Top seeds cruise, Monisha pulls off surprise win

Men's top seed Vladislav Artemiev posted an easy victory over France’s Viennot Dylan. The top two seeds in the girls’ event, Dinara Saduakassova of Kazakhstan and Alina Bivol of Russia, also recorded wins. India’s G.K. Monisha surprised fourth seed Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova of Uzbekhistan.

India's G.K. Monisha (left) shocked fourth seed Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova of Uzbekhistan in the opening round of the World Junior Chess Championship at Bhubaneswar on Monday.   -  P.K. Ajith Kumar

As Jeffery Xiong made his moves inside the venue, his father, a most amiable man from Dallas, was getting anxious about how the game was progressing. He need not have worried.

Xiong Jr, seeded second, scored a comfortable win against Erigaisi Arjun in the opening round of the World Junior Chess Championship at the KIIT University campus here on Monday. A couple of hours later, top seed Vladislav Artemiev also posted a victory over France’s Viennot Dylan.

After his 52-move victory in the Nimzo-Indian Defence game, the American said he was happy to begin his campaign on a winning note with black pieces. “It was a good game for me,” he said. “I was able to put my rival under pressure from fairly early on.”

The top two seeds in the girls’ event, Dinara Saduakassova of Kazakhstan and Alina Bivol of Russia, also recorded wins, but India’s G.K. Monisha surprised fourth seed Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova of Uzbekhistan. That was after third seed Pratyusha Bodda was forced to split the point with compatriot M. Mahalakshmi.

Important results (first round; Indians unless specified): Boys: Vladislav Artemiev (Rus) bt Dylan Viennot (Fra); Erigaisi Arjun lost to Jeffery Xiong (USA); Kirill Alekseenko (Rus) bt Patrik Grandadam (Swi); Tom Rydstrom (Swe) drew with Parham Maghsoodloo (Ira); Dennis Wagner (Ger) bt Karthik Venkataraman; Arjun Kalyan lost to Rasmus Svaner (Ger); Aravindh Chithambaram bt N. Krishna Teja; Ankit Gajwa drew with Cristobal Henriquez Villagra (Chi); Xu Yinglun (Chn) bt Rahul Srivatshav; Dhulipalla Bala Chandra Prasad lost to S.L. Narayanan; Karthikeyan Murali bt Velimir Ivic (Srb); S. Yogit lost to Shardul Gagare; Shahin Lorparizangeneh (Ira) lost to Utkal Ranjan Sahoo; Parab Ritviz drew with Noel Studer (Swi); Tran Tuan Minh (Vie) bt Sammed Shete; Louis Salles (Fra) lost to Aryan Gholami (Ira); Pier Luigi Basso (Ita) drew with M. Chakravarthi Reddy; Shailesh Dravid drew with Grzegorz Nasuta (Pol); Irakli Beradze (Geo) bt Fan Huifeng (Chn); Srijit Paul (Ind) lost to Masoud Mosadeghpour (Ira).

Girls: Laura Hiebler (Aut) lost to Dinara Saduakassova (Kaz); Alina Bivol bt Srija Seshadri; M. Mahalakshmi drew with Pratyusha Bodda; Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova (Uzb) lost to G.K. Monisha; G. Lasya drew with Paula Rodriguez Rueda (Col); Oliwia Kiolbasa (Pol) bt Saloni Sapale; Mariami Choladze (Geo) lost to Anna Stayzhkina (Rus); Dinara Dordzhieva (Rus) bt Narmin Soyunlu (Aze); Daria-Ioana Visanescu (Rom) lost to Janelle Mae Frayna (Phi); R. Vaishali bt Caterina Leonardi (Slo); Javiera Belen Barerra Gomez (Chi) drew with Tijana Blagojevic (Mne); Nataliya Buksa (Ukr) bt Anysia Thomas (Fra); K. Priyanka (Ind) bt Teodora Injac (Srb); Gu Tianlu (Chn) bt P. Bala Kannamma; Amy Hoare (Eng) drew with Priyanka Nutakki; Ashritha Eswaran (USA) bt Sakshi Chitlange; Bayarsaikhan Yanjinlkham (Mgl) lost to Michelle Catherina; Parnali Dharia drew with Ellen Kakulidis (Den); Vantika Agrawal lost to Uurtsaikh Uuriintuya (Mgl); Mobina Alinasab (Ira) bt Du Yuxin (Chn).