World Youth chess: Srihari stuns Sreeshwan, takes lead

On way to his fourth win in as many rounds so far, Srihari played a flawless game to outwit his higher-rated rival M. Sreeshwan.

L. R. Srihari is now the leader of the under-14 section of the World Youth Chess Championship.   -  CHESS BASE INDIA

Tamil Nadu-lad L. R. Srihari made his presence felt in a telling manner by stunning top seed M. Sreeshwan in 44 moves to emerge as the leader of the under-14 section in the World Youth chess championship here on Friday.

On way to his fourth win in as many rounds so far, Srihari played a flawless game to outwit his higher-rated rival. Two connected pawns on the queenside gave Srihari the winning advantage, but Sreeshwan’s decision to take his queen away from the castled king hastened the end. Srihari moved in with a queen-check and threatened a checkmate off the next move when the Hyderabad-boy resigned.

On a day when favourite Divya Deshmukh (girls’ u-14) crashed to a surprise loss following a one-move blunder against Mongolian Bat-Erdene Mungunzul, second seed Rakshitta Ravi jumped to joint lead with a much-needed victory.

Similarly, in the under-18 section, second seed R. Praggnanandhaa got his act right against Georgian Nikoloz Petriashvili in 40 moves to rejoin the leaders. Among the leaders at 3.5 points was Aditya Mittal. The local lad was lucky to win in 73 moves against teammate Rahul Srivatshav who resigned after overlooking the sequence leading to a draw in rook-and-pawn ending.

Germany’s Valentin Buckles held back top seed Shant Sargsyan following a 33-move draw before P. Iniyan did likewise against third seeded Iranian Aryan Gholami in 49 moves on the top board.

Important third-round results: (Indians unless stated)


Under-18: P. Iniyan (3.5) drew with Aryan Gholami (Iri, 3); R. Praggnanandhaa (3.5) bt Nikoloz Petriashvili (Geo, 3); Valentin Buckles (Ger, 3) drew with Shant Sargsyan (Arm, 3); Szymon Gumalarz (Pol, 3) drew with Mitrabha Guha (3); Aditya Mittal (3.5) bt Rahul Srivatshav (2.5).

Under-16: Sankalp Gupta (3) lost to Rudik Makarian (Rus, 4); Lucas Constamilan Tomiello (Bra, 3) lost to Aronyak Ghosh (4); Raja Rithwik (2.5) lost to Hans Moke Niemann (USA, 3.5); Kushagra Mohan (3) drew with Pavas Santiago Avila (Col, 3).

Under-14: L. R. Srihari (4) bt M. Sreeshwan (3); Alex Kolay (USA, 3.5) drew with Aydin Sulemanli (Aze, 3.5); Aditya Samant (3.5) bt Collin Colbow (Ger, 3); Rodri Flores (Per, 2.5) lost to Pranav Anand (3.5).

Girls’ Under-18: Vantika Agarwal (3) drew with Assel Serikbay (Kaz, 3); Viktoria Radeva (Bul, 3.5) bt Tarini Goyal (2.5); Ellen Fredericia Nilssen (Den, 3) drew with A. Harishini (3).

Girls’ Under-16: C. Lakshmi (3) lost to Leya Garifullina (Rus, 4); Nazerke Nurgali (Kaz, 4) bt Saina Salonika (3); Govhar Beydullayeva (Aze, 3.5) bt Nityata Jain (2.5); Bristy Mukherjee (2) lost to Mrudul Dehankar (3).

Girls’ Under-14: Dhyana Patel (3.5) drew with Eline Roebers (Ned, 3.5); Rakshitta Ravi (3.5) bt Safiye Oykuk Ince (Tur, 3); Bat-Erdene Mungunzul (Mgl, 3.5) bt Divya Deshmukh (2.5); V. Sarayu (3) bt Ayan Allahverdiyeva (Aze, 2).