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World Youth Chess: Praggnanandhaa wins penultimate round, set for title

October 12, 2019 00:13 IST

R Praggnanandhaa

IMAGE: R Praggnanandhaa asserted his supremacy in the Under-18 Open, trudging to a crucial victory against IM Paulius Pultinevicius of Lithuania to take his tally to 8.5 points. Photograph: World Youth Chess Championship 2019

India are well-placed to pocket a few medals in the World Youth Chess Championship, with Grand Master R Praggnanandhaa all but likely to lead the charge with a gold medal.

Women's IM Vantika Agrawal (Under-18 Girls), Candidate Master Aronyak Ghosh (Under-16 Open) and LR Srihari (Under-14 Open) ae in a good position and can eye a silver medal each at the end of the penultimate round, in Mumbai on Friday.

 

The first two can hope to convert it into a gold if they win their last games and the other matches go their way.

Praggnanandhaa asserted his supremacy in the Under-18 Open, trudging to a crucial victory against IM Paulius Pultinevicius of Lithuania to take his tally to 8.5 points.

The 63-move victory gave him a half-point advantage that could fetch him the gold with a draw in the 11th and final round on Saturday.

He will, however, be wary of top seed GM Shant Sargsyan of Armenia who thrashed IM Mitrabha Guha for his third straight victory to be in the second position with eight points.

Vantika beat China's Tianqi Yan to ease to 7.5 points, to be half a point behind top seed Polina Shuvalova (Russia), who showed great skill to retain her lead (8 points) with another amazing victory.

It seemed like a good decision when top seed Hans Niemann (US) suffered an unexpected defeat to fall behind.

But Makarian Rudik (Russia) held on to his nerves to overcome G B Harshavardhan (India) to shoot into sole lead with 8 points.

Aronyak had 7.5 points and would hope for a good pairing on Saturday for a dramatic finish.

Key Results:

Under-18 Open: R Praggnanandhaa (IND, 8.5) bt Paulius Pultinevicius (LTU, 6.5); Mitrabha Guha (IND, 6.5) lost to Shant Sargsyan (ARM, 8); Aryan Gholami (IRI, 7.5) bt Aditya Mittal (IND, 6.5); Viachaslau Zarubitski (BLR, 6) lost to Arjun Kalyan (IND, 7).

Under-18 Girls: Lara Schulze (GER, 6.5) lost to Polina Shuvalova (RUS, 8); Vantika Agrawal (IND, 7.5) bt Tianqi Yan (CHN, 6.5); Alexandra Obolentseva (RUS, 7) drew with Zala Urh (SLO, 7)

Under-16 Open: Hans Niemann (USA, 7) lost to Arash Daghli (IRI, 7.5); Rudik Makarian (RUS, 8) bt GB Harshavardhan (IND, 6. 5); Aronyak Ghosh (IND, 7.5) drew Kushagra Mohan (IND,
7); Moksh Doshi (IND, 6. 5) drew with Raja Rithvik R (IND, 6.5)

Under-16 Girls: Xiao Zhang (CHN, 7) drew with Leya Garifullina (RUS, 8); Nazerke Nurgali (KAZ, 8.5) bt Laman Hajiyeva (AZE, 6.5); Salonika Saina (IND, 7) drew with Kamaliya Bulatova (RUS, 7); Anousha Mahdian (IRI, 7) drew with Viktoriya Loskutova (RUS, 6.5)

Under-14 Open: Aydin Suleymanli (AZE, 8) drew with Phuc Vo Pham (VIE, 7.5); LR Srihari (IND 7.5) drew with Marc Morgunov (AUT, 7.5)

Under-14 Girls: Eline Roebers (NED, 7.5) lost to Bat-Erdene Mungunzul (MGL, 8); Ekaterina Nasyrova (RUS, 7.5) bt Ayan Allahverdiyeva (AZE, 7);Rakshitta Ravi (IND, 7) drew with Divya Deshmukh (IND, 7).

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