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Six new World Champions crowned at the World Youth 2019

by Sagar Shah - 13/10/2019

Six new World Youth Champions were crowned on 12th of October 2019 - Aydin Suleymanli and Meruert Kamalidenova won the under-14 open and girls section respectively, under-16 was won by Rudik Makarian and Leya Garifullina and under-18 titles went to Praggnanandhaa and Polina Shuvalova. How tense was the last round? In four sections things went as per plan, however in the under-14 girls and under-16 girls everything changed completely in the final round. Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal, who were present at the venue in Mumbai, bring you a detailed report of how things panned out on the final day of the World Youth Championships 2019. 

A picture speaks thousand words! The final round stress! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The last round of any event either goes as per plan or the final standings are turned completely upside down. One could say that in four sections of the World Youth 2019 things went as per plan, while in two sections we had surprise champions. First let's have a look at where things went as per plan!

Under-18 girls

Polina Shuvalova agreed to a draw against Assel Serikbay in the final round and nearly confirmed her gold medal | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The onus now was on Vantika Agrawal, whether to play for a win or not.

Vantika had a small edge against Obolentseva and accurate play could have given her good winning chances. However, she didn't play up to the mark and had to agree to a draw. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Here Black could have played ...Ra7 or ...Rb8, Vantika went for Ra7 but it wasn't the best. Rab8 would have been better, and Black would have had some winning chances here

Under-18 open:

Praggnanandhaa was leading with a half point margin going into the last round. The only person who could catch up with him if he drew his game was Shant Sargsyan. Shant was facing Indian IM Arjun Kalyan. Arjun was extremely solid and didn't give his opponent any chances. Seeing that Sargsyan's game was ending in a draw, Praggnanandhaa agreed for a draw and became the under-18 world champion by a half point margin.


Pragg vs Buckels

Pragg had a chance to fight for an advantage here with the move Rad1. He instead played Qc2. The main point after Rad1 is that you cannot give up your queen for the two rooks in the position. It would give White a clear advantage. Hence, after Rad1 Rexe5 is the natural move and after Qc8+ Kh7 Rxd4 Rxe1+ Kh2 Rxd4 White retains a small edge with Qf5+ and Qxa5.

Shant Sargsyan came to the game with all his fighting spirit, but his opponent Arjun Kalyan was well prepared  | Photo: Amruta Mokal
Interview with Praggnanandhaa minutes after he became the under-18 world champion

A happy mother after her son's huge success! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Calling his father back home in Chennai! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Under-16 open:

Rudik Makarian (right) the leader in the under-16 open section

Rudik had a half a point lead over three players. His opponent Stefan Pogosyants, Aronyak Ghosh and Arash Daghli. Nothing out of the ordinary happened. On the top board Makarian and Pogosyants agreed to a draw and so did Daghli and Ghosh.

Aronyak tried fight hard by going for the Alekhine's Defence, but the game was eventually drawn

Thus, Rudik Makarian won the gold, Stefan Pogosyants the silver and Aronyak Ghosh took home the bronze.

Under-14 open:

Aydin Suleymanli was in the lead and he continued his good form to even win the last game. He was the only player in the event who won his section by a full point margin!

Aydin Suleymanli won a nice game against Sultan Amanzhol in the last round | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Amanzhol vs Suleymanli

This bishop endgame looks drawish in nature, but Black is close to winning. The reasons for the same are better pawn structure and Black king's ability to reach the d5 square gaining more terrain.

On board two Srihari drew his game against Vietnamese Vo Pham Thien Phuc and Sreeshwan managed to beat Abinandhan. This resulted in the lads taking the silver and bronze respectively. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Under-14 girls:

Bat-Erdene Mungunzul was the sole leader with 8.0/10. She was followed by three players on 7.5/10. They were Eline Roebers, Ekaterina Nasyrova and Meruert Kamalidenova. Bat-Erdene playing on top board was toppled by Rakshitta Ravi, while Ekaterina Nasyrova was beaten by Divya Deshmukh. Meruert Kamalidenova managed to beat Eline Roebers and thus became the champion of the section! Rakshitta and Divya who were behind Ekaterina and Eline managed to move ahead. Divya won the silver and Rakshitta got the bronze.

Rakshitta Ravi managed to completely outplay her opponent with the black pieces in a positional battle | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Eline Roebers lost to the eventual champion Meruert Kamalidenova. On their adjoining board Divya managed to beat Ekaterina Nasyrova. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Victory often goes to the brave! This was perfectly illustrated by Kamalidenova who played the Staunton Gambit against the Dutch. Roebers was unprepared and the Kazakh girl managed to win the gold.

Divya had a slightly minus position out of the opening. But she managed to hold her position together and when the time was right, made some powerful moves to win her game against Nasyrova.

