World Youth Chess: Praggnanandhaa wins, joins Aryan in the lead

MUMBAI: India's hopes in the Open for children under 18 increased R Praggnanandhaa compatriot surpassed P Iniyan in the long-awaited battle between two Indian Grand Masters in the World Youth Chess Championship on Wednesday.

Playing black, Iniyan opted for the Pirc Defense, which was easily counteracted by Praggnanandhaa, forcing him to inaccuracies in the opening itself.

Praggnanandhaa continued to increase his advantage with each movement and emerged victorious in movement 38.

With this crucial victory, Praggnanandhaa joined the IM of Iran Aryan Gholami leading the way after the latter was reconciled with a draw by the Indian MI Mitrabha Guha in 38 movements.

The main seeded GM Sargsyan Shant of Armenia remained on the hunt by crushing George Stoleriu of Romania in 37 moves.

Meanwhile, no title R Abinandhan The dream career continued in the Under-14 Open, reaching the lead with 7 points.

The 55th seed surpassed fellow countryman FM LR Srihari in a Queen's Gambit game to achieve a 40-move victory.

Aydin Suleymanli (Armenia) had moved to second place with 6.5 points, after settling for a draw against Marc Morgunov of Austria.

The best seeded S Maralakshikari was in the next lot after one more draw.

In girls under 14, WIM Rakshitta Ravi (6.5 points) maintained his leadership by forcing a tie in Russian Ekaterina Nasyrova.

In the Open of minors of 16 years, the American IM Moke Hans Niemann maintained his leadership, surpassing Miguel Soto (Colombia).

CM Mohan Kushagra climbed the ladder, beating fellow countryman Moksh Doshi to be in the third lot with 6 points.

The sixth seed WIM Vantika Agrawal divided the point with Polina Shuvalova (Russia) to maintain the second position in the classification.

Key results

Under 18 Open: Aryan Gholami (IRI, 6.5) drew with Mitrabha Guha (IND, 6); R Praggnanandhaa (IND, 6.5) beat P Iniyan (IND, 5); George Stoleriu (ROU, 5) lost to Sargsyan Shant (ARM, 6);

Under 18 years: Vantika Agrawal (IND, 6) drew with Polina Shuvalova (RUS, 6.5); Tianqi Yan (CHN, 6) defeated Alicja Sliwicka (POL, 5); Assel Serikbay (KAZ, 5) lost to Alexandra Obolentseva (RUS, 6)

Under 16 years Open: Miguel Soto (COL, 5.5) lost to Moke Hans Niemann (USA, 7); Moksh Doshi (IND, 5) lost to Mohan Kushagra (IND, 6)

Under 16 years old: Nazerke Nurgali (KAZ, 7) defeated Alessia Ciolacu (ROU, 5.5);

Under 14 years Open: LR Srihari (IND 6) lost to R Abinandhan (IND, 7); Marc Morgunov (AUT, 6) drew with Aydin Suleymanli (AZE, 6.5); S Maralakshikari (IND, 6) drew with Thien Phuc Vo (VIE, 6)

Under 14 girls: Rakshitta Ravi (IND, 6.5) drew with Ekaterina Nasyrova (RUS, 6.5), Astghik Hakobyan (ARM, 6) drew with Eline Roebers (NED, 6.5); Erdene Mungunzul (MGL, 6) defeated Dhyana Patel (IND, 5).