Pune: Less fancied Indians once again stole the thunder in the fifth round of the World Junior Chess Championship here Friday.
Nandhidhaa PV created a sensational upset by defeating IM Meri Arabidze of Georgia, an opponent rated and titled much higher than her while 15-year-old Maria Ivana Furtado shocked Nguyen Thi Mai Hung to emerge joint leader. S.L. Narayanan created another big ripple by shocking GM Vladislav Kovalek of Belarus.
Top rated Indian Vidit Santosh Gujrathi was once again forced to split points with N. Srinath for his third draw in succession.
In the girls section, Padmini Rout drew with Sarasadat Khademaisharieh to share the lead with Furtado, Nandhidhaa and five others with four points apiece.
In the open section S. Narayanan, Lu Shangiel have tallied 4.5 points but the top board game between sole leader Cori Jorge and Sei Yi was in progress with the Chinese enjoying a better position.
Furtado, a former double World Under-8 Champion, showed remarkable maturity in manoeuvring her pieces in a closed position against higher rated Nguyen Thi Mai Hung to pocket a point.
The irregular opening resulted in heavy concentration of pieces at the centre where the Vietnamese erred. The Goa-based Furtado immediately forced the retreat of her opponent's defensive pieces and infiltrated with her knight.
Nguyen's position started crumbling and Furtado's queen and the second knight too joined the action to start weaving a checkmating net to romp home the victory after 31 moves.
"I just played normally and once my opponent made a mistake in the closed position, I gained entry into her territory," said Furtado.
Irina Petrukhina of Russia opted for the Sicilian defence against Ioana Gelip but paid the penalty for not castling. Ioana castled on the queen-side and bulldozed through her opponent's defence to set up a checkmating net with her queen and rook in a miniature lasting just 20 moves.
Important results (Indians unless specified):
Open: Lu Shanglei (Chn) 4.5 bt Karen Grigoryan (Arm) 3.5; S.L. Narayanan 4.5 bt Vladislav Kovalev (Blr) 3.5; Mikhail Antipov (Rus) 4 drew Grigoriy Oparin (Rus) 4; Aryan Tari (Nor) 3.5 drew Robin Van Kampen (Ned) 3.5; N. Srinath 3.5 drew Vidit Santosh Gujrathi 3.5.
Girls: Sarasadat Khademaisharieh (Iri) 4 drew Padmini Rout 4; Ann Chumpitaz (Per) 4 drew Daria Pustovoitova (Rus) 4; Aleksandra Goryachkina (Rus) Clada Sviridova (Rus); Nandhidhaa P.V. Meri Arabidze (Geo); Mo Zhai (Chn) Pratyusha Bodda; Ivana Maria Furtado 4 bt Nguyen Thi Mai Hung (Vie) 3; Ioana Gelip (Rou) 4 bt Irina Petrukhina (Rus) 3; Aysa Imeeva (Rus) 3 lost to Sabina Ibrahimova (Aze) 4.