World Youth Chess: Rakshitta, Praggnanandhaa, Ghosh stay ahead

Second seeds Rakshitta Ravi and R. Praggnanandhaa stayed in the lead in their sections as Indians continued to be among the front-runners after five rounds.

Rakshitta Ravi during the World Youth Chess championship.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Second seeds Rakshitta Ravi and R. Praggnanandhaa stayed in the lead in their sections as Indians continued to be among the front-runners in most categories after five rounds of World Youth chess championship here on Saturday.

Rakshitta, playing black, nailed seventh seed Varvara Poliakova of Belarus to take her tally to 4.5 points in the girls’ under-14 section. Dhyana Patel did well to hold fourth seeded Russian EkaterinaNasyrova. Looking for recovering, top seed Divya Deshmukh made short work of Aanya Agarwal to reach 3.5 points.

In under-18 section, a triumph over Arjun Kalyan put Praggnanandhaa (4.5 points) a point ahead of favourite Shant Sargsyan. The Armenian claimed a three-fold repetition of moves leading to a draw against a better-placed R. K. Srihari. Aditya Mittal (4) continued his good formby holding GM P. Iniyan.

Among the girls in under-18, A. Harshini blew away a winning position and settled for a draw against second seeded Mongolian Turmunkh Munkhzul.

In the under-16 section, Aronyak Ghosh stayed the lead at 4.5 points after holding fellow-overnight leader and Russian International Master Rudik Makarian. Kushgra Mohan (3.5) held second seeded Georgian Nikolozi Kacharava.

Overnight leader in under-14, L. R. Srihari suffered his first loss after running into third seeded Azerbaijani Aydin Suleymanli. Pranav Anand and Aditya Samant won to share the lead with Suleymanli at 4.5points. In girls’ under-16, B. Mounika Akshaya stunned third seed Mrudul Dehankar and Saina Salonika defeated Bangladesh’s Noshin Anjum toreach four points.

Important fifth-round results (Indians unless stated)

Under-18: R. Praggnanandhaa (4.5) bt Arjun Kalyan (3.5); Aryan Gholami (Iri, 4.5) bt Viachaslau Zarubitski (Blr, 3.5); Aditya Mittal (4) drew with P. Iniyan (3.5); Shant Sargsyan (Arm, 3.5) drew with R. K.Srihari (3); Mitrabha Guha (3.5) drew with Viktor Gazik (Svk, 3.5).

Under-16: Aronyak Ghosh (4.5) drew with Rudik Makarian (Rus, 4.5); Hans Moke Niemann (USA, 4) drew with Stefan Pogosyan (Rus, 4); Arash Daghli (Iri, 4.5) bt Moksh Doshi (3.5); Kushagra Mohan (3.5) drew with Nikolozi Kacharava (Geo, 3.5).

Under-14: Aydin Suleymanli (Aze, 4.5) bt L. R. Srihari (4); Pranav Anand (4.5) bt Sebastian Poltorak (Pol, 3.5); Manish Kumar (3.5) lost to Aditya Samant (4.5); R. Abhinandhan (4) drew with Alex Kolay (USA,4); M. Sreeshwan (4) bt Khoi Pham (Ned, 3).

Girls’ Under-18: Honorata Kusharska (Pol, 4) drew with Viktoria Radeva (Bul, 4); A. Harshini (3.5) drew with Tarmunkh Munkhzul (Mgl, 3.5);Zala Urh (Slo, 3.5) drew with Vantika Agarwal (3); Assel Serikbay (Kaz, 3.5) drew with Tarini Goyal (2.5); Srishti Pandey (2.5) lost to Aashna Makhikha (3.5).

Girls’ Under-16: Mrudul Dehankar (3) lost to B. Mounika Akshaya (4); Alessia-Mihaela Ciolacu (Rou, 4) bt C. Lakshmi (3); Saina Salonika (4)bt Anjum Noshin (Ban, 3).

Girls’ Under-14: Varvara Poliakova (Blr, 3.5) lost to Rakshitta Ravi (4.5); Ekaterina Nasyrova (Rus, 4) drew with Dhyana Patel (4); Bhagyashree Patil (3.5) drew with Ema Obada (Rou, 3.5); Parnian Ghomi (Iri, 3) lost to V. Sarayu (4); Divya Deshmukh (3.5) bt Aanya Agrawal (2.5).