Karthikeyan Murali defeated German sixth seed Rasmus Svane in the fifth round to take lead at the World Junior Chess Championships in Bhubaneswar on Friday. The Tamil Nadu lad, with 4.5 points, was confirmed as the sole leader after top seed Vladislav Artemiev and Masoud Mosadeghpour of Iran split the point.

Meanwhile, S.L. Narayanan, who recently won the silver medal at the Commonwealth Chess Championship in Colombo, looked poised for a strong run in the tournament. After dominating the top seed Vladislav Artemiev of Russia in their drawn game in the fourth round, he ran into the second seed Jeffrey Xiong of the United States at the KIIT University campus on Friday.

He may not have been able to get a superior position as he did on the previous day, but he had little trouble in getting the half point from the white side of another Grunfeld Defence. He would now be relieved to have come out unscathed after playing the two best players of the tournament.

“My opponent seemed too well prepared and my attempts to take him out of the book did not yield any advantage,” said the tenth seed from Kerala.

In the girls’ championship, the two overnight leaders Dinara Dordzhieva of Russia and Janelle Mae Frayna of Philippines remain atop the table after drawing their game.

Important results (fifth round; Indians unless specified): Vladislav Artemiev (Rus) 4 drew with Masoud Mosadeghpour (Ira) 4; S.L. Narayanan 4 drew with Jeffrey Xiong (USA) 4; Karthikeyan Murali 4.5 bt Rasmus Svane (Ger) 3.5; Irakli Beradze (Geo) 3.5 drew with Parham Maghsoodloo (Ira) 3.5; Aravindh Chithamabaram 4 bt G. Akash 3; Xu Yinglun (Chn) 4 bt N.R. Visaksh 3; R. Pragnananda 3.5 drew with Shardul Gagare 3.5; Rakesh Kumar Jena 3 lost to Grzegorz Nasuta (Pol) 4; Krill Alekseenko (Rus) 3.5 bt Anish Gandhi 3; Harsha Bharathakoti 3 drew with Cristobel Villagra Henriquez (Chi) 3; Shahin Lorparizageneh (Ira) 2.5 Yuan Qingyu (Chn) 2.5; Ankit Gajwa 2.5 lost to Tran Tuan Minh 3.5; Erigaisi Arjun 3 drew with Seyed Khalil Mousavi (Ira) 3; Christoph Menezes (Aut) 3.5 bt Rajdeep Sarkar 2.5; Stefan Beukema 3.5 bt M. Barath Kalyan 2.5; Sammad Shete 3 drew with Xu Yi (Chn) 2.5.

Girls: Dinara Dordzhieva (Rus) 4.5 drew with Janelle Mae Frayna (Phi) 4.5; P.V. Nandhidhaa 4 drew with Pratyusha Bodda 4; Ashritha Eswaran (USA) 3 lost to Dinara Saduakassova (Kaz) 4; Alina Bivol (Rus) 4 bt Teodora Injac (Srb) 3; R. Vaishali 3.5 drew with Michelle Catherina 3.5; K. Priyanka 4 bt Nataliya Buksa (Ukr) 3; Parnali Dharia 3 drew with Karina Ivanova (Rus) 3.5; Narmin Soyunlu (Aze) 2.5 lost to Paula Rodriguez Rueda (Col) 3.5; Saina Salonika 3.5 bt Hajra Chandreyee 2.5.