India’s top players enjoyed mixed luck in round four of the World Youth Chess Championship (WYCC) in Mumbai on Friday with top-seed in the Girls U14, Divya Deshmukh, suffering an upset defeat. GMs Iniyan and Praggnanandhaa topped the points table in the Open Under-18 category with 3.5 points each.
India’s top players enjoyed mixed luck in round four of the World Youth Chess Championship WYCC) in Mumbai on Friday. R Praggnanandhaa scored a comfortable victory and P Iniyan ground out a tough draw, while Divya Deshmukh suffered an upset defeat. 14-year-old FIDE Master Srihari LR was the dark horse of the day as he shocked top-seed FIDE Master Sreeshwan Maralakshikari in the Under-14 Open category.
GMs Iniyan and Praggnanandhaa topped the points table in the Open Under-18 category with 3.5 points each, along with IM Aryan Gholami of Iran.
Praggnanandhaa, who had encountered a tiring draw in the previous round against IM Artur Davtyan of Armenia, recovered smartly to beat IM Nikoloz Petriashvili of Georgia. He opted for the King’s Pawn Opening, which was countered with the most popular opening, Sicilian-Defence by Davtyan. After a complex middle-game, the Indian swiftly outplayed him in the endgame in 40 moves to clinch an important point.
Iniyan, however, could not reproduce Praggnanandhaa’s success but will be happy to have held firm against a higher-ranked Gholami.
The country’s other hope and the top seed in the Girls U14, IWM Divya Deshmukh, who also had to be content with a draw on Thursday night, was inflicted with an upset defeat to slide down on the leader-board. She lost to Master Bat-Erdene Mungunzul of Mongolia.
In a London System game, Divya could not obtain any tangible counterplay even as Bat-Edene’s double bishops reigned supreme on the board. This led to a blunder by the Indian, resulting in her resignation on move 45.
Indian IM Aditya Mittal (Open) U18 drew against top seed Sargsyan and Lakshmi C (Girls U16) scored her second straight upset against Serbian Woman FIDE Master Jovana Srdanovicwere.
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