Mumbai: After a mixed luck on Friday, Indians were back in the recknoing with FIDE Master Pranav Anand and Woman International Master Rakshitta Ravi scoring swift victories, in the under-14 categories of the World Youth Chess Championship, here on Saturday.
Pranav beat Poland’s Sebastian Poltorak in the Open category to share the lead with IM Aydin Suleymanli of Azerbaijan and Aditya Sawant of India, as round 5 continued late into the evening. Pranav has 4.5 points to move past overnight leader LR Srihari who yielded the top position after losing to Suleymanli.
Rakshitta, on the other hand, crushed Varvara Poliakova of Belarus to jump into sole lead in the U14 girls section with 4.5 points. Top seeded WIM Divya Deshmukh too downed compatriot Aanya Agrawal, putting her title hunt back on track. Divya has 3.5 points after suffering one loss and one draw in five rounds.
In the Under-18 open, India’s star player Grand Master R Praggnanandhaa held on to the pole position with 4.5 points, defeating countryman Arjun Kalyan after an intense battle. He shared the lead with IM Aryan Gholami of Ireland, who comfortably beat IM Viachaslau Zarubitski of Belarus.
Under 18 Open: Praggnanandhaa R (IND, 4.5) bt Arjun Kalyan (IND, 3.5); Aryan Gholami (IRI, 4.5) bt Viachaslau Zarubitski (BLR, 3.5); Aditya Mittal (IND, 4) drew with Iniyan P (IND, 4). Girls (U-18): Kucharska Honorata (POL, 4) drew with Viktoria Radeva (BUL, 4).