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World Juniors 2019 Rd.02: The optimism of the young!

by Sagar Shah - 17/10/2019

The World Junior Championships 2019 is such high on chess content that it is becoming extremely difficult to write a report that would cover everything! In spite of having just 94 boards (47 in open and 47 in girls) there is high quality chess taking place on almost 70% of these games. After two rounds we have nine boys in the lead with 2.0/2 in the open section and eleven girls in the lead with 2.0/2 in the girls section. In this article we bring some of the most interesting and instructive moments of the second round. We not only have the pictures, analysis, and interviews but also a special section called highlights of the day which gives you the glimpse of what happened in just 12 minutes!

The wonderful thing about juniors is that their dreams are limitless. For them, the rating is just a number. Untouched by the unforgiving teacher called experience, these players bring to the table what not event many of the elite GMs can! And that's the reason why following the World Junior Championships is extremely exciting. You have players who have the talent in them to rule the chess world in the years to come, but they also have the youthful exuberance to try out new stuff which the 2750+ GMs will not!


Aaryan Varshney vs Rahul Srivatshav

Black has just pushed his pawn to b5. White is a couple of pawns down. Yes, White has some compensation because the f7 point is weak, but give this position to any elite player and he would use his sense of objectivity and try to find the best resources to hold the position. Give such a position to an "inexperienced" junior and he will try his best to use his bishop and rook to launch a mating attack against the black king!

And guess what?! Sometimes it works! The Black king is completely caged in!

14-year-old Aaryan Varshney (player with white in the above position) is one of the leaders after round two. He is on 2.0/2. | Photo: Niklesh Jain

On the top board, the game between Dmitrij Kollars and Dambasuren Batsuren ended in a draw | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Aditya Mittal (black) and Shant Sargsyan were paired against each other at the World Youth 2019. The game had ended in a draw. At the World Juniors Shant didn't let Aditya slip by. | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Shant Sargsyan vs Aditya Mittal

Shant played his queen to c6 attacking the rook on a8. The natural move here was to play ...Ba6. Aditya was perhaps afraid of Nc7, but after Bxf1 Nxa8 Bxg2 Rg1 Be4 Black has excellent compensation and a fine position. In the above diagram, Black moved his rook to b8 and after Nxa7 Shant was just a pawn up and he comfortably converted it into a win.

IM at the age of just 11 years and 8 months - the next big thing from Indian chess - Bharath Subramaniyam | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Bharath vs Shtembuliak

White has a complete dominating position here out of the opening. Find the best way to win.

Bharath took the pawn on h7 here which turned out to be an error. Instead he could gone for the spectacular look Rxe6!+ After Qxe6 Re1 Black gets two rooks for the queen but the resulting position after Qxe1 Nxe1 0-0-0 Nf3 Be7 g3 is in White's favour.

With so many weaknesses in Black's camp, White is winning this position because his queen and knights are much better than Black's rooks and bishops!

Bharath was unable to find the above mini-combination and eventually lost the game.

Praggnanandhaa was pitted against Israeli IM Or Bronstein in round 2  | Photo: Niklesh Jain

After winning the under-18 World Youth, Praggnanandhaa is on a high. But at the same time, it is never easy to play 22 rounds of grueling chess. As Pragg said after the game, "Yes, I am a bit tired, but I sleep more during the day and it helps me." For now, the youngster seems to have enough energy as he played a fine game to beat Bronstein from the white side of the Sicilian Najdorf.


Praggnanandhaa vs Bronstein

A wonderful thing to note about Praggnanandhaa's game was his preparation. Until move no.18 where he went Nb5!? he was prepared!

Bronstein got no real chances in the game and although Praggnanandhaa could have shown better technique in some instances, the win was never in doubt.

The final moments of Pragg's victory and also interview with the youngster

Spanish GM Santosh Miguel Ruiz showed the power of two bishops as well as a common attacking theme - Rook Lift! | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Santos Ruiz vs Martin Hollan

White to move. What would you do?

If you were to ask a question - "Which is my most passive piece right now?" The answer would be a loud - Rook on a1. How do I get it into the game? Rc1? or move the queen and Rd1? Well, much better is to go Ra3! and the rook will swing over to the kingside and launch a powerful attack against the black king! White won in nice attacking style.

Karthikeyan Murali, two-time national champion of India and also the second seed of the event played a very nice game against Nitish Belurkar. But even nicer are the lines he shows in the game. Check them out in the video.

Karthikeyan Murali, 2019

This position is composed by Karthikeyan and it is White to play and win. The variations are quite deep and hence we recommend you to put on your thinking hats and try to figure out the details.

After drawing the top seed in round one, Aronyak Ghosh played excellent chess in round two to beat third seed Aravindh Chithambaram | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Aram Hakobyan on board five was held to a draw by Zhandos Agmanov of Kazakhstan | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Anuj Shrivatri, one of the latest IMs of India, held Harsha Bharathakoti to a draw | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Viktor Gazik (2546) lost to IM Ganzorig Amartuvshin (2391) | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Youngster Leon Mendonca held Sergei Lobanov to a draw in round two | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Results of Round 2

