World Jr C'ship: Aravindh Chithambaram ties for top spot, claims bronze

The title went to fifth seed Norwegian Aryan Tari who topped a three-way tie at 8.5 points. Armenia’s Manual Petrosyan claimed the silver medal.

Aravindh won the last two rounds to finish with 8.5 points.   -  File Photo

Just when it mattered, Aravindh Chithambaram produced a tactical stroke to beat China’s Xu Xiangyu and tied for the title but eventually collected a bronze medal in the World junior chess championship (under-20) in Tarviso, Italy on Saturday.

The title went to fifth seed Norwegian Aryan Tari who topped a three-way tie at 8.5 points following the final-round draw with top seeded Dutch Jordeen van Foreest. Armenia’s Manual Petrosyan defeated Russia’s Kirill Alekseenko for the silver medal.

Twelve-year-old R. Praggnanandhaa came fourth with eight points following an highly impressive and unbeaten campaign. Nerves got to the youngster in the penultimate round where he squandered clear winning chances against Russia’s Semen Lomasov. That kept Praggnanandhaa half a point behind Tari and another draw in the final round, against third seeded German Rasmus Svane saw him finish behind a
gallant Aravindh who won brilliantly in the last two rounds.

The performances of Aravindh and Praggnanandhaa are also a validation of the quality coaching of R.B. Ramesh. The Grandmaster-turned coach
continues to produce medallists in various World, Asian and Commonwealth championships, besides various Nationals but remains ignored for any Government honour.

Meanwhile, the girls title went to top seeded Kazakh Zhansaya Abdumalik who scored 9.5 points to emerge victorious by a one-point margin over Russian Anastasya Paramzina. The bronze medal went to USA’s Yu Jennifer (8).

Among the Indian girls the best-performing member Aakanksha Hagawane finished 11th with seven points.

Leading final round results (Indians unless stated):

Open: Jordeen van Foreest (Ned, 8) drew with Aryan Tari (Nor, 8.5); Xu Xiangyu (Chn, 7.5) lost to Aravindh Chithambaram (8.5); Kirill Alekseenko (Rus, 7.5) lost to Manual Petrosyan (Arm, 8.5); Rasmus Svane (Ger, 7.5) drew with R. Praggnanandhaa (8); M. Karthikeyan (8) bt Evgeny Zanan (Isr, 7); Shardul Gagare (7) drew with Grigoriy Oparin (Rus, 7); S. L. Narayanan (7) bt Sumiya Biguun (Mgl, 6.5).

Girls: Yu Jennifer (USA, 8) lost to Zhansaya Abdumalik (Kaz, 9.5); Anastasya Paramzina (Rus, 8.5) bt Iulija Osmak (Ukr, 7.5); R. Vaishali
(6.5) lost to Natalie Kanakova (Cze, 6.5); Aakanksha Hagawane (7) bt
Alexendra Obolentseva (Rus, 6.5).

Standings (top-three): Open: 1. Aryan Tari (Nor, 3.5), 2. Manuel Petrosyan (Arm, 8.5), 3. Aravindh Chithambaram (8.5).

Other leading Indians: 4. R. Praggnanadhaa (8), 7. M. Karthikeyan (8), 20. Shardul Gagare (7), 23. S. L. Narayanan (7), 31. Harsha Bharathakoti (6.5), 51. Vaibhav Suri (6).

Standings (top-three): Girls: 1. Zhansaya Abdumalik (Kaz, 9.5), 2. Anastasya Paramzina (Rus, 8.5), 3. Yu Jennifer (USA, 8).

Leading Indians: 11. Aakanksha Hagawane (7), 17. R. Vaishali (6.5), 38-40. Pratyusha Bodda, Parnali Dharia, M. Mahalakshmi (6 each), 43.
K. Priyanka (5.5).