WJCC 2015: Duda and Abdumalik lead

by Sagar Shah
9/11/2015 – World Junior Championships for Open section and girls is taking place from the 31st of August to 16th of September 2015 in the city of Khanty Mansiysk, Russia. After eight rounds of play Jan-Krzysztof Duda and fifteen-year-old Zhansaya Abdumalik are in the sole lead half a point ahead of the field. The latter started with 7.0/7 and a rating performance of 3016!! Big illustrated report.

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WJCC 2015: Duda and Abdumalik lead

There are 62 players from 33 countries in the Open section, including nine grandmasters and 22 International Masters. The average rating of the tournament is 2351. The girls section witnesses 48 entries from 27 countries, with two International Masters, and four WGMs taking part. The average Elo of the girl’s tournament is 2154. It is a thirteen round event with one round every day, with the 9th of September being the rest day.

Going into the eight round, both the sections have a sole leader – Jan-Krzysztof Duda (2645) in the open with 6.5/8, and Zhansaya Abdumalik (2380) in the girls who is crushing the competition with 7.5/8.

There is something that relates World Juniors to these four gentlemen. Can you tell us what?
Boris Spassky, Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov and Vishy Anand are the four World Champions
to have won the World Junior Championships as well!

It is not a given that the World Junior Champion will make it big in his career. Take for example players like Peter Acs, Zaven Andriasian, Adly Ahmed, Abhijeet Gupta, Daiusz Swiercz, Alexander Ipatov who aren’t currently in the world top 100 players. But then there are talents like Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Pentala Harikrishna, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Dmitry Andreikin, Yu Yangyi who have all not only crossed 2700, but are very close to breaking into the top ten players of the world. Note: The World Junior Champions considered in this paragraph are only the ones who have won the title since the year 2000.

Trying hard to remember the preparation! Do you recognize her?

It’s Alexandra Goryachkina, the 2014 World Junior girls champion
(Open winner was China’s Lu Shanglei on the right)

After winning the girls title consecutively in 2013 and 2014 and also becoming the 2015 Russian women’s champion Goryachkina rightly decided to fight it out in the open section. This ambitious approach is the best way for her to improve as a player and it will quickly take her closer to the full-fledged grandmaster title. The 1998 born Russian is doing decently with a score of 4.5/8 with two wins, five draws, and one loss to GM Benjamin Bok.

It’s Jan-Krzysztof Duda (2645) who is the sole leader in the open section with a score of 6.5/8

Performing at a rating of 2749 and gaining ten Elo points, Duda is surely one of the most talented youngsters in the chess world today. Starting off as top seed, he won the first round against IM Misratdin Iskandrov (2405) but was slowed down due to draws in round two and three against IM Shardul Gagare (2469) and IM Daniil Yuffa (2476). Then he picked up speed and won four rounds in a row against strong players like FM Ufuk Suzen Arat (2441), FM Dmitry Gordievsky (2511), GM Karen Grigoryan (2609) and IM Jorden Van Foreest (2540). A very nice positional pawn sacrifice was seen in his game against Gordievsky.

