R. Praggnanandhaa suffered another disappointing day in the office as India Green escaped with a 2-2 draw against Iran in the fifth round of the World Youth Chess Olympiad on Saturday in Ahmedabad. P Iniyan and Nihal Sarin, though, bounced back from their earlier defeats with impressive performances. Grand Master Aryan Chopra’s side, though, didn’t have a good outing.

The highly anticipated clash between IM Alireza Firouzja and Praggnanandhaa saw the Iranian walk away with a win. The Indian was under time pressure after it was fairly even between the two players during the initial exchanges.

Chopra, meanwhile, had another forgettable day. Amin Tabatabaei, playing on the white side, kept pressing Chopra with a Berlin defence in a Ruy Lopez. The Indian began to crack and Tabatabaei took his chance to register a win.

Iniyan earned a win from the jaws of defeat against Orimi Mahdi Gholami, who committed a double blunder and the former deployed a checkmating net around the king. India had equalised.

Nihal Sarin earned a draw for India at a crucial time with a win against Aryan Gholami, rated 2479. Gholami, playing with white, went with the london system. Neither players had an advantage to boast of midway through the game but towards the closing stages, the Iranian erred and Nihal grabbed his chance with a counter-attack. Nihal was ahead by a tempo and Gholami was forced to resign.

The heavyweight clash between Russia and Uzbekistan saw the former’s trump card Semen Lamasov, rated 2516, defeeat Uzbek top seed Nodirbek Yakubboev, rated 2448. Sergei Lobanov, rated 2441, settled for a draw with IM Shamsiddin Vokhidov.