Woman International Master (WIM) Janelle Mae Frayna posted a crucial 10th-round victory to grab the solo lead in the prestigious World Junior Chess Championships being held at the KIIT University in Bhubaneswar, India.
Frayna outclassed WIM Michelle Catherina of India to raise her score to eight points, leaving erstwhile co-leader WIM Alina Bivol of Russia in second with 7.5 points.
Trapped in a five-way tie for third are WIM Pv Nandhidhaa of India, Woman Grandmaster (WGM) Dinara Saduakassova of Kazakhstan, WIM Paula Andrea Rodriguez Rueda of Colombia, WGM Nataliya Buksa of Ukraine and WIM R Vaishali of India with seven points each.
The 10th-round matches of Bivol and Rodriguez Rueda, and Saduakassova and WIM Thirjonova Gulrukhbegrim of Uzbekistan ended in a draw while Vaishali defeated WIM Dinara Dordzhieva of Russia, Buksa beat WIM Gu Tianlu of China, and Nandhidhaa outplayed compatriot WIM M Mahalakshmi.
Woman FIDE Master Shania Mae Mendoza suffered another setback, this time against Bala Kannamma of India to drop to 39th with 4.5 points.
Frayna will be playing Rodriguez Rueda in the 11th round while Mendoza tackles Lakshmi Divya of India.
The other important 11th-round pairings are Bivol-Nandhidhaa, Saduakassova-Vaishali and Catherina-Buksa.
In the boys’ category, IM Paulo Bersamina stunned GM Dennis Wagner of Germany to improve his score to 6.5 points and share the seventh place with four other players while Paul Robert Evangelista lost to Louis Salles of France to fall in 74th spot with three points.
Bersamina must win against IM Rasmus Svane of Germany in the 11th round to stay in hunt in the tournament sanctioned by the International Chess Federation.
EMIL C. NOGUERA