[Event "World Junior Open 2015"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"] [Date "2015.09.06"] [Round "5.2"] [White "Duda, Jan-Krzysztof"] [Black "Gordievsky, Dmitry"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B51"] [WhiteElo "2645"] [BlackElo "2511"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "59"] [EventDate "2015.09.02"] {Competitively Duda's wins against Grigoryan or Van Foreest might have been more important, but aesthetically I like this game very much.} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Nd7 4. d4 Ngf6 5. e5 (5. Nc3 {is the main line.}) 5... Qa5+ (5... cxd4 $5 6. Qxd4 (6. exf6 Qa5+ $15) 6... dxe5 7. Qxe5 (7. Nxe5 a6 {Black is completely fine.}) 7... a6 8. Bxd7+ Bxd7 9. Nc3 Rc8 10. O-O e6 11. Qg3 $14 {is slightly better for White according to Gormally.}) 6. Nc3 Ne4 7. Rb1 $1 d5 ( 7... Nxc3 8. bxc3 Qxa2 9. Rb2 Qa5 10. O-O $18) (7... a6 8. Bxd7+ Bxd7 9. O-O $14) 8. e6 $1 {A beautiful pawn sacrifice. All of black pieces are now clamped in especially the bishop on f8.} fxe6 9. O-O Nd6 10. Bxd7+ (10. Ba4 {would have been even stronger.} b5 11. dxc5 $16) 10... Bxd7 11. dxc5 Qxc5 12. Be3 Qc7 13. Bd4 O-O-O 14. Re1 Nf5 15. Be5 Qb6 16. Nd4 Nxd4 17. Bxd4 Qa6 18. Be5 {[%csl Rf8,Rh8] Look at the poor guys on f8 and h8!} Be8 19. b4 d4 20. b5 Qa5 21. Bxd4 e5 22. Rxe5 e6 {Black gives up a few pawns to activate his pieces but ends up in a lost position.} 23. Qg4 Qa3 24. Re3 Qa5 25. Qxe6+ Bd7 26. Qc4+ Kb8 27. Be5+ Ka8 28. Nd5 Rc8 29. Nc7+ Kb8 30. Rd3 (30. Rd3 Bf5 31. Ne6+ Bd6 32. Bxd6+ Ka8 33. Nc7+ $18) 1-0

A powerful game by Duda. We would urge the inquisitive reader to check out Daniel Gormally’s analysis of his game against Cecile Haussernot from Hastings 2015 where he prepared this same idea of 7.Rb1 with the help of the Komodo engine and also mentioned this positional pawn sacrifice with 8.e6!

Ulvi Bajarani of Azerbaijan moved to joint second spot after a strong seventh round win:

[Event "World Junior Open 2015"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"] [Date "2015.09.08"] [Round "7.2"] [White "Grigoryan, Karen H"] [Black "Bajarani, Ulvi"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A04"] [WhiteElo "2609"] [BlackElo "2535"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "86"] [EventDate "2015.09.02"] {Immediately after the opening, Ulvi falls into a lost position but he keeps fighting and soon the tides turn, giving him his chance which he does not miss. } 1. Nf3 f5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 e6 4. O-O d5 {When White has not played d4 yet, employing the Stonewall setup can be a risky idea.} 5. d3 Nc6 6. c4 dxc4 7. d4 $5 Rb8 8. Nc3 b5 $6 {Overambitious play by Black. This way of playing would have been justified had his pawn been on f7. But on f5, it just means that there are too many weaknesses.} 9. Ng5 Ne7 $6 (9... Nxd4 {had to be played.} 10. e3 h6 11. exd4 hxg5 12. Bxg5 {leads to a crazy position but one that is fine for Black.}) 10. e4 $1 {With White being completely developed, opening the position is the right decision.} h6 11. Nf3 g6 (11... fxe4 12. Ne5 $16) 12. exf5 gxf5 13. Ne5 Rb6 14. a4 $1 b4 15. a5 Rb8 16. Na4 (16. Bc6+ $5 Nxc6 17. Nxc6 Qd6 18. Nxb8 bxc3 19. Qa4+ Kf7 20. Nc6 $18 {Gives White a clear advantage as he is an exchange up and the knight is going to sit on the strong e5 square. }) 16... Bg7 17. Nc5 O-O 18. Nxc4 Ne4 19. Nxe4 fxe4 20. Be3 {From this moment onwards Black starts getting active.} (20. Ne5 c5 21. Bf4 cxd4 22. Bxe4 $16 { is a clear advantage to White.}) 20... Ba6 21. Rc1 Qd5 22. b3 Nf5 23. Qg4 h5 $1 24. Qe2 (24. Qxh5 $2 Nxe3 $19) 24... Rf7 25. Qc2 Nxd4 26. Bxd4 Bxc4 (26... Bxd4 $142 27. Bxe4 Qg5 $14) 27. Bxa7 $2 (27. Bxe4 $1 Qxd4 (27... Bxb3 28. Bxd5 Bxc2 29. Bxa7 exd5 30. Bxb8 Bd3 (30... b3 31. a6 $18) 31. Rfd1 Bc4 32. a6 $14) 28. Qxc4 Qxc4 29. Rxc4 $16 {Leads to an endgame with equal pawns but one where Black has too many pawn weaknesses.}) 27... Bd3 $1 {I wonder what Karen missed. } 28. Qc6 Ra8 $1 29. Be3 Bc3 $1 30. Rxc3 (30. Qxd5 exd5 $19 {is a hopeless position for White.}) 30... bxc3 31. Qxc3 Bxf1 32. Bxf1 {White is down two exchanges without sufficient compensation.} Rxa5 33. Bc4 Qd1+ 34. Kg2 Ra1 35. Be2 $2 (35. Bxe6 Qf1#) (35. Qe5 $1 {Would have given White excellent survival chances after} Qf3+ 36. Kh3 Qf5+ 37. Qxf5 Rxf5 38. Bxe6+ Rf7 39. b4 Kf8 40. Bxf7 Kxf7 41. Kh4 Kg6 $15 {Black is better here but the bishop will sit on c5 and it is unclear whether Black can break through.}) 35... Qh1+ $1 36. Kh3 {[#] Here Black has a killer blow. Can you find it?} Rg1 37. Bxh5 Qg2+ (37... Rg7 $1 {With the threat of Qg2 and Qxh2 finishes off the game.}) 38. Kg4 Qf3+ 39. Kh4 Qf6+ 40. Qxf6 Rxf6 41. Kg5 Rf5+ 42. Kg6 Rg2 43. Bg4 Rgxf2 {White was clearly better after the opening but couldn't maintain his advantage. Black made good use of the dynamics in the position and was able to score an important victory. } 0-1

