Both Grandmaster Praggnanandhaa and Woman International Master Divya Deshmukh were held to a draw by significantly lower opponents in the third round of the World Youth Chess Championship. However, they would still have a lot of time to get back on track as their coach pointed out.
India’s campaign at the World Youth Chess Championship took a backset on Thursday when when both the contingent’s top players in the under-18 (open) and under-14 (girls) category, Praggnanandhaa and Divya were held to a draw in their respective games by lower rated opponents.
After both the chess players managed to win their second-round matches earlier in the day, Chennai’s Praggnanandhaa (Fide rating 2567) was held by Armenia's Artur Davtyan (2418) in a whopping 98 moves. Divya (2538), on the other hand, was forced to play a draw by Poland's Martyna Wikar (1969) in 60 moves.
"It was a tough game," R Praggnanandhaa later told TOI, while Divya admitted the same. However, their head coach wasn’t too concerned with it sounding confident that the players would bounce back. "It is a minor setback but I am sure they will bounce back," opined the head coach of the Indian delegation, RB Ramesh.
Praggnanandhaa had started the match well with a comprehensive win over Poland's Antoni Kozak while Divya defeated compatriot Bhagyashree Patil.
Key Results (Round 2):U-14 Open: Sreeshwan M (IND) bt Rudolf Jun Jr (CZE); Volodar Murzin (RUS) bt Dennis Andrijashkin (EST); U-14 Girls: Divya Deshmukh (IND) bt Bhagyashree Patil (IND); Rakshitta Ravi (IND) bt Mariya Alekseenko (RUS). U-16 Open: Moke Niemann (USA) bt VS Raahul (IND); Oliver Wartiovaara (FIN) drew Santiago Avila (COL); U-16 Girls:Leya Garifullina (RUS) bt Madara Golsta (LAT); Govhar Bydullayeva (AZE) drew Svitlana Demchenko (CAN). U-18 Open: Shant Sargsyan (ARM) bt Shixu Wang (CHN); R Praggnanandhaa (IND) bt Antoni Kozak (POL); U-18 Girls: Polina Shuvalova (RUS) bt. Tanishka Kotia (IND), Vantika Agrawal (IND) drew Aashna Makhija (IND).
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