Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa settled for a draw against top seed Sargsyan Shant of Armenia to slip to the second position in Round 7 of the ongoing World Youth Chess Championships. He was joined by IM Mitrabha Guha, who pulled off his second straight win to take his tally to 5.5 points, while Iran’s Aryan Gholami shot into the sole lead in the Under-18 Open, scripting a comprehensive victory.
The country’s other Grandmaster P Iniyan too played out a draw to be within striking distance of the lead trio. The Under-18 girls saw top seed WIM Polina Shuvalova of Russia maintain the top position, easing to a quick win against WFM Anna Afonasieva. Polina, with six points, will be joined by Poland’s Alicja Sliwicka, who was yet to finish her match.
India’s best hopes rest on A Harshini, who inched to 4.5 points with a comfortable win, and Makhija Aashna, with four points, who too was yet to finish her match. In the Under-16 Open, CM Aronyak Ghosh was held to a draw by compatriot Moksh Amit Doshi to settle for the second position along with Rudik Makarian of Russia. Rudik lost to Moke Hans Niemann, giving him the top position with six points.
In the Under-14 Open, two of India’s players, LR Srihari and R Abinandhan sealed victories to join top-seed Aydin Suleymanli of Azerbaijan in the lead with six points apiece. Abinandhan created a sensation, stunning fourth-seed FM Andrey Tsvetkov from the white side of a Sicilian Defence in a one-sided game that lasted 61 moves. In the Under-14 Girls, another Indian hope, Rakshitta Ravi got the better of Dhayana Patel to share the lead with Ekaterina Nasyrova of Russia with six points.
Under-18 Open: Sargsyan Shant (ARM, 5) drew with R Praggnanandhaa (IND, 5.5);
Nikoloz Petriashvili (GEO, 4.5) lost to Aryan Gholami (IRI, 6);
P Iniyan (IND, 5) drew with Patryk Chylewski (POL, 5);
Mitrabha Guha (IND, 5.5) beat Valentin Buckels (GER, 4.5)
Under-18 Girls: Polina Shuvalova (RUS, 6) bt Anna Afonasieva (RUS, 5);
A Harshini (IND, 4.5) bt Tannaz Azali (IRI, 3.5);
Vesal Hamedi (IRI, 4.5) drew with Turmunkh Munkhzul (MGL, 4.5)
Under-16 Open: Moke Hans Niemann (USA, 6) bt Rudik Makarian (RUS, 5.5);
Aronyak Ghosh (IND, 5.5) drew with Moksh Doshi (IND, 5);
Nikolas Wachinger (GER, 4.5) drew with Sankalp Gupta (IND, 4.5)
Under-16 Girls: Leya Garifullina (RUS, 6) drew with Anousha Mahdian (IRI, 5.5);
Kamaliya Bulatova (RUS, 4.5) lost to Nazerke Nurgali (KAZ, 6);
Salonika Saina (IND, 5) drew with Govhar Beydullayeva (AZE, 5);
Mrudul Dehankar (IND, 5) bt Noshin Anjum (BAN, 4);
Laman Hajiyeva (AZE, 4.5) drew with BM Akshaya (IND, 5)
Under-14 Open: Aydin Suleymanli (AZE, 6) drew with S Maralakshikari (IND, 5.5);
Pranav Anand (IND, 5) lost to LR Srihari (IND 6);
R Abinandhan (IND, 6) bt Andrey Tsvetkov (RUS, 4.5)
Dhyana Patel (IND, 5) lost to Rakshitta Ravi (IND, 6);
Ekaterina Nasyrova (RUS, 6) bt Erdene Mungunzul (MGL, 5)