India's Candidate Master Aronyak Ghosh scored a thrilling victory over top seed Hans Niemann of the USA to become joint-leader in the Under-16 Open category of the World Youth Chess Championship here on Thursday.
Eighth-seeded Aronyak played a strong strategic game in Round 9 to outwit his formidable opponent in 42 moves. He now has 7 points along with Hans and Russian IM Rudik Makarian, who was held to a draw by another Indian hopeful CM Kushagra Mohan (now joint second with 7 points).
The Under-18 Open, too, was intriguingly poised, with India's biggest hope, GM R Praggnanandhaa eking out a well- fought victory over IM Viachaslau Zarubitski of Belarus to jump into the lead with 7.5 points.
Top seeded GM Shant Sargsyan of Armenia, however, was back in the title race with 7 points by scoring his second straight victory. Shant punished the in-form Iran's IM Aryan Gholami.
India suffered major setbacks in the Under-14 Open, though, with surprise package R Abinandhan and top seed S Maralakshikari losing crucial matches, with just two more rounds to go after this.
Abinandhan, seeded 55th, who was enjoying a dream run, was beaten by Azerbaijan's IM Aydin Suleymanli to slip to joint second.
Aydin was in sole lead while Abinandhan has Austria's Morgunov Marc for company on the second rung. Morgunov overcame Maralakshikari.
Under-18 Open: Viachaslau Zarubitski (BLR, 6) lost to R Praggnanandhaa (IND, 7.5); Sargsyan Shant (ARM, 7) bt Aryan Gholami (IRI, 6.5); Mitrabha Guha (IND, 6.5) drew with Felix Blohberger (AUT, 6).
Under-18 Girls: Polina Shuvalova (RUS, 7) drew Alexandra Obolentseva (RUS, 6.5); Lara Schulze (GER, 6.5) drew Vantika Agrawal (IND, 6.5); Turmunkh Munkhzul (MGL, 6) drew Tianqi Yan (CHN, 6.5).
Under-16 Open: Aronyak Ghosh (IND, 7) beat Hans Moke Niemann (USA, 7); Mohan Kushagra (IND, 6.5) drew Rudik Makarian (RUS, 7); Arash Daghli (IRI, 5.5) Nikolozi Kacharava (GEO, 5.5); Raja Rithvik (IND, 5.5) Miguel Soto (COL,); GB Harshavardhan (IND, 6.5) bt Sankalp Gupta (IND, 5.5).
Under-16 Girls: Leya Garifullina (RUS, 7.5) drew Salonika Saina (IND, 6.5); BM Akshaya (IND, 6) drew Nazerke Nurgali (KAZ, 7.5); Kamaliya Bulatova (RUS, 6.5) beat Anousha Mahdian (IRI, 6.5).
Under-14 Open: R Abinandhan (IND, 7) lost to Aydin Suleymanli (AZE, 7.5); S Maralakshikari (IND, 6) lost to Marc Morgunov (AUT, 7); Phuc Vo Pham (VIE, 7) bt Jakub Chyzy (POL, 6); Jeet Shah (IND, 6) lost to LR Srihari (IND, 7).
Under-14 Girls: Eline Roebers (NED, 7.5) bt Ekaterina Nasyrova (RUS, 6.5); Ayan Allahverdiyeva (AZE, 7) bt Rakshitta Ravi (IND, 6.5); Erdene Mungunzul (MGL, 7) bt Astghik Hakobyan (ARM, 6).
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)