FIDE Master Girish A Koushik of India shot into the joint lead with Armenian Grandmaster Robert Hovhannisyan, with seven points, after defeating GM Nils Grandelius of Sweden in the eighth round of the 50th World Junior Chess Championships in Chennai on Wednesday.
With this victory, Koushik earned a nine-game GM norm from the event and is well-placed to annex the title.
On the top table, Hovhannisyan scored a fluent win over erstwhile leader Italian IM Axel Rombaldoni get into the joint lead with Girish. Despite the loss, Rombaldoni gained a nine-game GM norm.
Koushik, a former World Under-10 champion, played white and faced the Grunfeld defence of Grandelius. He employed the classical system favoured by greats like Botvinnik. He opted for a very sharp system in the opening, keeping his king in the centre and storming the opponent's king. Grandelius sacrificed an exchange and forced an exchange of queens.
In the late middle game stage, it seemed Grandelius had clear advantage on queenside. But Koushik slowly wove in Black king. When Granelius faltered on the 28th move, Girish activated his king to set up yet another mating pattern from which Black could not escape.
Faced with unavoidable checkmate, Grandelius resigned on the 34th move to hand a full point, GM Norm and the lead to Koushik.
Indian GM B Adhiban beat Polish IM Piorun Kacper and moved to six points to take third spot.
In the 29th World Junior Girls' Championship, WGM Cori T Deysi of Peru shot into the lead with seven points after a fluent win over WIM Mammadova Gulnar Marfat Qizi of Azerbaijan.
Round 8 Results (Open) (Indians unless specified):
Hovhannisyan Robert(ARM) 7 beat Rombaldoni Axel(ITA) 6.5, Girish A Koushik (7) beat Grandelius Nils (SWE) 5.5, Matlakov Maxim (RUS) 5 lost to Ter-Sahakyan Samvel(ARM) 6.5, Nabaty Tamir(ISR) 5 lost to Durarbeyli Vasif (AZE) 6, Vidit Santosh Gujrathi(5.5) drew with Robson Ray (USA) 5.5; Rasulov Vugar Ural Oglu (AZE) 5 lost to Swiercz Dariusz (POL) 6, Adhiban B (6) beat Piorun Kacper (POL) 5, Sjugirov Sanan (RUS) 5 drew with Kovalev Vladislav (BLR) 5, Gireman Ja (4.5)lost to Martinovic Sasa (CRO) 5.5, Pap Gyula (HUN) 5 drew with Swayams Mishra (5); Anwesh Upadhyaya(5) drew with Krejci Jan (CZE) 5, Salem A R Saleh (UAE) 5 drew with Firat Burak (TUR) 5, Nitin S (4.5) lost to Shyam Sundar M (5.5), Urkedal Frode (NOR) 5.5 beat Janev Tihomir (BUL) 4.5, Priyadharshan K (4) lost to Shimanov Aleksandr(RUS) 5, Kunal M (5) beat Goganov Aleksey (RUS) 4,S L Narayanan (5) beat G A Stany (4).
Round 8 Results (Girls) (Indians unless specified):
Mammadova Gulnar Marfat Qizi (AZE) 5.5 lost to Cori T Deysi(PER) 7, Girya Olga (Russia ) 7 beat Kulon Klaudia (POL) 5.5, Paikidze Nazi (GEO) 6 drew with Bulmaga Irina (ROU) 6.5, Padmini Rout (5.5) beat Dogodkina Julia (RUS) 5; Kulkarni Bhakti (5) drew with Chandika Divyasree (5), Saranya J (4.5) lost to Kazimova Narmin Nizami Qizi (AZE) 5.5, Ozturk Kubra (TUR)5.5 beat Romero Echeverria Abigail(ECU) 4.5, Nandhidhaa P V (4.5) lost to Lkhamsuren Uuganbayar (MGL) 5.5,
Nakhbayeva Guliskhan (KAZ) 4.5 drew with Pon N Krithika (4.5), Bharathi R(4) lost to Hoang Thi Nhu Y (VIE) 5, Terao Juliana Sayumi (BRA)5 beat Hema Priya N (4).