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World Junior 04: Harsha Bharathakoti loses his lead

by Aditya Pai - 17/11/2017

Tournament leaders were halved from four to two after the fourth round of the World Junior Championship. The only Indian among the tournament leaders, IM Harsha Bharathakoti, slipped down after his loss to the Russian FM Aleksey Sorokin. On the bright side, however, R Praggnanandhaa, the 12-year-old IM from Chennai crushed the top seed of the tournament, Jorden van Foreest with surgeon-like precision. Another important win was scored by GM Murali Karthikeyan against the local GM Luca Moroni Jr. Round 4 report.

Quite a day it was in Tarvisio yesterday. As per the weather report, it was partly sunny. Perhaps, even the sun was peeking through the contours of clouds to get a glimpse of the happenings at the World Junior Chess Championship as its yellow haze illuminated the snow-clad mountains.  After all, the action was nailbiting!

This might be what it looked like | Image Source

On board two, Harsha Bharathakoti had the white pieces against the Russian FM Aleksey Sorokin. Harsha had won all of his last three games and just overall this year he has been on a roll. But Sorokin turned out to be a tough nut to crack for Harsha. Essaying the Gruenfeld Defence with the black pieces, Sorokin was able to generate strong initiative on the queenside and centre. On move 26, Harsha missed a finesse that could have consolidated his position.and things quickly went south after this.

Harsha suffered his first loss in round 4 but we are sure he will bounce back in the upcoming rounds. | Image: Ruggero Percivaldi

Even though one player slipped from the top, two others won their games brilliantly and maintained their joint second spot. Sitting right beside Harsha, on board three was the 12-year-old R Praggnanandhaa. He was paired against the top seed of the tournament, Jorden van Foreest.

Even though he is only 12 years old playing against much older and experienced players, Praggna is a force to be reckoned with! | Photo: Lennart Ootes

With the white pieces, Praggnanandhaa went for the much in vogue Italian Opening. Soon the players reached a typical position where black had good centre control while white had attacking prospects on the kingside. But just because he had good attacking chances, Praggnanandhaa did not rush things like many other 12-year-olds would. He showed great maturity and skill to outplay his opponent positionally. You can find a detailed analysis of the game by IM Sagar Shah here.

Video analysis of the game by IM Sagar Shah
Murali Karthikeyan is the second Indian player on the joint second spot. | Image Source: Official website

On board 7, Murali Karthikeyan went for a King's Indian Attack against Luca Moroni Jr. Quite unusually, there wasn't a single exchange of a piece or even a pawn for the first 20 moves. But when an exchange did finally take place, the Indian ended up with a superior position and an extra pawn to the good. Once he had the advantage, Karthikeyan didn't let it slip by. After a few skirmishes, the players entered an endgame where Karthikeyan had an outside passer in a rook endgame which he successfully converted in his favour.

After his first-round loss to Pavle Dimic, Aravindh Chithambaram has bounced back strongly with three consecutive wins. In round 4, he beat IM Jorge Marcos Gomes Sanchez from Cuba. | Image: Amruta Mokal

Results of Round 4

Bo.No. NameRtgPts.ResultPts.NameRtg No.
145GMKobo Ori246030 - 13GMAlekseenko Kirill256311
247IMHarsha Bharathakoti244530 - 13FMSorokin Aleksey248332
326IMPraggnanandhaa R25091 - 0GMVan Foreest Jorden26161
42GMOparin Grigoriy26061 - 0IMTriapishko Alexandr250828
54GMSunilduth Lyna Narayanan2585½ - ½IMLomasov Semen249030
636IMVan Foreest Lucas24740 - 1GMTari Aryan25815
76GMKarthikeyan Murali25781 - 0GMMoroni Luca Jr250629
812GMMartirosyan Haik M.25611 - 0IMGholami Aryan248331
914GMLiang Awonder25581 - 0IMMorozov Nichita246743
1042IMChristiansen Johan-Sebastian2468½ - ½GMBai Jinshi255317
1118GMShevchenko Kirill2550½ - ½IMLobanov Sergei243549
1220GMSarana Alexey25431 - 0IMHaria Ravi236477
1371IMMakhnev Denis23790 - 1IMXu Xiangyu254321
1465FMBegmuratov Alisher24010 - 1GMYuffa Daniil252723
1544IMDragnev Valentin246121 - 02GMSvane Rasmus25873
1654IMGomez Sanchez Jorge Marcos242620 - 12GMAravindh Chithambaram Vr.25727


