World Youth Chess Championship: Vedant Panesar stuns Viktor Gazik

In the under-18 category, little-known Vedant Panesar seized the moment to nail defending champion and fourth seeded Slovakian Viktor Gazik.

India's Vedant Panesar beat Slovakian Viktor Gazik.   -  Special Arrangement

The first round of any Swiss league format brings the second half of the field face to face with their opposite numbers from the top half. As a result, the outcome of these face-offs follow predictable course with the serious contenders warming up with a winning start.

Barring a few results, the script all six categories of the World Youth chess championship produced expected winners.

Mercifully, the day did not end without an Indian causing a big surprise. In the under-18 section, little-known Vedant Panesar seized the moment to nail defending champion and fourth seeded Slovakian Viktor Gazik.

Earlier, Aditya Gampa made a mockery of the rating difference of 503 points to hold fourth seeded Russian Andrey Tsvetkov in 29 moves in the under-14 section.

Gazik, uncharacteristically passive in his approach, helped Panesar’s cause by taking unduly long to play his moves. Panesar exerted more pressure and eventually Gazik, rated 327 points higher at 2546, cracked.

Panesar’s 66-move win came after top seeded Armenian Shant Sargsyan and second seed R. Praggnanandhaa recorded contrasting wins.

Playing black, Praggnanandhaa needed 35 moves to outwit Italy’s Massimiliano Botta who surprised the Chennai lad by starting with a push to the queen-pawn, unlike his preferred king-pawn opening. Praggnanandhaa came up with some original ideas to claim Botta’s rook for a minor piece and coasted to a comfortable win.

In the under-14 girls, top two seeds Divya Deshmukh and Rakshitta Ravi needed just 24 and 15 moves, respectively, to start their campaigns. Girls’ under-16 third seed Mrudul Dehankar, too, won as expected.

Meanwhile, the non-arrival of the customised connectors from Ahmedabad cost the first-round’s live streaming of the games. Gujarat Chess Association offered 68 DGT boards and Delhi offered 30 for this championship.

The organisers plan to live stream 95 boards, comprising the top-20 from under-18 and 15 each from the remaining five sections.

 

Leading first-round results (Indians unless stated):

Under-18: Shant Sargsyan (Arm) bt Vladyslav Sydorkyka (Ukr); Massimiliano (Ita) lost to R. Praggnanadhaa; Aryan Gholami bt Vojtech Srameck (Cze); Vedant Panesar bt Viktor Gazik (Svk); P. Iniyan bt Donoso Diaz Sebastian (Chi).

Girls’ Under-18: Polina Shuvalova (Rus) bt Kristyna Lauricnova (Cze); Emmanuelle Hng Mei-En (Sgp) v Tarmunkh Munkhzul (Mgl); Lara Schulze (Ger) v L. Jyotsna; Alicja Sliwicka (Pol) drew with Sanskriti Goyal; Srishti Pandey  lost to Vantika Agarwal.

Under-16: Hans Moke Niermann (USA) bt Sai Karthik; Adrian Zetocha drew with Nikolozi Kacharava (Geo); Santiago Avila Pavas (Col) bt Giga Goderdzishvili (Geo); Costamilan Tomiello Mateus (Bra) lost to Mamikon Gharbyan (Arm).

Girls’ Under-16: Sri Poorna lost to Gohar Beydullayeva (Aze); Mrudul Dehankar bt Kristyna Otrubova (Cze); Raman Meenatchi lost to Nazerke Nurgali (Kaz);

Under-14: M. Sreeshwan bt Aniruddha Potawad; Vinay R. Jumani lost to Volodar Murzin (Rus); Aditya Gampa drew with Andrey Tsvetkov (Rus);

Girls’ Under-14: Divya Deshmukh bt Fatima Marium; Cancino Patricia Anastas Abdala lost to Rakshitta Ravi; Tanvi Hadkonkar drew with Umida Omonova (Uzb).