Armenian GM Robert Hovhannisyan halted giant-killer Girish Koushik's winning spree in the ninth round on a day when Fide Masters VAV Rajesh of Chennai Kerala's SL Narayanan, and local lass Michelle Catherina, obtained their International Master norms with strong positive performances in the ongoing World Junior Chess Championships, in Chennai.
Elena Semenova also gained an IM Norms.
In a Slav game, Karnataka's Girish worked out tactics early to launch a rapid kingside play. The Armenian took some time to keep things under control on the kingside and he even sacrificed an exchange in the process.
Soon Girish's kingside initiative evaporated and the focus shifted to the queenside where the Armenian's pawns started moving forward. Girish's extra exchange was of no use against the might of the black passed pawns and in the end Girish had to give up a piece to land into a lost position in 46 moves.
With this win, Robert Hovhannisyan moved into the sole lead with eight points in 9 games.
Hovhannisyan is followed in the second place with 7.5 points by Armenian GM Ter Sahakyan Samvel (7.5 pts).
Boys: Girish A.Koushik (Ind-7) lost to Robert Hovhannisyan (ARM-8), Axel Rombaldoni (ITA-6.5) drew Swiercz Dariusz (Swe-7), Nils Grandelius (SWE-6) drew Vidit Santosh Gujarathi (Ind-6), Milos Roganovic (Srb-6) bt Matlakov Maxim (RUS-5), Ter-Sahakyan Samvel (ARM-7.5) bt Ivan Lopez Salgado (Esp-6): Durarbeyli Vasif (AZE 6.5) drew B.Adhiban (INnd-6.5), Ray Robson (USA-6.5)bt M.Shyam Sundar (Ind-5.5), Piorun Kacper (POL-5) lost to S.L.Narayanan n(Ind-6), Sasa Martinovic (CRO-6.5) bt Urkedai Frode (Nor-5.5), Anwesh Upadhyaya (Ind-5.5) drew Sanan Sjugirov (Rus-5) and V.A.V.Rajesh (Ind?5.5) bt Jorge Cori (Per-4.5).
Girls: Elena Semenova (Rus-6.5) drew Girya Olga (Rus-7.5), Cori T.Deysi (Per-8) bt Nazi Paikidze (Geo-5.5), Irina Bulmaga (Rou-6) bt Mammadova Gulnar Marfat Qizi (AZE-6.5), Kulon Klaudia 9Pol-6) drew Padmini Rout (Ind-6); Kazimova Narmin Qizi (Aze-5.5) lost to Ozturk Kubra (Tur-6.5), Lkhamsuren Uuganbayar (MGL-5.5) lost to Inna Agrest (Swe-6), Chandika Divyasree (UInd-5.5) drew Anatasia Savina (Rus-5.5) and Michelle Catherina (Ind-6) bt Bhakti Kulkarni (Ind-5).