Woman International Master (WIM) Janelle Mae Frayna settled to a draw in the ninth round to stay in a two-way tie on top in the prestigious World Junior Chess Championships being held at the KIIT University in Bhubaneswar, India.
Frayna split the point with Woman Grand Master (WGM) Dinara Saduakassova of Kazakhstan to improve her score to seven points with four more remaining rounds.
WIM Alina Bivol of Russia shared the top spot with Frayna after notching a crucial ninth-round victory over compatriot WIM Dinara Dordzhieva in the tournament sanctioned by the International Chess Federation.
Erstwhile co-leader Dordzhieva was relegated to third with 6.5 points along with Saduakassova, WIM Paula Andrea Rodriguez Rueda of Colombia and WIM Michelle Catherina of India.
Woman FIDE (WFM) Master Shania Mae Mendoza was not as fortunate after suffering another heartbreaking loss to WFM Mobina Alinasab of Iran.
Mendoza dropped to 30th place with 4.5 points.
In the 10th round, Frayna looks to deliver an important win against Catherina while Mendoza battles Bala Kannamma of India.
In the boys’ category, IM Paulo Bersamina outclassed Dimitrios Papakonstatinou of Greece in the ninth round to improve his placing to 11th with 5.5 points while Paul Robert Evangelista lost to Carlos Felipe Squella Lavin of Chile to fall in a group of three-pointers at 67th place.
Bersamina will be meeting Grandmaster Dennis Wagner of Germany while Evangelista faces Louis Salles of France in their respective 10th-round matches.