Indians continued to hold sway in the Under-14 categories of the World Youth Chess Championship, with FIDE Master Pranav Anand and Woman International Master Rakshitta Ravi scoring swift victories in Mumbai on Saturday.
Pranav beat Polands Sebastian Poltorak in the U14 Open category to share the lead with IM Aydin Suleymanli of Azerbaijan and India’s 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 position after losing to Suleymanli.
Rakshitta 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 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 category, India’s star player Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa held on to the pole position with 4.5 points, defeating compatriot Arjun Kalyan after an intense battle.
He now shares the lead with IM Aryan Gholami of Ireland, 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 U16 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.
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)
Under 18 Girls: Kucharska Honorata (POL, 4) drew with Viktoria Radeva (BUL, 4)
Under 16 Open: Aronyak Ghosh (IND, 4.5) drew with Rudik Makarian (RUS, 4.5); Moke Hans Niemann (USA, 4) drew with Stefan Pogosyan (RUS, 4); Arash Daghli (IRI, 4.5) bt Amit Moksh (IND 3.5)
Under 16 Girls: Mrudul Dehankar (IND, 3) lost to Akshaya BM (IND, 4) Under 14 Open: Suleymanli Aydin (AZE, 4.5) beat LR Srihari (IND, 4); Pranav Anand (IND, 4.5) beat Sebastian Poltorak (POL, 3.5); Manish Kumar (IND, 3.5) lost to Aditya Samant (IND, 4.5)
Under 14 Girls: Varvara Poliakova (BLR, 3.5) lost to Rakshitta Ravi (IND, 4.5); Ekaterina Nasyrova (RUS, 4) drew with Dhyana Patel (IND, 4).