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Negi beats Simonian

Chotowa-Czarna (Poland): Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi defeated Hrair Simonian of Armenia to bounce back after two successive defeats in the World junior chess championship here.

With just two rounds to go in the premier junior event, Negi took his tally to seven points out of a possible 11 and the chances of a medal looks bleak for the Indian who finished second in his last appearance in this event in 2008.

Padmini third

In the girls' event, Padmini Rout continued with her excellent run and outwitted Zoja Severiukhina of Russia to remain in medal contention. Padmini is now on 8.5 points in this section and holds the third spot.

Top seed Slovenian Anna Muzychuk remained on course for a win after scoring her ninth victory in the event at the expense of Bhakti Kulkarni. She took her tally to a formidable 10 points from 11 games.

Relentlessly following Anna is Olga Girya of Russia who is on nine points following a victory over Gulnar Marfat Mammadova of Azerbaijan.

In the Open section, Dmitry Andreikin of Russia continued with his top form to beat Kirill Stupak of Belarus in just 24 moves and retained his slender half point lead over his nearest rival compatriot Sanan Sjugirov. While Andreikin has nine points, Sanan is half a point behind. Also in pursuit of a medal are Russia's Maxim Matkalov and Erik Blomqvist of Sweden, both on eight points while a pack of eight others are close behind on 7.5 points apiece.

Negi is the best performing Indian having seven points and shares the 13th spot currently.

Amongst other Indians in the Open section, S.P. Sethuraman found his nemesis in Aleksandr Kasyan of Uzbekistan while M.R. Lalith Babu went down fighting against Dane Mads Andersen.

Also succumbing to a defeat was Debashish Das who found a tough customer in Tamas Fodor of Hungary but on the brighter side Ashwin Jayaram, Sagar Shah and R. Arun Karthik won their games, while Swapnil Dhopade and Anwesh Upadhyaya improved their standings with draws in contrasting fashion.

Playing white against Zoja, Severiukhina Padmini faced the French defence and initiated a kingside attack after sacrificing a pawn in the Winawer variation. Zoja had an option of giving up two pieces for a rook that would have kept her in the game but the Russian erred decisively and it was checkmate soon after. It took Padmini just 32 moves to clinch the issue and she now meets Alisa Melekhina of US in the penultimate round.

Negi had an easy outing against Simonian in a Closed Sicilian game where the latter played black. The middle game saw Negi emerging on top with a timely queenside breakthrough and Simonian felt the heat after Negi won two rooks in exchange for the queen. Though the game lasted 64 moves, the result was never in doubt once the endgame was reached.

The results (involving Indians, 11th round): Boys: S.P. Sethuraman (6.5) lost to Aleksandr Kasyan (Uzb, 7.5); Hrair Simonian (Arm, 6) lost to Parimarjan Negi (7); Mads Andersen (Den, 6.5) bt M.R. Lalith Babu (5.5); Tamas Fodor (Hun, 6.5) bt Debashis Das (5.5); Swapnil Dhopade (6) drew with Cyril Ponizil (Cze, 6); Anwesh Upadhyaya (5.5) drew with Emanuel Schiendorfer (Sui, 5.5); Sagar Shah (6) bt Kamil Dragun (Pol, 5); Gabriele Botta (Sui, 4.5) lost to R. Arun Karthik (5.5); Ashwin Jayaram (5.5) bt Michiel Larmuseau (Bel, 4.5).

Girls: Bhakti Kulkarni (7) lost to Anna Muzychuk (Slo, 10); Padmini Rout (8.5) bt Zoja Severiukhina (Rus, 7); B. Pratyusha (5.5) bt Katarzyna Cyboran (Pol, 4.5) . — PTI

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