NEW DELHI: Sixteenth seed G.N. Gopal, who has met all stipulations to become the country’s 16th Grandmaster, leads the seven-player Indian challenge in the 80-player field in the open section after first day’s play in the 13-round World junior chess championship in Yerevan, Armenia, on Thursday.

Gopal, GM Parimarjan Negi, International Masters G. Rohit and Abhijeet Gupta won as expected.

Among the Indians, 18th seed Parimarjan Negi scored the quickest victory that came in just 24 moves of Ruy Lopez against Iceland’s Dagur Arngrimsson. The disappointments were the loss of GM Deepan Chakkravarthy to Armenian Tigran Mamikonian and Aswin Jayaram’s 43-move draw against Mexican Miguel Angel Alvarez Ramirez.

In the girls’ section, all five Indians won their games.

The results (first round, involving Indians):

Open: R. Arun Karthik lost to Maxim Rodshtein (Isr); C.B. Gawain Jones (Eng) bt Abhishek Das; G.N. Gopal bt Filip Pancevski (Mkd); Parimarjan Negi bt Dagur Arngrimsson (Isl); Deepan Chakkravarthy lost to Tigran Mamikonian (Arm); G. Rohit bt Ebrahim Momeni (Iri); Miguel Angel Alvarez Ramirez (Mex) drew with Aswin Jayaram; Martin Zvarik (Svk) lost to Abhijeet Gupta.

Girls: D. Harika bt Amira Hamza (Alg); Eesha Karavade bt Irina Gevorgyan (Uzb); Ruth Lovece (Arg) lost to Mary Ann Gomes; Soumya Swaminathan bt Lusine Alaverdyan (Arm); Lusine Karapetyan (Arm) lost to Padmini Rout.

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