Chennai teen wins gold at World Youth Chess Championship

World Youth Chess Championship, R Praggnanandhaa, World Junior Championship, Grandmaster, seven medals
Grandmaster Praggnanandhaa was the pre-tournament favourite and he outlived the expectations by winning an under-18 category by 9 points from 11 rounds. Photo: Twitter

Indian chess players shine at the World Youth Chess Championship as 14-year-old R. Praggnanandhaa wins gold to contribute to India’s best-ever seven medals haul in Mumbai on Saturday (October 12).

Grandmaster Praggnanandhaa was the pre-tournament favourite and he outlived the expectations by winning an under-18 category by 9 points from 11 rounds.

This win is Praggnanandhaa’s third Worlds crown in three-age groups as he won the under 8 and under 10 titles in 2013 and 2015 respectively.

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Though India clinched seven medals including one gold, three silver, and three bronze, Russia finished ahead with just five medals but three golds.

The tally comes in spite of coming back empty-handed in the girls’ under-16 category.

This is India’s best performance since 2015 when the championship was reduced to three age groups from six.

Vantika Agarwal (girls’ under-18), SL Srihari (under-14), and Divya Deshmukh (girls’ under-14) added three silver medals to India’s kitty.

The three bronze medals were clinched by Aronyak Ghosh (under-16), M. Sreeshwan (under-14) and Rakshitta Ravi (girls’ under-14).

Praggnanandhaa, who made his debut in the under-18 section, drew the final round with Valentin Buckels. Top-seed Shant Sargsyan too drew the game against Arjun Kalyan on the second board.

The Grandmaster will now travel to New Delhi to play the World Junior Championship next week.

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