Mumbai: There are a twist in the ongoing World Youth Chess Championship. Iran's Aryan Gholami emerged as a sole leader scoring a comprehensive win in the seventh round of the under-17 contest, here on Monday.
Overnight leader, GM R Praggnanandhaa slipped to the second position after settling for a quick draw against top seed Sargsyan Shant of Armenia. He was joined by IM Mitrabha Guha, who pulled off his second straight win to take his tally to 5.5 points.
The country's other GM P Iniyan, too, had to make do with a draw to be within striking distance of the lead trio. The under-18 girls category saw top-seed Russia's WIM Polina Shuvalova hold on to the leadership position, easing to a quick win against WFM Anna Afonasieva.
India's best hopes are A Harshini, who inched to 4.5 points with a win, and Makhija Aashna, with 4 points, whose match was ongoing. In the under-16 open, CM Aronyak Ghosh played out a draw with compatriot Moksh Amit Doshi to take the second position along with Russia's Rudik Makarian. Rudik lost to Moke Hans Niemann, giving him the top position with six points.
In the under-14 open, India's two players, LR Srihari and R Abinandhan posted victories to join top seed Aydin Suleymanli of Azerbaijan in the lead with six points apiece in the leader board.
Abinandhan created a sensation, stunning 4th seed FM Andrey Tsvetkov from the white side of a Sicilian Defence in a one-sided game that lasted 61 moves.
In the under-14 girls, another Indian hope, Rakshitta Ravi, got the better of Dhayana Patel to share the lead with Ekaterina Nasyrova of Russia with six points.
Under-18 Open: Sargsyan Shant (ARM, 5) drew with R Praggnanandhaa (IND, 5.5); Nikoloz Petriashvili (GEO, 4.5) lost to Aryan Gholami (IRI, 6); P Iniyan (IND, 5) drew with Patryk Chylewski (POL, 5); Mitrabha Guha (IND, 5.5) beat Valentin Buckels (GER, 4.5)
Under-18 girls: Polina Shuvalova (RUS, 6) bt Anna Afonasieva (RUS, 5); A Harshini (IND, 4.5) bt Tannaz Azali (IRI, 3.5); Vesal Hamedi (IRI, 4.5) drew with Turmunkh Munkhzul (MGL, 4.5).
Under-16 Open: Moke Hans Niemann (USA, 6) bt Rudik Makarian (RUS, 5.5); Aronyak Ghosh (IND, 5.5) drew with Moksh Doshi (IND, 5); Nikolas Wachinger (GER, 4.5) drew with Sankalp Gupta (IND, 4.5).
Under-16 girls: Leya Garifullina (RUS, 6) drew with Anousha Mahdian (IRI, 5.5); Kamaliya Bulatova (RUS, 4.5) lost to Nazerke Nurgali (KAZ, 6); Salonika Saina (IND, 5) drew with Govhar Beydullayeva (AZE, 5); Mrudul Dehankar (IND, 5) bt Noshin Anjum (BAN, 4); Laman Hajiyeva (AZE, 4.5) drew with BM Akshaya (IND, 5).
Under-14 open: Aydin Suleymanli (AZE, 6) drew with S Maralakshikari (IND, 5.5); Pranav Anand (IND, 5) lost to LR Srihari (IND 6); R Abinandhan (IND, 6) bt Andrey Tsvetkov (RUS, 4.5).
Under-14 girls: Dhyana Patel (IND, 5) lost to Rakshitta Ravi (IND, 6); Ekaterina Nasyrova (RUS, 6) bt Erdene Mungunzul (MGL, 5).