World Junior Chess: Praggnanandhaa, sister Vaishali off to winning starts

Eighth seed R. Praggnanandhaa won as expected after facing Israel's Yair Parkhov over 43 moves, while his sister, R. Vaishali, also emerged victorious.

R. Vaishali (left) and R. Praggnanandhaa made winning starts at the World Junior Chess.   -  R. Ragu

Aronyak Ghosh continued his bronze-winning form, seen in the World under-16 Championship last week, to hold top-seeded Iranian Amin Tabatabaei in 51 moves as leading names found it tough to get going in the first round of the World Junior Chess Championship here on Tuesday.

After a delayed opening ceremony, the action went deep into the evening with M. Karthikeyan and Aravindh Chithambaram, seeded two and three, also falling short of making a winning start to their campaigns.

Karthikeyan, playing black, drew in 37 moves against team-mate Al Muthaiah while Aravindh dropped half a point to Chinese Wang Shixu.

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On the bright side, Sankalp Gupta stunned fifth seeded Cuban Cabrera Carlos Albornoz Daniel in 38 moves after establishing an advanced passed pawn on the queen’s side.

Eighth seed R. Praggnanandhaa won as expected after facing  Israel’s Yair Parkhov over 43 moves.

Among the girls, Praggnanandhaa’s sister R. Vaishali won, as did Rakshitta Ravi. But Divya Deshmukh and Vantika Agarwal, both silver medallists in the World Youth Championship last week, were held to draws.

Important first-round results (Indians unless stated)

Open: Amin Tabatabaei (Iri) drew with Aronyak Ghosh; Al Muthaiah drew with M. Karthikeyan; Aravindh Chithambaram drew with Wang Shixu (Chn); Raja Rithvik lost to Dmitrij Kollars (Ger); Cabrera Carlos Albornoz Daniel (Cub) lost to  Sankalp Gupta; Stefan Pogosyan (Rus) lost to Shant Sargsyan (Arm); Evgeny Shtembuliak (Ukr) bt Rakesh Kumar Jena; Yair Parkhov (Isr) lost to R. Praggnanandhaa;

Girls: R. Vaishali bt Anahi Ortiz Verdezoto (Ecu); Divya Deshmukh drew with Rutuja Bakshi; Anezka Vlkova (Cze) lost to Rakshitta Ravi; Savitha Shri drew with Vantika Agarwal.