the joint leader along with the Egyptian on seven points.

The Indian boys had a reasonable day with World's youngest Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi settling for a draw with higher rated Ivan Popov of Russia.

Negi moved to six points and was joined by a resurgent G N Gopal who outplayed Marcos Llaneza Vega of Spain and National Junior champion Abhijeet Gupta who cruised past Fidel Corrales Jimenez of Cuba.

The event is interestingly poised with just four rounds to come but Wang Hao now emerges as a clear favourite for the crown. The three Indians and Adly also have a chance of getting a medal.

The other Indians boys also did well as GM Deepan Chakkravarthy won his game against Pablo Garcia Cardenas of Spain while G Rohit played solidly to hold second seed Daniel Stellwagen of Holland.

R Arun Karthik drew with Robert Hovhannisyan of Armenia while Abhishek Das had it easy against Libyan Shamieh Mahmoud.

The lone loser amongst Indian boys was Ashwin Jayaram who went down to Ragger Markus of Germany.

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