Praggnanandhaa, Divya shine as India stuns China to enter quarters

Chennai, August 23

R Praggnanandhaa and Divya Deshmukh starred with essential wins as India shocked the formidable China 4-2 within the ninth and last preliminary spherical to make the quarterfinals of the FIDE Online Chess Olympiad on Sunday. The Indian staff, which completed on the high of Top Division Pool A, will play the quarterfinals towards a yet-to-be-decided opponent on August 28.

Four attracts and two wins on Under-20 boards helped India pull off the victory towards the Chinese. The 15-year-old Praggnanandhaa gave the impression to be on the ropes, however managed to show the tables on Liu Yan and completed with an ideal 6/6 rating. Divya Deshmukh, a former world under-10 and under-12 champion, put it throughout Jiner Zhu to underline her potential. Vidit Gujrathi, the Indian captain, held world No. 3 Ding Liren to a creditable draw on the highest board whereas P Harikrishna additionally shared the honours with Yangyi Yu.

Indian ace Koneru Humpy signed peace with the ladies’s world No. 1 Yifan Hou as did D Harika towards the present world champion Wenjun Ju.

India claimed the highest spot in Pool A with 17 factors and 39.5 board factors and have become the primary staff to qualify for the quarterfinals.

India No. 2 Harikrishna stated he was delighted with the win over China and credited the children, Praggnanandhaa and Divya.

Earlier, within the seventh spherical, India posted a 4-2 win over Georgia with former world champ Viswanathan Anand being held to a draw by Levan Pantsulaia. In the eighth spherical, India registered a cushty 4.5-1.5 win over Germany with captain Gujrathi main the way in which by beating Rasmus Svane. — PTI

India’s outcomes

Round 7: India beat Georgia 4-2 (Viswanathan Anand drew with Levan Pantsulaia; P Harikrishna beat Luka Paichadze; Konery Humpy drew with Meri Arabidze; D Harika misplaced to Nino Batsiashvili; R Praggnanandhaa beat Nikolozi Kacharava; Divya Deshmukh beat Diana Lomaia)

Round 8: India beat Germany 4.5-1.5 (Vidit Santosh Gujrathi beat Rasmus Svane; Harikrishna drew with Matthias Bluebaum; D Harika drew with Lara Schulze; Bhakti Kulkarni beat Filiz Osmanodja; Nihal Sarin drew with Roven Vogel; Vantika Agrwal beat Jana Schneider)

Round 9: India beat China 4-2 (Vidit Gujrathi drew with Ding Liren; Harikrishna drew with Yangyi Yu; Humpy drew with Hou Yifan; D Harika drew with Wenjun Ju; R Praggnanandhaa beat Yan Liu; Divya Deshmukh beat Jiner Zhu)

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