chessbase india logo

World Juniors 2018 Round 9: Varshini's immortal

by Sagar Shah - 14/09/2018

We are entering the final leg of the World Junior Championships 2018. With the completion of ninth round two Indians have a realistic chance for finishing with a medal. In the open section Abhimanyu Puranik continued with his excellent form as he downed GM Alireza Firouzja in a complex game coming out of the Accelerated Dragon Opening. The hero of the day, however, was V. Varshini who not only beat FM Gabriela Antova, but played one of the best games of her life, sacrificing one piece after another on four different moves. We bring you both the games of Abhimanyu and Varshini along with the performance of other Indian players. 

Two performers for India stood out in the ninth round of the World Junior Championships 2018. They were V. Varshini and Abhimanyu Puranik. While Varshini did beat a strong player, more than that it was her moves which made a deep impact. She sacrificed her rooks on four different moves! Such tactical play is very uncommon, especially in girl's section. And Varshini not only played enterprisingly, those were all great moves in the position, objectively as well! 

Varshini played a splendid game of chess to down Gabriela Antova

Nd2, retreating the knight was a bad idea as now Black was able to...

...get her knight to h4. and create some unpleasant pressure.

The bishop soon joined into the attack sacrificing itself on h3

The rook took the pawn on e3! It cannot be recaptured because Qg3+ would be fatal!

The rook is living on the edge!

The other rook also gets inspired!

This time the gift cannot be declined!

Check out this beautiful game played by Varshini analyzed by Amruta Mokal:

Abhimanyu beats Alireza Firouzja

Abhimanyu Puranik showed some classy chess and beat Alireza Firouzja | Photo: Amruta Mokal

After beating Jorden van Foreest in round 8, Abhimanyu kept up his great form and beat another world class junior - Alireza Firouzja. In fact just yesterday, we published an article in which Ivan Sokolov said, "Looking at Alireza reminds him of a young Anand!" What a compliment. For Abhimanyu to beat such a strong player is an amazing feat. And the way he did it was also impressive. He positionally outplayed his opponent and in the middlegame his superior knight on e5 was just no match for Alireza's bishop on e2. The rooks and queen penetrated and it was all over!

Final moments of Abhimanyu's game. Look at the calmness with which he converts a win
Abhimanyu's interview after his win over Alireza

Overview of Indian performance:

Karthikeyan lost his ninth round and with it his chance for a podium finish. Aravindh Chithambaram has found the going tough since the rest day. He has lost one game and drawn three. S.L. Narayanan would be pretty sad about his missed win against Johann Sebastien Christiansen, where he was 2 pawns up in the queen endgame or else he might well have been on 7.0/9. Karthik Venkatraman was going strong with 6.0/7, but lost his last two rounds. Harsha, Nubair, Harshit, Shailesh and Krishna Teja have all performed close to their rating mark.


In the girl's section the best performer is surely Varshini. With 6.5/9 she is just half point behind the leaaders and on eighth position. Two other girls who should receive notable mention are Isha Sharma gaining 118 Elo points and Meenal Gupta who has pumped up her rating by 110 Elo points.

4GMKarthikeyan Murali2605IND11½½½1½½05,52810-5,50Open
10GMAravindh Chithambaram Vr.2578IND111010½½½5,53610-5,20Open
13GMSunilduth Lyna Narayanan2573IND1½101101½6,01610-2,00Open
23GMPuranik Abhimanyu2524IND1½1101½117,041016,80Open
27IMKarthik Venkataraman2519IND11½½111006,0121017,00Open
40IMHarsha Bharathakoti2474IND111100½½½5,527108,10Open
50IMMohammad Nubairshah Shaikh2443IND½1½01½½105,05710-4,10Open
56IMRaja Harshit2419IND10½11001½5,05510-4,00Open
77IMKrishna Teja N2356IND1001101015,07410-6,80Open
94FMShailesh Dravid2325IND0110½01½15,066204,80Open
12WIMChitlange Sakshi2279IND1½½½½½1105,52240-29,60Girls
21WIMMahalakshmi M2213IND½1½1½½0½04,54720-16,00Girls
32WIMVarshini V2173IND101½011116,582022,80Girls
36WIMIvana Maria Furtado2144IND1½10½½0014,544204,40Girls
55WCMIsha Sharma2012IND10½0111015,51940118,80Girls
65Meenal Gupta1963IND½011½10105,03540110,40Girls

Isha Sharma makes her second WIM norm at the tournament!

Contact Us