Rank after 4 rounds

Rk.SNo NameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 wwew-weKrtg+/-
111GMAlekseenko KirillRUS25634,00,08,09,524,042,731,271012,7
232FMSorokin AlekseyRUS24834,00,06,57,524,042,371,631016,3
36GMKarthikeyan MuraliIND25783,50,08,010,023,03,52,700,80108,0
423GMYuffa DaniilRUS25273,50,07,59,023,03,52,820,68106,8
26IMPraggnanandhaa RIND25093,50,07,59,023,03,52,391,111011,1
62GMOparin GrigoriyRUS26063,50,07,58,523,03,53,050,45104,5
721IMXu XiangyuCHN25433,50,07,09,023,03,52,890,61106,1
812GMMartirosyan Haik M.ARM25613,50,07,08,023,03,52,720,78107,8
20GMSarana AlexeyRUS25433,50,07,08,023,03,52,900,60106,0
1014GMLiang AwonderUSA25583,50,06,58,023,03,52,810,69106,9
115GMTari AryanNOR25813,50,06,07,523,03,52,900,60106,0
1230IMLomasov SemenRUS24903,00,09,011,022,032,180,82108,2
1317GMBai JinshiCHN25533,00,08,511,022,032,780,22102,2
1449IMLobanov SergeiRUS24353,00,08,59,522,032,410,59105,9
1545GMKobo OriISR24603,00,08,59,513,032,270,73107,3
164GMSunilduth Lyna NarayananIND25853,00,08,010,522,032,730,27102,7
1747IMHarsha BharathakotiIND24453,00,08,09,513,032,460,54105,4
1838IMBasso Pier LuigiITA24703,00,08,09,023,032,790,21102,1
1956FMLiu YanCHN24223,00,08,09,022,031,841,161011,6
2018GMShevchenko KirillUKR25503,00,07,59,522,032,850,15101,5


Round 5 Pairing

Bo.No. NameRtgPts.ResultPts.NameRtg No.
111GMAlekseenko Kirill256344FMSorokin Aleksey248332
214GMLiang Awonder2558GMOparin Grigoriy26062
35GMTari Aryan2581GMSarana Alexey254320
421IMXu Xiangyu2543GMKarthikeyan Murali25786
523GMYuffa Daniil2527GMMartirosyan Haik M.256112
64GMSunilduth Lyna Narayanan25853IMPraggnanandhaa R250926
77GMAravindh Chithambaram Vr.257233IMBasso Pier Luigi247038
89GMDonchenko Alexander256733IMLivaic Leon247040
937IMZanan Evgeny247133GMBoruchovsky Avital256510
1017GMBai Jinshi255333IMDragnev Valentin246144
1142IMChristiansen Johan-Sebastian246833GMShevchenko Kirill255018
1230IMLomasov Semen249033GMKobo Ori246045
1333GMGagare Shardul248233IMHarsha Bharathakoti244547
1449IMLobanov Sergei243533IMLi Di247934
151GMVan Foreest Jorden26163FMLiu Yan242256


About the Author

Aditya Pai is an ardent chess fan, avid reader, and a film lover. He has been an advertising copywriter and is currently pursuing a Master's in English Literature at the University of Mumbai. He loves all things German and is learning the language. He has also written scripts for experimental films.


Previous Reports on World Junior Championship

Coverage in English

World Juniors 01: Event opens with early shocks

World Junior 02: Four on a perfect score

World Junior 03: Only one Indian remains at the top

Praggnanandhaa stuns top seed Jorden van Foreest at the World Juniors

Coverage in Hindi

विश्व जूनियर चैंपियनशिप :भारत की युवा उम्मीद !!

विश्व जूनियर चैंपियनशिप 2017 - अभी तो ये आरंभ है !

Coverage on Firstpost

World Juniors: Harsha Bharathakoti quickly off the mark, Aravindh Chithambaram suffers shock defeat