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World Youth 2019 Rd.10: How many medals can India win?

by Amruta Mokal - 12/10/2019

The penultimate round of the World Youth Championships 2019 was filled with action. Praggnanandhaa continued his sprint towards the title in under-18 open section by winning his game against Paulius Pultinevicius. Shant Sargsyan was saved by the skin of his teeth against Mitrabha Guha and is still right on the heels of Praggnanandhaa. Polina Shuvalova keeps her lead intact in girls under-18. Nazerke Nurgali has finally managed to edge out Leya Garifullina in girls under-16 and Rudik Makarian has taken the sole lead in under-16 open. Aydin Suleymanli from Azerbaijan leads in the open under-14 while Bat-Erdene Mungunzuul has come strongly to the top as the sole leader in girls under-14. Last round to be played on 12th of October when the 18 medal winners will be decided. 

The penultimate round is always quite tense as there is a lot at stake! Players who are playing on the top boards and can squeeze out a full point here are often excellently placed for winning a medal. What are the chances of Indians winning a medal?


Under-14 open: Srihari and Abinandhan are on places two and three. They have excellent chances of winning a medal. But both of them have strong opponents. While Srihari faces the Vietnamese prodigy Vo Pham Thien Phuc, Abinandhan will take on Sreeshwan Maralakshikari, the top seed!


Under-14 girls: This is a section where India's chances of medal look dim. But Divya and Rakshitta are on places five and six and they are facing opponents who have more points than them. If both of them can win, and some results pan out in their favour, they may win a medal here!


Under-16 open: Aronyak Ghosh is on the second spot and is facing the strong Iranian IM Arash Daghli. Aronyak has good chances to win a medal and an outside chance also lies from Kushagra Mohan who is currently on 6th place.


Under-16 girls: Saina Salonika and Akshaya Bommini Mounika are on places four and five. They are in with a chance to win bronze, as the gold and silver in this section is out of their reach now.


Under-18 open: Praggnanandhaa is in sole lead. He also has the white pieces and should be able to take back home the gold medal. Arjun Kalyan is on 6th place and if he manages to win against GM Shant Sargsyan today, he can win a medal.


Under-18 girls: Vantika Agrawal has the best chance here as she is currently on second position behind Polina Shuvalova.


All in all it seems like Pragg, Aronyak, Vantika, Srihari or Abinandhan have excellent chances. We can expect four medals here, but if things work out well, then the tally could even grow!


Let's have a look at how things panned out in round 10: 


Standings after Round 10 of under-18 Open

Rk.SNo NameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 
12GMPraggnanandhaa RIND25678,50,059,063,057
21GMSargsyan ShantARM25808,00,060,566,056
33IMGholami AryanIRI25547,50,058,062,546
412IMBuckels ValentinGER24427,00,055,561,055
517IMDavtyan ArturARM24187,00,055,058,555
68IMArjun KalyanIND24837,00,054,058,556
715IMMitrabha GuhaIND24346,50,058,063,044
816IMAditya MittalIND24306,50,057,562,554
97IMPultinevicius PauliusLTU25036,50,054,559,055
104IMGazik ViktorSVK25466,50,052,556,565

The team of officials inaugurate round 10 on the top board of the under-18 section. | Photo: Amruta Mokal | Photo: Amruta Mokal

No draws on top boards! Praggnanandhaa beat Pultinevicius and confirmed a medal for India whereas Sargsyan Shant beat Mitraba Guha taking the second spot for now | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Praggnanandhaa vs Pultinevicius

c4!? was a well timed decision by Pragg. You may feel that after dxc4 bxc4 b4, the pawn on c4 is weak and the knight on c5 is very strongly placed. But Pragg had seen it beforehand that the knight on c5 is not stable and can be evicted with Nb3, when either Black has to take on b3 and give White a protected passer or move from c5, when the c-pawn starts marching down the board.

c6 by Pragg in this position was a mistake because Black could take Rxc6 Rdxc6 Bxc6 Bxa6 Ra8! Bxc8 Rxa5 Rxc6 and it seems like White is simply a piece up, but...

...b3!! This is the point that is easy to miss! This would help Black to save the draw!

Pultinevicius took on c6 with his bishop and after Bxa6 everything was fine for White. Pragg went on to win the game.

With a great interest and stamina explaining the game for the viewers and never disappointing someone for autographs and selfies! | Photo: Amruta Mokal
Praggnanandhaa explains his round 10 win

For his efforts Praggnanandhaa wins the best game of the day award by ChessBase!

Shant Sargsyan scored a lucky victory in the tenth round. He was completely lost in the endgame against Mitrabha Guha. But Mitrabha hallucinated for a move and it was all over!


Guha vs Sargsyan

White is completely winning here. He is a pawn up and has the bishop pair

After a few inaccuracies it was already time to start thinking about a draw here with Bxd2 followed by taking on c6. However, Mitrabha took on c6 allowing Black to queen. What was the point of his play? Isn't the bishop on d5 hanging with a check? Well, he played his bishop back to f3.

But after Qc2 he had to throw in the towel as cxb7 is met with Bd4! White can make a queen, but there is mate coming up! Mitrabha resigned.

