Battling Gujrathi holds Bai Jinshi

Grandmaster Vidit Gujrathi played out a fighting draw with Bai Jinshi of China, while GM Sahaj Grover lost to defending champion Alexander Ipatov of Turkey in the third round of World Junior chess championship here.

It was an English opening by Gujrathi that did not promise much hope in the middle game even as Jinshi exchanged off pieces at regular intervals to retain the parity. The players arrived at a queen and pawns endgame where the draw was a just result after 38 moves.

A faulty variation in the Queen’s gambit declined cost Sahaj Grover dearly as he was outdone in quick time by Ipatov. Playing black, Sahaj made an error in the opening to allow a dangerous king side attack. Known for his fondness for attack, Ipatov pounced on the chance and reached a winning endgame that was easy to convert.
The other Indian Grandmaster in the fray — SP Sethuraman — made amends for his draw in the previous round and outplayed Ayan Akhmetov of Kazakhstan. A sacrifice in the middle game by Sethuraman led to a winning position.

With ten rounds still to go, Yu Yangyi of China, AR Salem Saleh of UAE, Duda Jan-Krzysztof of Poland and Ipatov emerged as joint leaders with a perfect score.
In the girls’ championship being played simultaneously, GK Monnisha continued with her excellent run to beat Mitra Hejazipour of Iran and took her tally to 2.5 points.
Having lost the second round, Indian duo of Padmini Rout and Ivana Maria Furtado made a strong comeback at the expense of Fronda Jan Jodilyn of Philippines and Laura Gueci of Italy, respectively.

Important and Indian results (Round III, Indians unless stated): Antonioa Pavlidis (Gre, 2) lt to Yu Yangyi (Chn, 3); Alexander Ipatov (Tur) bt Sahaj Grover (2); AR Salem Saleh (UAE) bt Bortnyk Mykola (Ukr, 2): Vidit Gujrathi (2.5) drew with Bai Jinshi (Chn, 2.5); Javier Benitez Lozano (Mex, 2) lt to Duda Jan-Krzysztof (Pol, 3); Andrey Stukopin (Rus, 2.5) drew with Jahongir Vakhidov (Uzb, 2.5).

Girls: Monica Sihite Chelsie (Ina, 2) lt to Aleksandra Goryachkina (Rus, 3); Zhansaya Abdumalik (Kaz, 2.5) drew with Irina Bulmaga (Rou, 2.5): Nguyen Thi Mai Hung (Vie, 2.5) drew with Dinara Saduakassova (Kaz, 2.5); Ekaterini Pavlidou (Gre, 2) lt to Zhai Mo (Chn, 3).

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