India had a half-decent day at the World Youth Chess Championship where Grand master R Praggnanandhaa did extremely well to churn out a draw against Iran’s Aryan Gholami. In the U-14 Girls match, International Master Divya Deshmukh got the better of Kazakhstan’s Liya Kurmangaliyeva.
Praggnanandhaa had a steep task ahead of him where he was up against an in-form Iranian. And playing with the black pieces, it was all the trickier for the Indian to emerge victorious at the end of the tunnel on Sunday. However, Praggnanandhaa was at his defensive best and in the end, stopped Gholami from forcing him to share the lead on five points after round six in the U18 Open.
In another match, India’s other Grand Master P Iniyan looked extremely desperate to make the most of his white piece but was brilliantly stopped by Germany’s Valentin Buckels. After just 50 moves, they decided to stop playing by splitting the points. They are now sitting second on the leader-board, trailing by half a point each.
In the women's category, India saw IM Divya getting the better of Kurmangaliyeva in the Under-14 Girls event, which has now taken her tally to 4.5 points. She is sitting just half a point behind India’s Rakshitta Ravi, Holland’s Eline Roebers and Women’s FIDE Master Ekaterina Nasyrova of Russia.
It was quite an interesting day at the World Youth Chess Championship where all the top seeds, including GM Shant Sargsyan of Armenia (U18 Open), Russia’s Polina Shuvalova (U18 Girls), IM Moke Hans Niemann (U16 Open), Women’s Candidate Master Leya Garifullina (U16 Girls), FM Sreeshwan Maralakshikari (U14 Open) and Divya saw reaching full points in their respective games.