Bo.No. NameBdldFEDRtgPts. ResultPts. NameBdldFEDRtg No.
GMKollars Dmitrij GER25871 ½ - ½1 IMBatsuren Dambasuren MGL2454
GMSargsyan Shant ARM25801 1 - 01 IMAditya Mittal IND2430
IMBharath Subramaniyam H IND24171 0 - 11 GMShtembuliak Evgeny UKR2577
GMPraggnanandhaa R IND25671 1 - 01 IMBronstein Or ISR2413
IMAgmanov Zhandos KAZ24031 ½ - ½1 GMHakobyan Aram ARM2561
GMSantos Ruiz Miguel ESP25601 1 - 01 FMHollan Martin CZE2403
IMGazik Viktor SVK25461 0 - 11 FMAmartuvshin Ganzorig MGL2391
FMAnuj Shrivatri IND23901 ½ - ½1 GMHarsha Bharathakoti IND2530
GMVisakh N R IND25291 ½ - ½1 FMDobrovoljc Vid SLO2389
IMMendonca Leon Luke IND23881 ½ - ½1 IMLobanov Sergei RUS2516

Standings after round 2

Rk.SNo NameFEDRtgBdldPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
GMSargsyan ShantARM25802,00,01,02,0
GMShtembuliak EvgenyUKR25772,00,01,02,0
GMPraggnanandhaa RIND25672,00,01,02,0
GMSantos Ruiz MiguelESP25602,00,01,02,0
IMKhanin SemenRUS25072,00,01,02,0
FMAmartuvshin GanzorigMGL23912,00,01,01,5
IMDrygalov SergeyRUS24702,00,01,01,0
IMHaria RaviENG24632,00,01,01,0
FMAaryan VarshneyIND22392,00,01,01,0
GMKollars DmitrijGER25871,50,01,52,5

Girls section:

In the girls section we have eleven leaders after round two on 2.0/2. We had quite a big upset on the first board itself when second seed Stavroula Tsolakidou lost to the youngster from India Mrudul Dehankar.


Stavroula vs Dehankar

Nf4 was coming up and hence Mrudul went for the move ...Rg8. Her point was that now Nf4 can be met with Bg6 and after Nxg6 or Bxg6 she could take back with the h-pawn. However, Stavroula surprised her opponent with Bxh7 after Rg8. Mrudul also went on to the attack with Bxf3 and after the rook was take on g8, the knight was picked up on e2.

The fireworks continued with Rxf6 and although White won a pawn after gxf6 Qxf6, Black's play was easier as her king was much safer. Mrudul won a nice game.
The final moments of Mrudul's game along with her post-game analysis

On the second board Nurgyul Salimova was held to a drawby Oliwia Kiolbasa  | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Aakanksha Hagawane managed to hold Bibisara Assaubayeva to a draw | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Thalia Cerventes (right) managed to beat Margarita Potapova in an extremely complex game where the fortunes change hands on many occasions | Photo: Niklesh Jain

One of the shortest games of the round of the Berdnyk vs Nilssen  | Photo: Niklesh Jain

The game between Saloni Sapale and Gabriela Antova is a good example of how a theoretically winning game (as per the engine) is not always winning! Practically it could be very difficult to play the best moves. | Photo: Niklesh Jain

After a draw in the first round Zhu Jiner lost her second round game. The top seed has had quite a rough start to the event. | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Results of round 2

Bo.No. NameFEDRtgPts. ResultPts. NameFEDRtg No.
12IMTsolakidou Stavroula GRE24311 0 - 11 WCMMrudul Dehankar IND222729
230WIMKiolbasa Oliwia POL22231 ½ - ½1 IMSalimova Nurgyul BUL24153
331WFMOlde Margareth EST22051 ½ - ½1 WGMVaishali R IND23855
46FMAssaubayeva Bibisara KAZ23811 ½ - ½1 WIMAakanksha Hagawane IND218133
58WFMPotapova Margarita RUS23771 0 - 11 WIMCervantes Landeiro Thalia USA217635
610Berdnyk Mariia UKR23491 1 - 01 WFMNilssen Ellen Fredericia DEN213739
734WFMPychova Nela CZE21781 0 - 11 WIMDordzhieva Dinara RUS233511
812WIMMunkhzul Turmunkh MGL23321 0 - 11 WFMAvetisyan Mariam ARM211041
938WIMSapale Saloni IND21421 ½ - ½1 FMAntova Gabriela BUL231813
1014WIMRakshitta Ravi IND23101 1 - 01 WFMAfraoui Anaelle FRA210643

Standings after round 2

Rk.SNo NameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
WIMDordzhieva DinaraRUS23352,00,01,02,0
WIMRakshitta RaviIND23102,00,01,02,0
WFMAltantuya BoldbaatarMGL22772,00,01,02,0
WIMArpita MukherjeeIND22712,00,01,02,0
Berdnyk MariiaUKR23492,00,01,01,5
WIMPriyanka NutakkiIND22482,00,01,01,5
WFMAvetisyan MariamARM21102,00,01,01,5
WIMAlinasab MobinaIRI22392,00,01,01,0
WCMMrudul DehankarIND22272,00,01,01,0
WIMCervantes Landeiro ThaliaUSA21762,00,01,01,0
WFMKatkov MichelleISR21062,00,01,01,0
FMAssaubayeva BibisaraKAZ23811,50,01,52,5
WIMSolozhenkina ElizavetaRUS22831,50,01,52,5
Yakubbaeva NilufarUZB22811,50,01,52,5
WFMProtopopova AnastasiyaRUS22631,50,01,52,5
WIMKiolbasa OliwiaPOL22231,50,01,52,5
WIMAakanksha HagawaneIND21811,50,01,52,5
WFMPotluri SupreethaIND17671,50,01,52,5
WIMNarva MaiEST23781,50,01,52,0
FMAntova GabrielaBUL23181,50,01,52,0

Highlights of Round 2

Highlights of round two by WIM elect Amruta Mokal

A special thanks to WIM Angela Frank Jain for her game analysis

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