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Nihal Sarin, Rakshitta Ravi & D Gukesh claim gold medals in World Youth Chess Championships

Nihal Sarin (left) and Rakshitta Ravi claimed gold medals in the World Youth Chess Championships
Nihal Sarin (left) and Rakshitta Ravi claimed gold medals in the World Youth Chess Championships
Modified 24 Dec 2020, 23:36 IST

Grandmaster (GM) Nihal Sarin, Women International Master (WIM) Rakshitta Ravi and D Gukesh recently claimed gold medals in the FIDE Online World Youth and Cadet Rapid Championships. Mrinmoy Rajkhowa added a bronze on the final day of the online youth chess event.

The 16-year-old Nihal Sarin, with the FIDE Elo rating mark of 2620, beat Armenian GM Shant Sargsyan 1.5-0.5 in the Under-18 Open event. Rakshitta Ravi defeated China's Song Yuxin with the same margin in the Under-16 final.

Gukesh brought the third gold for India by beating Russian IM Volodar Murzin 2-1 in the Under-14 category. In the Under-10 boys' semi-final, Mrinmoy Rajkhowa lost to American Andy Woodward on the final day and settled for the bronze medal.

Nihal Sarin wins his fourth title of 2020

In the first round of the Under-18 Open final, Nihal Sarin defended well and drew the first game. Despite struggling in the second game, the Indian GM made a sensational comeback to claim the gold medal. Nihal's opponent Shant settled for a silver medal for a second consecutive year at this event.

Nihal Sarin claimed his fourth chess title of 2020 and ended his year on a high. He became the second Indian after Praggnanandhaa R to claim the gold in the Under-18 category of this prestigious tournament. The Kerala-born Grandmaster had earlier won the Junior Speed Chess, Capechecs Online Karpov Trophy, and the Super Juniors Cup this year.

On the other hand, Rakshitta defended the black pieces in the first game and held her rival Yuxin. Rakshitta got her victory over the latter with an extra piece advantage in the second game and registered a 35-move win.

The third gold medal brought by Gukesh was against his Russian rival Volodar. Both failed to utilize their advantage and drew in both rounds. Gukesh, with the whites, gained an emphatic 62-move triumph in the decider Armageddon game.

The 2020 edition of the World Youth Chess Championships took place in the Tornelo online platform for the first time, comprising five different groups from ages 10, 12, 14, 16, and 18. Team India finished in the second position behind the USA, who topped the charts with four gold, two silver, and two bronze medals.

Published 24 Dec 2020, 23:36 IST
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