Chess WC : Praggnanandhaa, Nihal Sarin, Iniyan enter 2nd round

SOCHI (Russia), July 13: India’s young stars R Praggnanandhaa, Nihal Sarin and P Iniyan advanced to the second round of the men’s event in the FIDE World Cup chess tournament here on Tuesday.

Teen prodigy and Grandmaster Praggnanandhaa outwitted Paulo Bersamina (the Philippines) 1.5-0.5 with a draw in the second game after having won the opening game of the two-game mini match on Monday. The 15-year old Chennai lad will take on Gabriel Sargissian (Armenia) in the second round.

Birthday boy Nihal Sarin drew the second game against IM Arthur Ssegwanyi of Uganda to secure a 1.5-0.5 win in round one. The Indian will now take on Sanan Sjugirov of Russia in round two.

Iniyan overcame the challenge of higher-rated Swiss player Sebastian Bogner 1.5-0.5 to secure a spot in the second round, where he will meet Evgeny Tomashevsky.

Also advancing were GM Aravindh Chithambaram VR, a 2-0 winner over Michael Concio Jr and the experienced B Adhiban who beat Chilesto Chipanga of Malawi.

The winners join Vidit Santosh Gujrathi and P Harikrishna, who received first-round byes, in the second round.

Talented, young GM D Gukesh, whose two-game mini-match against Poland’s Pawel Teclaf ended in a 1-1 draw, will play in a tie-breaker on Wednesday to determine the winner.

Meanwhile in the women’s event, Padmini Rout and R Vaishali joined compatriot Bhakti Kulkarni in the second round.

While Rout outplayed Azerbaijan’s Ulviyya Fatsaliyeva, Vaishali defeated Zhou Qiyu (Canada). Both won by 2-0 margins.

Rout will meet Sarasadat Khademalsharieh, while Vaishali, sister of Praggnanandhaa, runs into Bela Khotenashvili (Georgia) in round two.

Kulkarni had got a walkover from Russian opponent Anastasya Paramzina on Monday. D Harika will be joining them in the second round, courtesy a bye in the first round.

Matches in the FIDE World Cup are being played in the classical format. (PTI)