After being 4.5/5, Karen Girgoryan (left) lost two games to Jan-Krzysztof Duda and
Ulvi Bajarani (right). He is currently in ninth place

Russia’s highest rated player at the event, GM Mikhail Antipov, is closing in on the leader with 6.0/8

Top standings after eight rounds

Rk. SNo Ti. Name FED Rtg Pts.  TB2   TB3  Rp
1 1 GM Duda Jan-Krzysztof POL 2645 6.5 33.5 37.0 2749
2 8 GM Antipov Mikhail Al. RUS 2538 6.0 35.5 40.0 2686
3 9 GM Bajarani Ulvi AZE 2535 6.0 34.5 38.0 2683
4 4 GM Bok Benjamin NED 2586 5.5 36.0 40.0 2631
5 5 GM Bluebaum Matthias GER 2580 5.5 33.5 37.0 2621
6 39 IM Akash G IND 2382 5.5 31.5 34.5 2546
7 7 IM Rambaldi Francesco ITA 2540 5.5 30.5 34.0 2595
8 15 GM Abasov Nijat AZE 2511 5.5 28.5 31.0 2556
9 3 GM Grigoryan Karen H. ARM 2609 5.0 38.0 41.5 2620
10 6 IM Van Foreest Jorden NED 2541 5.0 35.5 38.0 2595
11 14 IM Tari Aryan NOR 2518 5.0 34.5 37.5 2568
12 28 IM Loiseau Quentin FRA 2419 5.0 34.0 36.0 2498
13 13 IM Bai Jinshi CHN 2519 5.0 31.5 34.0 2519
14 11 IM Pichot Alan ARG 2528 5.0 31.0 34.0 2475
15 29 IM Tran Tuan Minh VIE 2417 5.0 31.0 32.0 2507
16 19 IM Georgiadis Nico SUI 2484 5.0 30.5 34.0 2484
17 25 IM Laurusas Tomas LTU 2429 5.0 30.0 32.5 2461
18 17 GM Karthikeyan Murali IND 2509 5.0 29.0 31.0 2482

Girls Section

In the girls section, fifteen-year-old Zhansaya Abdumalik is simply untouchable.: 7.5/8! (Mind you she was 7.0/7!) One point ahead of her nearest rival. And guess her rating performance after seven rounds… 3016!! It has now mellowed down to 2684 after her eighth round draw. She is already gaining 20 Elo points, which takes her past 2400 in the live rating list. The next round – that is the ninth one – will be a big challenge for the Kazakh girl, as she faces the third seed Nastassia Ziazulkina.

