Aronyak stuns top seed Niemann at World Youth chess championship

Aronyak Ghosh stunned overnight leader and top seed Hans Moke Niemann of USA in 42 moves to join him in the joint lead.

Aronyak Ghosh moved to joint lead after a stunning win over USA’s Hans Moke Niemann.   -  Special Arrangement

R. Praggnanandhaa and Aronyak Ghosh brought some cheer to the home camp after Rakshitta Ravi, M. Sreeshwan and R. Abinandhan received serious setbacks to their gold-winning hopes in the under-14 sections in the ninth round of the World Youth chess championship here on Thursday.

In a contest lasting over five hours, Praggnanandhaa ended the resistance of Viachaslau Zarubitski in 63 moves to take the lead at 7.5 points. Top seed Shant Sargsyan stayed within half-point of Praggnanadhaa after beating the other overnight leader, third seeded Iranian Aryan Gholami.

Earlier, Aronyak stunned overnight leader and top seed USA’s Hans Moke Niemann in 42 moves to join him in the joint lead. The eighth seeded Indian launched a powerful kingside offensive and forced the in-form Niemann to resign. Russia’s Rudik Makarian became the other leader at seven points after being held by Kushagra Mohan (6.5).

Abinandhan, the overnight leader in the under-14 section, along with top-seed Sreeshwan lost on the top two boards. Abinandhan’s conqueror Azerbaijan’s Aydin Sulemanli became the new leader at 7.5 points. L. R. Srihari joined Abinanandhan at seven points after beating team-mate Jeet Shah.

In girls’ under-18, Vantika Agarwal stayed in the joint second spot after forcing a draw on third seeded German Lara Schulze following perpetual checks in 45 moves.

On the top two boards of girls’ under-16, Saina Salonika (6.5) and B. Mounika Akshaya (6) drew with overnight leaders, Russia’s Leya Garifullina and Kazakhstan’s Nazerke Nurgali (7.5 each).

Important ninth-round results (Indians unless stated):

Under-18: Viachaslau Zurbitski (Blr, 6) lost to R. Praggnanandhaa (7.5); Shant Sargsyan (Arm, 7) bt Aryan Gholami (Iri, 6.5); Mitrabha Guha (6.5) drew with Felix Blohberger (Aut, 5.5); Aditya Mittal (6.5) bt R. K. Srihari (5); P. Iniyan (5.5) drew with George Stoleriu (Rou, 5.5).

Under-16: Aronyak Ghosh (7) bt Hans Moke Niemann (USA, 7); Kushagra Mohan (6.5) drew with Rudik Makarian (Rus, 7); Raja Rithwik (6) drew with Miguel Angel Soto (Col, 6); G. B. Harshvardhan (6.5) to Sankalp Gupta (5.5).

Under-14: R. Abinandhan (7) lost to Aydin Suleymanli (Aze, 7.5); M. Sreeshwan (6) lost to Marc Morgunov (Aut, 7); Jeet Shah (6) lost to L. R. Srihari (7); Andrey Tsvetkov (Rus, 6) drew with Aditya Samant (6).

Girls’ Under-18: Polina Shuvalova (Rus, 7) drew with Alexandra Obolentseva (Rus, 6.5); Lara Schulze (Ger, 6.5) drew with Vantika Agarwal (6.5); Turmunkh Munkhzul (Mgl, 6) drew with Yan Tianqi (Chn, 6.5); Alicja Sliwicka (Pol, 5.5) drew with Aashna Makhija (6); A. Harshini (5.5) drew with Tumurbaatar Nomindalai (Mgl, 5.5).

Girls’ Under-16: Leya Garifullina (Rus, 7.5) drew with Saina Salonika (6.5); B. Mounika Akshaya (6) drew with Nazerka Nurgali (Kaz, 7.5); Kamaliya Bulatova (Rus, 6.5) bt Anousha Mahdian (Iri, 6.5); Mrudul Dehankar (6) bt Barbora Maciulaityte (Ltu, 5).

Girls’ Under-14: Eline Roebers (Ned, 7.5) bt Ekaterina Nasyrova (Rus, 6.5); Ayan Allahverdiyeva (Aze, 7) bt Rakshitta Ravi (6.5); Meruert Kamalidenova (Kaz, 6.5) bt V. Sarayu (6); Divya Deshmukh (6.5) bt Varavara Pliakova (Blr, 5.5).