Kozhikode: With three Indians assuring themselves of gold medals in their respective age-groups on Thursday, and a number of others in the lead after the end of the sixth and penultimate round, India looked all set for a clean sweep of the Asian Youth Chess championships.
The bullion was picked up by G. Rohit (U-14 boys’), Lakshmi Praneetha (U-12 girls’) and Lakshmi Sahiti (U-10 girls’).
Bengal’s representatives at the meet, Saheli Nath and Mary Ann Gomes had mixed luck. Playing in the under-14 category, Saheli Nath beat Anjana Sowjanyaa to move to four points but Mary Ann Gomes (2.5) drew with Prateeka G.
While her sixth straight win gave Sahiti an unassailable 1.5 point lead over her nearest rival, Rohit and Praneetha will finish on top on account of better progressive score even if they lose their matches in the last round on Friday. In the under-12 boys’ section, Y. Sandeep, on five points, was sharing the lead with top seed Le Quang Liem of Vietnam, who is the sole foreign contender for a gold medal. In the under-10 boys’, six Indians are locked for top spot.
In Thursday’s matches, Rohit drew with Abhijeet Gupta to move to 5.5 points. Gupta, on 4.5, is joint second with three others.
Seventh seed Sahiti maintained her all-win record, beating sixth seed Kiruba H. Arasu to win in 50 moves. Behind her is Rucha Pujari on 4.5 points.
The third gold-winner Praneetha defeated Bhakti Kulkarni for her sixth straight victory to assure herself of the title. Top seed I. Ramya Krishna was placed second with five points after she defeated Ngo Dieh Hoa of Vietnam.
Fourth seed Rahul Sangma held top seed Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son of Vietnam in the boys’ under-14 category. Both players are joint second with 4.5 points.
Among the six competitors for the title in the boys’ under-10, defending champion Parimarjan Negi outplayed Udesi Aditya, while Ravi Teja defeated Dhaval Sanjay Adhav. (PTI)