Nihal said: "Obviously, today's match was a very tough as it lasted so many moves, but there was no tension and I enjoyed it very much."
Interestingly, it was the very first time that Nihal played against a titled player though his handling of two pieces for his opponent's rook in a Bogo Indian Defence defied his age and experience.
Collectively, it was a good day for Indians with GM Sahej Grover, GM Ankit Rajpara, IM Aravindh Chithabamram, IM Diptayan Ghosh and IM Sayantan Das, IM Shardul Gagare scoring victories over their lesser rated opponents.
Meanwhile, Vidit Santosh Gujrathi, one of the title contenders and seeded fourth, got off to a flying start by quickly winning his first round match against fellow-Indian Parab Ritviz.
Top two seeds Vladimir Fedoseev of Russia and Aseed Robin Van Kampen also scored effortless victories even as favourites fumbled in the very first round which is very unusual in a Swiss League tournament of this magnitude
FM Rakesh Kumar Jena, rated 2164, created a flutter when he held higher-rated and 10th seed GM Grigoryan of Russia to a draw after 30 moves of a Sicilian Defence.
Untitled Sai Vishwesh also rose to the occasion and held 14th seed GM Nijat Abasov of Azerbaijan to a draw in a Spanish Opening game which lasted 50 moves.
The biggest upset of the day was the loss of 19th seed IM Murali Karthikeyan (2499) who went down to his Tamil Nadu state-mate Siva Mahadevan.
The Girls section was a sedate affair with most of the higher rated players cruising through with victories. Padmini Rout, the highest rated Indian in fray, scored over Karolina Turkova.