No stopping Xiong; Frayna stays in lead

Xiong now has a lead of half-a-point over Poland’s Grzegorz Nasuta, who scored a crucial victory over the higher rated Karthikeyan Murali on the second board.

Poland’s Grzegorz Nasuta is in the second position after the ninth round of the World Junior Chess Championship in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday. Seated behind him is the leader Jeffrey Xiong of the United States   -  P.K. Ajith Kumar

The rest day seems to have rejuvenated the players. Many a top board witnessed fierce fighting in the ninth round of the World Junior Chess Championships at the KIIT University campus here on Wednesday.

There is, however, no change at the top in the boys’ event, with second seed Jeffery Xiong notching up another win. With just four rounds remaining, the American has 7.5 points.

His latest victim was Parham Maghsoodloo of Iran, whom he beat in 52 moves from the white side of a Reti Opening, on account of a deadly passed pawn on the queen-side.

Xiong now has a lead of half-a-point over Poland’s Grzegorz Nasuta, who scored a crucial victory over the higher rated Karthikeyan Murali on the second board. The loss was a big blow to the Indian camp.

The in-form Indian in the girls’ championship too received a setback. P.V. Nandhidhaa’s loss to Michelle Catherina in an all-Tamil Nadu encounter not merely ended her dream run, but pushed her down the ladder, though her conqueror has raised fresh hopes for the host.

While Philippine’s ninth-seeded Janelle Mae Frayna is still on top of the table, after drawing with top seed Dinara Saduakassova of Kazakhstan, the fellow-overnight leader Dinara Dordzhieva of Russia had to drop down after walking voluntarily into a mating net to compatriot Alina Bovil. The second-seeded Bovil, with seven points, suddenly finds herself sharing the lead with Frayna, following her second consecutive win.

Half-a-point behind the two leaders are four players – Dordzhieva, Saduakassova, Paula Rodriguez Rueda of Colombia and Michelle.

Important results (ninth round; Indians unless specified): Parham Maghsoodloo (Ira) 6 lost to Jeffery Xiong (USA) 7.5; Karthikeyan Murali 6 lost to Grzegorz Nasuta (Pol) 7; Xu Yinglun (Chn) 6.5 drew with Rasmus Svane (Ger) 6; Vladislav Artemiev (Rus) 6.5 bt Stefan Beukema (Bel) 5.5; Christoph Menezes (Aut) 5.5 lost to Bozidar Ivekovic (Cro) 6.5; Aravindh Chithambaram 6 bt Arjun Kalyan 5; Shahin Lorparizangeneh (Ira) 5.5 drew with Cristobal Villagra Henriquez (Chi) 5.5; S.L. Narayanan 5.5 drew with Xu Yi (Chn) 5.5; Shardul Gagare 5.5 drew with Masoud Mosadeghpour (Ira) 5.5; Irakli Beradze (Geo) 5.5 bt Noel Studer (Swi) 4.5; Kirill Alekeseenko (Rus) 5.5 bt Yuan Qingyu (Chn) 4.5; Dennis Wagner (Ger) 5.5 bt Fan Huifeng (Chn) 4.5; Dhulipalla Bala Chandra Prasad 5 drew with Tran Tuan Minh (Vie) 5.

Girls: Dinara Dordzhieva (Rus) 6.5 lost to Alina Bivol (Rus) 7; Dinara Saduakassova (Kaz) 6.5 drew with Janelle Mae Frayna (Phi) 7; Michelle Catherina 6.5 bt P.V. Nandhidhaa 6; Nataliya Buksa (Ukr) 6 drew with M. Mahalakshmi 6; Tijana Blagojevic (Mne) 6 lost to Paula Rodriguez Rueda (Col) 6.5; Harshita Guddanti 5 lost to Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova (Uzb) 6; R. Vaishali 6 bt Srija Seshadri 5; Saina Salonika 5.5 drew with Teodara Injac (Srb) 5,5; Gu Tianlu (Chn) 6 bt K. Priyanka 5; Mobina Alinasab (Ira) 5.5 bt Shania Mae Mendoza (Phi) 4.5; Parnali Dharia 5 bt Narmin Soyunlu (Aze) 4.5.

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