Under-16 girls

Going into the final round Nazerke Nurgali was leading with a score of 8.5/10. She was followed by Leya Garifullina at 8.0/10. Leya's game unexpectedly ended in a draw. It seemed as if Nurgali would win the title. All she needed was a draw. But she lost! And this pushed her back to the second spot as Garifullina overtook her in terms of tiebreak score.

Govhar Beydullayeva played an excellent game with the white pieces in the high pressure situation and beat the leader Nazerke Nurgali | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Leya Garifullina was better almost throughout the game but Svitlana Demchenko didn't give up. She managed to hold her opponent to a draw. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Closing ceremony:

The closing ceremony hall was jam packed | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Many International players carried back with them a flavour of our country! Here, Elene Kostava flaunts her ChessBase India t-shirt | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The settings at the closing ceremony with the dignitaries on the dais | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Two huge pillars of Pragg's success - his coach R.B. Ramesh and his mother Nagalakshmi | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The three Russian gold medalists - (left to right) - Rudik Makarian (under-16 gold), Polina Shuvalova (under-18 girls gold) and Leya Garifullina (under-16 girls gold)  | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The lads who made India proud - seven medals in all | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Three golds and one silver and one bronze for Russia! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The Ukrainian arbiter Olexandr Prohorov had become one with Indian culture in his black kurta | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The team of arbiters led by Takis Nikolopoulos were extremely efficient and the tournament witnessed absolutely no disputes or appeals | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Under-14 Open

Gold - Aydin Suleymanli (center), Silver - Srihari LR (left), Bronze - Sreeshwan Maralakshikari (right) | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Fourth place - Alex Kolay (second from left), fifth - Marc Morgunov (left) and sixth - Vo Pham Thien Phuc (right) | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Vo Pham Thien Phuc gained the highest number of Elo points among participants of all groups - a whopping 272 points!

Final rank in under-14 girls

Rk.SNo NameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 
IMSuleymanli AydinAZE24269,00,073,079,067
FMSrihari L RIND22838,00,073,577,067
FMSreeshwan MaralakshikariIND24498,00,072,077,067
Kolay AlexUSA21648,00,071,576,556
FMMorgunov MarcAUT22808,00,070,075,055
Vo Pham Thien PhucVIE18078,00,070,075,055
FMTsvetkov AndreyRUS23828,00,058,562,057
Abinandhan RIND18307,51,075,582,056
FMMurzin VolodarRUS24337,50,063,568,566
Samant Aditya SIND23347,00,069,073,565

Under-14 Girls

Gold - Meruert Kamalidenova (center), Silver - Divya Deshmukh (left) and Bronze - Rakshitta Ravi (right) | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Fourth - Bat-Erdene Mungunzul (second from right), fifth - Ayan Allahverdiyeva (right) and sixth - Eline Roebers (left)  | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Final rank in under-14 girls

Rk.SNo NamesexFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 
WFMKamalidenova MeruertwKAZ20258,50,068,073,057
WIMDivya DeshmukhwIND23588,00,073,078,557
WIMRakshitta RaviwIND23108,00,073,077,566
WCMMungunzul Bat-ErdenewMGL19128,00,069,073,057
WFMAllahverdiyeva AyanwAZE21608,00,067,571,558
Roebers ElinewNED20837,50,073,578,556
WFMNasyrova EkaterinawRUS21377,50,071,076,566
Velpula SarayuwIND17177,50,070,574,567
Wikar MartynawPOL19697,50,068,073,565
Poliakova VarvarawBLR20427,50,068,073,057

Under-16 girls:

Gold - Leya Garifullina (center), Silver - Nazerke Nurgali (left) and Bronze - Anousha Mahdian (right) | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The fourth spot went to Govhar Beydullayeva (right), fifth - Svitlana Demchenko (second from right), and sixth - Saina Salonika (left) | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Final rank in under-16 girls

Rk.SNo NamesexFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 
WCMGarifullina LeyawRUS23308,50,574,580,556
WFMNurgali NazerkewKAZ21948,50,572,577,567
WFMMahdian AnoushawIRI21038,01,073,078,066
WFMBeydullayeva GovharwAZE22898,00,071,076,057
WFMDemchenko SvitlanawCAN19537,50,070,074,066
WFMSalonika SainawIND20517,50,069,574,065
WFMBulatova KamaliyawRUS21817,50,067,572,055
WFMLoskutova ViktoriyawRUS21497,50,066,571,566
Zhang XiaowCHN20537,50,063,068,065
WFMBommini Mounika AkshayawIND20177,00,070,074,065

