India’s hopes in the Under-18 Open brightened as R Praggnanandhaa outclassed compatriot P Iniyan in the highly-anticipated battle between two Indian Grand Masters at the World Youth Chess Championships in Mumbai on Wednesday.
Top seed GM Sargsyan Shant of Armenia kept himself in the hunt by crushing George Stoleriu of Romania in 37 moves. Meanwhile, untitled R Abinandhan’s dream run continued in the Under-14 Open. He stormed into the lead with seven points. The 55th seed outwitted compatriot FM LR Srihari in a Queen’s Gambit game to coast to a 40-move win.
Aydin Suleymanli (Armenia) moved to the second place with 6.5 points after settling for a draw against Marc Morgunov of Austria. Top seed S Maralakshikari was in the next lot after one more draw. In the Under-14 Girls, WIM Rakshitta Ravi (6.5 points) held on to her lead by forcing a draw against Russia’s Ekaterina Nasyrova.
In the Under-16 Open, USA’s IM Moke Hans Niemann maintained his lead by overcoming Miguel Soto (Colombia). CM Mohan Kushagra moved up the ladder, beating compatriot Moksh Doshi to be in the third lot with 6 points. Sixth seed WIM Vantika Agrawal split the point with Polina Shuvalova (Russia) to hold on to the second position in the leaderboard.