Nihal Sarin, Iniyan advance to U-18 quarterfinals on good day for Indian playersDecember 21, 2020
India’s Grandmasters Nihal Sarin and P Iniyan advanced to the quarterfinals of the under-18 open category in the FIDE Online World Cadets and Youth Rapid Championships on Sunday. As many as 12 out of the 16 Indian players in the fray moved to the quarter-finals stage in various categories.
The highly-rated Sarin posted a comfortable 2-0 win over Johann Emil Schnabel of South Africa while Iniyan defeated Angel Miguel Soto of Colombia 1.5-0.5. Sarin made quick work of his opponent in the first game, winning it in 24 moves and took only 27 moves to clinch the second and the match.
Iniyan, on the other hand, had several winning chances in the endgame against Soto in game 1 but missed them all, to settle for a draw. The Tamil Nadu player won a marathon 82-move second game to advance to the last-eight. Sarin and Iniyan will face Justin Wang (USA) and GM Shant Sargsyan of Armenia respectively in the quarterfinals. Sankalp Gupta, the other Indian in the fray in the under-18 category, lost to Mahdmi Orimi Gholami of Iran 0.5-1.5.
Apart from Nihal and Iniyan, the others to advance were: Priyanka Nutakki (girls under-18), L Jyothsna, Rakshitta Ravi (girls u-16), D Gukesh, V Pranav and Aditya Mittal (open u-14), B Savitha Shri (girls u-14), Anupam M Sreekumar (girls u-12), Mrinmoy Rajkhowa (open u-10) and Shreya Hipparagi (girls u-10) are the others who have advanced to the quarterfinals.
Gukesh and Pranav will face each other in the quarterfinals. Chennai lad Gukesh, the world’s second youngest Grandmaster ever, outclassed Michael M Simpson (South Africa), posting a 2-0 win. Games are played in best of two Rapid 15 mins + 10 seconds increment in the tournament where a 1-1 tie will result in Armageddon (sudden death tie-break games).