Monday, November 29, 1999

Srinath emerges sole leader

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Chennai, Jun 18 (PTI) Former world under-12 champion and IM N Srinath outwitted joint overnight leader IM K Priyadarshan to emerge sole leader at the end of the fourth round in the Asian Junior Chess Championship here today. Srinath displayed a masterly positional game in a game arising out of modern defence on the top table to end the day with full four points at the top. IMs Vidit Santosh Gujrathi, M R Lalith Babu, M Shyam Sundar and Anwesh Upadhyaya, all from India, are in the second place with 3.5 points apiece. IM Shyam Sundar defeated top seed IM B Adhiban in a fine game arising out of a Kings Indian Defence. Adhiban, playing white, sacrificed a pawn to saddle Sundar with a bad Bishop. But Sundar handled his Rooks very well to enter into white''s territory. In a bid to exchange off the rampaging black rooks, Adhiban was forced to give up another pawn. But Sundar exchanged his passive Bishop for his opponent''s knight to set up a technically winning Rook ending which he duly converted in 61 moves. Gujrathi played the Slav Opening against the Queens pawn of FM Pascua Haridas of the Phillipines. The Indian showed greater understanding of the position and with a pawn break on the 15th move and queen exchange three moves later, gained an advantage. Haridas had two knights and two rooks against two rooks and a bishop and Knight of Vidit. But with both the white knights on the edge of the board, Vidit broke through with his rooks to the seventh rank to set up an easy win in 35 moves. Yet another IM, Lalith Babu of India scored a resounding win with white pieces against compatriot IM Shyam Nikhil. Lalith handled the Maroczy bind structure with aplomb and created uncomfortable pressure on the black''s queenside. Soon he sacrificed an exchange and used his two Bishops and a passed pawn well to convert his advantage into a win. VS AY.

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