The Indians continued their dominance in the Under-14 categories of the World Youth Chess Championship (WYCC) with Pranav Anand and Rakshitta Ravi registering swift victories in Mumbai on Saturday. Pranav is tied for the lead with two others in the U-14 Open category while Rakshitta is in sole lead.
Pranav defeated Sebastian Poltorak of Poland in the U-14 Open category to share the lead with IM Aydin Suleymanli of Azerbaijan and Indian Aditya Sawant as Round 5 continued late into the evening. Pranav has 4.5 points and moved past overnight leader LR Srihari who yielded the top spot after going down against Suleymanli.
Rakshitta, female U-14 World no. 2, crushed Varvara Poliakova of Belarus to jump into sole lead in the U14 Girls class with 4.5 points. Top-seeded WIM Divya Deshmukh too triumphed over compatriot Aanya Agrawal, putting her title hunt back on track and now has 3.5 points after suffering one loss and one draw in five rounds.
In the under 18 Open category, India’s star player Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa defeated compatriot Arjun Kalyan and held on to the pole position with 4.5 points. He now shares the lead with Irish IM Aryan Gholami who comfortably beat IM Viachaslau Zarubitski of Belarus. The country’s other GM P Iniyan played out a draw with IM Aditya Mittal to trail the leaders by half a point.
India’s hopes remained alive in the U 16 Open too, with Candidate Master Aronyak Ghosh drawing against joint-leader International Master Rudik Makarian of Russia. The duo was joined by Iranian FM Arash Daghli who upstaged Indian FM Amit Moksh.
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