Under - 16 Open

Gold - Rudik Makarian (center), Silver - Stefan Pogosyan (left) and Bronze - Aronyak Ghosh (right) | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Fourth place - Arash Daghli (left), Fifth - Jose Gabriel Cardoso (right), Sixth - Kushagra Mohan (second from right)  | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Final rankings in under-16 open

Rk.SNo NameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 
17IMMakarian RudikRUS23868,50,072,077,067
213IMPogosyan StefanRUS23648,00,069,574,555
38CMAronyak GhoshIND23808,00,067,572,055
45FMDaghli ArashIRI23878,00,067,071,557
519FMCardoso Cardoso Jose GabrielCOL23138,00,060,565,058
620CMKushagra MohanIND23097,50,071,075,564
723Bilych OlexiyUKR22817,50,065,569,557
814Harshavardhan G BIND23627,50,061,565,557
91IMNiemann Hans MokeUSA24397,00,072,077,566
102FMKacharava NikoloziGEO24287,00,067,572,064


Under-18 girls

Gold - Vantika Agrawal (center) Silver - Polina Shuvalova (left) Bronze - Alexandra Obolentseva (right) | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The fourth place went to Lara Schulz (second from right), fifth placed was Assel Serikbay (right) and sixth place went to Zala Urh (left) | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Final rankings of under 18 girls

Rk.SNo NamesexFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 
WIMShuvalova PolinawRUS24128,50,069,574,066
WIMVantika AgrawalwIND22838,00,070,576,065
WGMObolentseva AlexandrawRUS22827,50,070,075,054
FMSchulze LarawGER23277,50,069,575,055
WFMSerikbay AsselwKAZ22087,50,068,572,555
WFMUrh ZalawSLO21057,50,066,067,556
WFMMakhija AashnawIND20847,00,068,072,564
WFMAfonasieva AnnawRUS23127,00,068,072,056
WIMMuetsch AnnmariewGER22667,00,066,071,056
WIMMunkhzul TurmunkhwMGL23327,00,065,570,053

Under-18 open

Gold - R. Praggnanandhaa (center), Silver - Shant Sargsyan (left), Bronze - Artur Davtyan (right)  | Photo: Amruta Mokal
The Indian national anthem and the mood in the hall when Praggnanandhaa won the under-18 gold

Fourth place went to Valentin Buckels (second from right), Fifth - Aryan Gholami (right) and sixth - Arjun Kalyan (left) | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Standings after round 11 in under-18 open

Rk.SNo NameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 
GMPraggnanandhaa RIND25679,00,071,075,557
GMSargsyan ShantARM25808,50,071,077,066
IMDavtyan ArturARM24188,00,067,571,056
IMBuckels ValentinGER24427,50,069,575,065
IMGholami AryanIRI25547,50,069,574,056
IMArjun KalyanIND24837,50,068,573,556
IMPultinevicius PauliusLTU25037,50,065,570,556
Wang Shixu BCHN23707,50,064,569,066
IMRahul Srivatshav PIND24607,50,057,562,057
Bykov OlegRUS23707,50,055,059,555

The organizers celebrated Pragg's success in a unique way | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The award for the best team went to Russia followed by India and then Kazakhstan | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Medal Tally

Rk. FEDFederationgoldsilverbronzeTotal

India won the highest number of medals but Russia was the best federation as they won three golds!

Norm makers:

As many as 13 norms were made at the event. Here is the list of norm makers:

1. Aryan Gholami - GM norm (also became a GM)

2. Ramazan Zhalmakhanov - IM norm

3. Wang Shixu - IM norm

4. Vladyslav Sydoryka - IM norm

5. Sibi Visal - IM norm

6. Aronyak Ghosh - IM norm

7. Kushagra Mohan - IM norm

8. Lara Schulze - WIM norm

9. Anna Afonasieva - WIM norm

10. Yan Tianqi - WIM norm

11. Assel Serikbay - WIM norm

12. Zala Urh - WIM norm

13. Aashna Makhija - WIM norm (Became India's latest WIM)

Hardik Vaidya the Master of Ceremony took a final selfie before the event came to a formal close! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The World Youth Championships were held for the first time on Indian soil. It proved to be a great exposure and learning experience for Indian kids. | Photo: World Youth Chess 2019

The ChessBase India team

ChessBase India worked hard at the event to bring you all the reports, videos and analysis

14-year-old Avathanshu Bhat did some phenomenal journalistic work at the venue. His series - the board of many colours was a big hit! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Supriya Bhat, ChessBase India's Business Development Manager catered to every participant who visited the ChessBase India stall at the venue! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

All the reports from Mumbai were written by IM Sagar Shah and the photography was done by Amruta Mokal | Photo: Niklesh Jain

We hope you enjoyed our coverage. Next stop World Juniors 2019 in New Delhi from 15-27th October 2019.

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