ZAMBIA’S two representatives at the ongoing World Youth Chess Championships in the United Arab Emirates lost their round nine matches, leaving both players lying in the bottom half of their respective age group tables.
Ten-year-old Hampus Sorensen was beaten by Izumi Haruki of Japan in the ninth round game to remain on four points from the nine rounds played so far while his Japanese opponent moved up to six points from a possible nine.
It was tough luck for Hampus, who had chained three games without a loss.
Before playing three straight games without a loss, Hampus came off a back of three successive defeats in the boys’ under-10 open category.
Hampus, after starting with a win and then a draw, fell to three straight losses before he steadied his game, winning the next two and then drawing the eighth round match against Muhammad Faqih Aminuddin of Malaysia.
The other Zambian representative in Dubai, Jonathan Thomas did not have it any easier as he was beaten by his South African opponent, Modi Sachin Bhadrashil to remain on three points with just two more rounds to go.
Thomas, who has found the going rough at the tournament, had a worst possible start, picking up just half-a-point from the first four rounds.
He managed to pick up in the fifth and sixth round where he won twice and drew once to get himself to three points after seven rounds.
But the break for blitz chess after the seventh round just seemed to disturb his momentum as he lost his eighth round game and that was worsened when he tumbled to Sachin Bhadrashil.
Thomas, who is playing in the boys’ under-14 Open category, will be looking to raise his game in the 10th and 11th rounds for him to at least squeeze into the top half of the table.