FILIPINO FM Haridas Pascua lost to a higher-rated Indian foe for the second time in three days and virtually bowed out of contention in the 2010 Asian Junior boys and girls championships at the Vijay Park and Business Hotel in Chennai, India Sunday.
Pascua, seeded 17th in the 74-player, 8-nation tournament, bowed to 3rd seed IM Babu Lalith of India in the pivotal sixth round and dropped from a share of seventh to a share of 19th to 33rd spots with only three rounds left.
The 17-year-old Pascua has 3.5 points on three wins, one draw and two losses in the annual competition organized by the All-India Chess Federation.
Pascua is now two full points behind solo leader and 14th seed IM Sundar Shyam, who trounced fellow Indian Srinath Narayanan. Indian players occupy the first 14 spots in the standings with Pouria Dairni of Iran landing in 15th place.
Shyam (5.5) and another Indian, Reddy Chimna Mehar (5.0) disputed the solo lead in their seventh round match late Monday.
Pascua will face No. 31 seed C.R. G. Krishna of India in the seventh round. Krishna lost to compatriot, 8th seed P. Karthikeyan in another all-Indian encounter.
In the girls division, Christy Lamiel Bernales beat No. 39 Priya Hena of India to move up to a tie for 21st to 33rd place with 3.0 points on two wins, two draws and two losses.
The 15th-seed Filipina will meet Shidhali Shetye of India in the seventh round.
A total of 74 players from eight countries, including 65 from India, are seeing action in the boys division, while 53 participants, 41 of them from the host country, are vying in the girls category. /Correspondent Marlon Bernardino