After dropping half a point to a much lower-rated opponent in the previous round, Divya Deshmukh resumed normal service on Monday. The top seed cruised to a 36-move win to retain her sole lead at the end of the eighth round of the World Junior Girls’ Chess Championship at the Gift City Club.

Divya, whose Russian opponent Ksenia Norman made too many mistakes after opening with King’s Indian Defence, is on seven points. She is followed half a point behind by fellow-Indian Rakshitta Ravi and Armenia’s Mariam Mkrtchyan.

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While Divya has so far justified her top billing, it has been a different story for the No. 1 player in the open section. Abhimanyu Mishra, the Indian-origin player from the United States, who has had a terrible tournament, having lost two games, and 24 Elo points.

There is a four-way at the top with Kazybek Nogerbek of Kazakhstan, Russian Rudik Makarian, Mamikon Gharibyan of Armenia and Colombia’s Jose Gabriel Cardoso, who accounted for the third seed Pranav Anand, on 6.5 points.

Important results (eighth round):
Open section

Aleksey Grebnev (FIDE) 6 drew with Kazybek Nogerbek (Kaz) 6.5; Jose Gabriel Cardoso (Col) 6.5 bt Pranav Anand 5.5; Rudik Makarian (FIDE) 6.5 bt Luka Budisavljevic (Srb) 5.5; Mamikon Gharibyan (Arm) 6.5 bt Emin Ohanyan (Arm) 5.5; Samant Aditya 5.5 drew with Daniel Quizon 6; L.M.S.T. De Silva (SL) 5.5 drew with Tobias Koelle(Ger) 5.5; Mayank Chakraborty 5.5 drew with Ethan Vaz 5.5; Artion Stribuk 6 bt Sambit Panda 5; Gleb Dudin (Hun) Anuj Shrivatri; Vuppala Praneeth 5 drew with Siddharth Jagadeesh (Sgp) 5.

Girls section

Divya Deshmukh 7 bt Ksenia Norman (FIDE) 5.5; Narmin Abdinova (Aze) 5.5 lost to Mariam Mkrtchyan (Arm) 6.5; Ayalum Kaladorva (Kaz) 5.5 lost to Rakshitta Ravi 6.5; Beloslava Krasteva (Bul) 6 bt Sneha Halder 5; Xeniya Balabayeva (Kaz) 5.5 drew with Swara Lakshmi Nair 5.5; Meryem Agajanova (Tkm) 5 lost to Sofia Hryzlova (Sui) 6; Anna Zhurova (FIDE) 5 lost to V. Rindhiya 6; Martyna Wikar (Pol) 5.5 bt Dakshita Kumawat 4.5; Ayan Allahverdiyeva (Aze) 5.5 bt Arshiya Das 4.