Monday, November 29, 1999

Defending champion Jayaram shocked by Priyadarshan

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Chennai, June 17 (PTI) IM K Priyadarshan shocked holder Ashwin Jayaram to share the top spot with fellow IM N Srinath after the third round of the Asian Junior Chess Championship here today. The leaders netted three points each while 12 players followed them closely with 2.5 points each at the end of the round which witnessed several fighting draws as the cream of the championship came out against each other. In the girls category, R Bharathi and Pratyusha Bodda from India, Vo Thi Kim Phung of Vietnam and Tay Li Jin Jeslin of Singapore shared the lead with full three points. In the major upset of the day, Priyadarshan employed the Anti-Sicilian weapon to confuse the defending champion. Both Priyadarshan and Jayaram used a lot of time in the ensuing complicated middlegame. As Jayaram kept his king in the centre and tried to create dangerous counterplay on the queenside, Priyadarshan exploited the situation to target the rival''s king. In this full blown middlegame situation where the balance was hanging by a thread, Jayaram unfortunately overstepped the time limit for forfeit the game. Srinath scored over FM Akkozov Berik of Kazakhstan. Playing Black in an English opening, Srinath refused a tacit draw offer from his opponent on the 15th move. The Indian slowly gained control of the centre and the queenside to win an exchange on the 36th move before converting the advantage into a win to move into the joint lead. In the most interesting and fighting game of the day, FM S Nitin drew with second seed IM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi in 122 moves. In a sort of Kings Indian structure, both players fought hard to score a point. Nitin seemed to be more inventive as he sacrificed an exchange first to negate the attack. In a complicated endgame, when Vidit, playing white, seemed to be consolidating his position, Nitin came up with another fine exchange sacrifice to get his central pawns rolling. Vidit was soon forced to give up the extra material and on the 122nd move, only two Kings remained on the board. MORE PTI COR VS AY.

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