Standings after Round 10 of under-18 Girls

Rk.SNo NamesexFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 
11WIMShuvalova PolinawRUS24128,00,057,561,056
26WIMVantika AgrawalwIND22837,50,058,563,055
37WGMObolentseva AlexandrawRUS22827,00,056,561,554
419WFMUrh ZalawSLO21057,00,054,556,056
513WFMSerikbay AsselwKAZ22087,00,054,058,055
63FMSchulze LarawGER23276,50,056,562,044
72WIMMunkhzul TurmunkhwMGL23326,50,056,060,053
810Yan TianqiwCHN22366,50,054,558,566
94WFMAfonasieva AnnawRUS23126,50,054,557,556
1018WFMKucharska HonoratawPOL21146,50,053,057,044

Polina Shuvalova maintained her half point lead after defeating Lara Schulze on board One | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Vantika Agrawal chases the top spot with a crucial win over Yan Tianqi. | Photo: Amruta Mokal
Vantika Agrawal speaks about her win over Yan Tianqi

Standings of Round 10 of under-16 Open

Rk.SNo NameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 
17IMMakarian RudikRUS23868,00,060,064,057
28CMAronyak GhoshIND23807,50,057,061,045
313IMPogosyan StefanRUS23647,50,056,560,555
45FMDaghli ArashIRI23877,50,055,059,557
51IMNiemann Hans MokeUSA24397,00,059,564,056
620CMKushagra MohanIND23097,00,059,563,054
719FMCardoso Cardoso Jose GabrielCOL23137,00,051,055,057
817FMMoksh Amit DoshiIND23286,50,057,061,555
99IMRaja Rithvik RIND23696,50,055,059,554
1023Bilych OlexiyUKR22816,50,054,058,056

The American Hans Niemann suffered a loss against Arash Daghli of Iran | Photo: Amruta Mokal

It was a King's Indian where White seemed to have made early inroads on the queenside. But it turns out that although White broke through on the queenside, the real action was on the kingside where Arash Daghli struck with his pawns, typical of the King's Indian.

Rudik Makarian sailed ahead with his victory against Harshavardan G. He is now the sole leader in under-16 open | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Standings of Round 10 of under-16 Girls

Rk.SNo NamesexFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 
14WFMNurgali NazerkewKAZ21948,50,058,563,557
21WCMGarifullina LeyawRUS23308,00,061,566,556
37WFMMahdian AnoushawIRI21037,00,060,065,055
411WFMSalonika SainawIND20517,00,058,562,555
514WFMBommini Mounika AkshayawIND20177,00,057,561,065
62WFMBeydullayeva GovharwAZE22897,00,057,061,056
722WFMDemchenko SvitlanawCAN19537,00,055,058,056
85WFMBulatova KamaliyawRUS21817,00,054,558,055
910Zhang XiaowCHN20537,00,051,555,555
1012WFMHajiyeva LamanwAZE20386,50,055,560,055

The draw between the top board Zhang Xiao and Garifullina Leya made it possible for Nurgali to get the sole lead after defeating Hajiyeva Laman on board two | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Nazerke Nurgali from Kazakhstan is the sole leader in girls under-16 going into the final round. She had some nervy moments in the tenth round, but finally managed to come out on top! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Nurgali vs Hajieva

Black to play and win!

Standings of Round 10 of under-14 open

Rk.SNo NameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 
13IMSuleymanli AydinAZE24268,00,062,568,056
212FMSrihari L RIND22837,50,061,564,557
355Abinandhan RIND18307,50,060,066,056
417Kolay AlexUSA21647,50,058,563,046
513FMMorgunov MarcAUT22807,50,057,561,555
660Vo Pham Thien PhucVIE18077,50,056,061,055
71FMSreeshwan MaralakshikariIND24497,00,058,563,056
853Shah JeetIND18447,00,052,555,557
94FMTsvetkov AndreyRUS23827,00,049,052,046
1029Amanzhol SultanKAZ20327,00,048,051,057

Aydin Suleman drew with Vo Pham Thien Phuc who is on a blazing streak by increasing 256 points and a whopping performance of 2438! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Suleymanli vs Vo Pham

The game saw many ups and downs, but in this final position where the players repeated their moves with Qe1 Rf1 Qe5 Rf5, Vo Pham (Black) could have continued the game with Qd6! The main point being that Rxd5 is met with ...Re8! and Black is winning! 
Jeet Shah, the local boy from Mumbai, has played really well and is gaining 170 Elo points

Standings of Round 10 of under-14 Girls

Rk.SNo NamesexFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 
116WCMMungunzul Bat-ErdenewMGL19128,00,055,058,557
25Roebers ElinewNED20837,50,060,065,046
34WFMNasyrova EkaterinawRUS21377,50,058,563,056
48WFMKamalidenova MeruertwKAZ20257,50,055,560,556
51WIMDivya DeshmukhwIND23587,00,060,065,556
62WIMRakshitta RaviwIND23107,00,060,064,555
730Velpula SarayuwIND17177,00,057,060,557
83WFMAllahverdiyeva AyanwAZE21607,00,055,058,557
926Bhagyashree PatilwIND18027,00,054,058,556
1021WCMInce Safiye OykuwTUR18406,50,058,562,555

Eline Roebers was defeated by Bat-Erdene Mungunzul who now becomes a sole leader with 8.0/10 for the first time in this event | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The Indian duo who drew with each other is still in contention for the medal and will face the leaders in the last round | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The Chess Players flaunting and styling their chess! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Mr Samir Yagnik, the executive director of Electra EV with the tournament director Ravindra Dongre | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Three different professions come together! Chess is fun! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Talks by Experts

IM Sagar Shah was the final speaker on 11th of October and he spoke about "What stopped him from becoming a GM"
The entire talk by Sagar can be replayed here

The session was attended by many coaches and parents, including Sagar's parents as well!

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