Rajesh, Narayanan obtain IM norms

At the end of the ninth round on Thursday, Rajesh, Narayanan and Michelle, along with Elena Semenova, have gained their respective IM Norms on a day when Armenian GM Robert Hovhannisyan halted giant-killer Girish Koushik’s winning spree.

In a Slav game, Karnataka’s Girish worked out tactics early in the game to launch a rapid kingside play. The Armenian took some time to keep things under control on the kingside and he even sacrificed an exchange in the process. But soon Girish’s kingside initiative evaporated and the focus shifted to the queenside where the Armenian’s pawns started moving forward.

Girish’s extra exchange was of no use against the might of the black passed pawns and in the end Girish had to give up a piece to land into a lost position in 46 moves. With this fine win, Hovhannisyan has moved into the sole lead with 8 points in 9 games.

Hovhannisyan is followed in the second place with 7.5 points by Country-mate GM Ter Sahakyan Samvel with 7.5 points.  Swedish Grandmaster Swirecz Dariusz tamed Italian IM Axel Rombaldoni to move into the joint third place with 7 points alongwith India’s Koushik.

Rajesh scored a fluent win over Peruvian Grandmaster Jorge Cori to complete his third and final International Master norm.

Results (round nine): Boys: Girish A Koushik (Ind, 7) lt to Robert Hovhannisyan (Arm, 8); Axel Rombaldoni (Ita, 6.5) drew Swiercz Dariusz (Swe, 7); Nils Grandelius (Swe, 6) drew Vidit Santosh Gujarathi (Ind, 6); Milos Roganovic (Srb, 6) bt Matlakov Maxim (Rus, 5); Ter-Sahakyan Samvel (Arm, 7.5) bt Ivan Lopez Salgado (Esp, 6); Durarbeyli Vasif (Aze, 6.5) drew B Adhiban (Ind, 6.5); Ray Robson (US, 6.5) bt M Shyam Sundar (Ind, 5.5); Piorun Kacper (Pol, 5) lt to SL Narayanan (Ind, 6); Sasa Martinovic (Cro, 6.5) bt Urkedai Frode (Nor, 5.5); Anwesh Upadhyaya (Ind, 5.5) drew Sanan Sjugirov (Rus, 5); VAV Rajesh (Ind, 5.5) bt Jorge Cori (Per, 4.5).
Girls: Elena Semenova (Rus, 6.5) drew Girya Olga (Rus, 7.5); Cori T Deysi (Per, 8) bt Nazi Paikidze (Geo, 5.5); Irina Bulmaga (Rou, 6) bt Mammadova Gulnar Marfat Qizi (Aze, 6.5); Kulon Klaudia (Pol, 6) drew Padmini Rout (Ind, 6); Kazimova Narmin Qizi (Aze, 5.5) lt to Ozturk Kubra (Tur, 6.5); Lkhamsuren Uuganbayar (Mgl, 5.5) lt to Inna Agrest (Swe, 6); Chandika Divyasree (Ind, 5.5) drew Anatasia Savina (Rus, 5.5); Michelle Catherina (Ind, 6) bt Bhakti Kulkarni (Ind, 5).

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