[Event "World Junior Girls 2015"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"] [Date "2015.09.07"] [Round "6.1"] [White "Abdumalik, Zhansaya"] [Black "Buksa, Nataliya"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B42"] [WhiteElo "2380"] [BlackElo "2199"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "43"] [EventDate "2015.09.02"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. Bd3 Bc5 6. Nb3 Ba7 7. O-O Nc6 8. Qg4 Nf6 9. Qg3 d6 10. Kh1 {This has been played by Karjakin against Caruana. The idea is to get in a quick f4.} (10. Nc3 {is the more popular move.}) 10... Ne5 11. f4 Nxd3 12. cxd3 h5 $5 {Buksa goes for ambitious play.} (12... O-O { would have been a safe move giving Black a fine position.} 13. f5 exf5 $15) 13. e5 Ng4 14. Nc3 d5 $6 (14... O-O $5 15. h3 Nh6 $15 {[%cal Gh6f5]}) 15. d4 {The bishop on a7 is closed and the knight on g4 cannot do much alone.} g6 16. f5 $1 {A beautiful pawn lever.} exf5 (16... gxf5 $1 {A beautiful pawn lever.} 17. h3 $16 {[%cal Gg3g7]}) 17. h3 g5 $5 18. hxg4 hxg4+ 19. Kg1 f4 20. Qd3 g3 {These pawns on the kingside are quite dangerous. White should play carefully.} 21. Ne2 (21. Bxf4 gxf4 22. Rxf4 $16 {Giving back the extra piece and ending up with an extra pawn gives White a clear advantage.}) 21... g4 $2 {A big oversight which ends the game.} (21... Be6 {and there is everything to play for. Sooner or later White will have to sacrifice a piece on f4.}) 22. Rxf4 { Seeing that there is no way to justify here sacrifice material Buksa resigned.} (22. Rxf4 Qh4 (22... Rh1+ 23. Kxh1 Qh4+ 24. Kg1 Qh2+ 25. Kf1 Qh1+ 26. Ng1 $18) 23. Nxg3 $18 {The White king is absolutely safe.}) 1-0

We had already recognized this young girl’s immense talent four years ago
when she made the WIM title at the age of just eleven!

WFM Nataliya Buksa of Ukraine has just an Elo of 2199. But in Khanty Mansiysk she is in wonderful form, gaining 56 Elo points and wins over many strong players like Andrea Rodriguez (2358), Bayarjargal Bayarmaa (2265), Alina Bivol (2321) and Andreea-Cristina Navrotescu (2263). She is currently in the second place.

Second seeded Dinara Saduakassova is on 6.0/8 and is currently in the third spot. She has shown
great fighting spirit to score six points in her seven games after her loss in the first round.
You can find out more about Dinara from this wonderful portrait written by Diana Mihaljova.

