Karthikeyan Murali Wrests Sole Lead

SaduakassovaDordzhievaKarthikeyan Murali Wrests Sole Lead
By Arvind Aaron

Indian champion Karthikeyan Murali has wrested sole lead in the KIIT sponsored World Junior Chess Championship that is in progress at Bhubaneswar on August 12.

In the fifth round, Karthikeyan upset higher rated German Svane Rasmus to take his tally to 4.5/5. Eight games remains in this event that is taking place at the KIIT University.

Karthikeyan Murali (white) was at home in the advanced variation of the Caro-Kann and seized the winning opportunity on move 32 in a queen, rook and knight middlegame. He gave his rook and knight for the black queen and two pawns to emerge as the sole leader of this event.

A 228 point rating lead might have allowed the top seed Russian Artemiev to come a shade confident against Mosadeghpour with the white pieces. After the 22-move shock rook sacrifice that would have gone.  The Iranian won two pieces but the Russian player had two pawns and hoped to win. Masoud Mosadeghpour gave his heart and soul into the endgame to draw after 75 moves.

After some tough games, S.L. Narayanan drew American second seed Xiong Jeffery in 30 moves after a level minor pieces ending.

India’s title hope Aravindh Chithambaram won against Akash in 40 moves after initiating a brilliant combination on move 30. Gagare drew and Indians GMs made 3/4 for an extraordinary showing.

Priyanka Downs Buksa

Defending champion Nataliya Buksa suffered an unusual reversal against Priyanka K in 106 moves. Buksa had a big advantage with black but could not breakthrough with her major pieces. In the end, the Indian capitalised on poor play by the Ukrainian champ and won pawns. Priyanka made a spectacular checkmate on move 106.

The leaders, Dordzhieva (Rus) and Frayna Janelle Mae (Phi) drew with no side enjoying any advantage. The players also maintained their joint lead status with 4.5/5. On board two, Nandhidhaa’s good run continued with a draw with white against India’s title hope Pratyusha after repetitive attack on the black queen.