Top standings after eight rounds

Rk. SNo Title Name FED Rtg Pts.  TB2   TB3  Rp
1 4 WGM Abdumalik Zhansaya KAZ 2380 7.5 35.5 39.5 2684
2 23 WFM Buksa Nataliya UKR 2199 6.5 37.5 39.5 2455
3 2 WGM Saduakassova Dinara KAZ 2409 6.0 34.0 37.5 2405
4 3 IM Ziaziulkina Nastassia BLR 2401 5.5 35.5 39.0 2328
5 21 WIM Ibrahimova Sabina AZE 2215 5.5 33.0 34.0 2271
6 8 WIM Bivol Alina RUS 2321 5.5 31.5 34.0 2307
7 16 WIM Derakhshani Dorsa IRI 2244 5.5 31.0 33.5 2355
8 19 WFM Makarenko Alexandra RUS 2229 5.5 29.5 30.5 2281
9 43 WFM Nguyen Thi Thuy Trien VIE 1939 5.0 37.0 41.0 2367
10 13 WFM Navrotescu Andreea-Cristiana FRA 2263 5.0 35.0 37.5 2324
11 11 WFM Khomeriki Nino GEO 2296 5.0 32.0 34.0 2262
12 12 WFM Bayarmaa Bayarjargal MGL 2265 5.0 29.5 31.5 2265
13 9 WIM Osmanodja Filiz GER 2309 5.0 24.5 25.5 2165
14 26 WFM Paredes Bustamante Paula PER 2156 4.5 37.0 40.0 2313
15 15   Drogovoz Irina RUS 2253 4.5 36.0 39.0 2226
16 34   Gaboyan Susanna ARM 2107 4.5 35.5 38.0 2301
17 6 WGM Mammadzada Gunay AZE 2355 4.5 34.5 37.5 2260
18 14 WIM Michelle Catherina P IND 2259 4.5 30.0 32.5 2269
19 20 WFM Movileanu Daniela ITA 2221 4.5 29.5 33.0 2149
20 10 WIM Fataliyeva Ulviyya AZE 2301 4.5 26.5 29.0 2172

Netherland’s biggest hope GM Benjamin Bok is very much in the medal contention with 5.5/8

Jorden Van Foreest lost his seventh and eighth round game to Duda and Antipov and is on 5.0/8. In the sixth round he completely dismantled the Chinese player Bai Jinshi with a scintillating attack. Let’s have a look at that game:

[Event "World Junior Open 2015"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"] [Date "2015.09.07"] [Round "6.3"] [White "Van Foreest, Jorden"] [Black "Bai, Jinshi"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B46"] [WhiteElo "2541"] [BlackElo "2519"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "57"] [EventDate "2015.09.02"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 Nf6 7. Qf3 Bb4 8. Nxc6 bxc6 9. Bd4 c5 10. Be5 Bb7 11. O-O-O Bxc3 12. Qxc3 Nxe4 13. Qe3 f6 14. Bg3 O-O 15. f3 Nxg3 16. hxg3 f5 17. Bc4 Re8 18. Rd6 Qc7 19. Qe5 Re7 {Diagram [#] Black is a pawn up, but now White starts off with a series of amazing blows.} 20. g4 $1 {Opening up the route to h5 for the queen.} (20. Rxe6 dxe6 21. Bxe6+ Kh8 22. Rxh7+ Kxh7 $19) 20... fxg4 21. Rxe6 $1 dxe6 (21... Qxe5 22. Rxe7+ Qd5 23. Bxd5+ Bxd5 24. Rxd7 $18) 22. Bxe6+ Kf8 (22... Kh8 23. Rxh7+ Kxh7 24. Qh5#) (22... Rxe6 23. Qxc7 $18) 23. Rxh7 Rd7 (23... Qxe5 24. Rh8#) (23... Rf7 24. Rh8+ (24. Qg5 Qf4+) 24... Ke7 25. Qxc7+ $18) 24. Rh8+ Ke7 25. Qxg7+ Kxe6 (25... Kd6 26. Qf6 Rxh8 (26... Kc6 27. Bxd7+ Kxd7 28. Rh7+ $18) 27. Bc4#) 26. Qxg4+ ( 26. Rh6+ Kd5 27. Qxg4 {is also a win, but what Jorden played is much more human.}) 26... Ke7 27. Qg5+ Kf7 28. Rh7+ Ke6 29. Rh6+ {A fine attacking game.} 1-0

The reigning Norwegian champion Aryan Tari has scored 5.0/8 and on eleventh place
with only one loss that came against GM Karen Grigoryan

GM Jorge Cori made a very bold move when he gave up his World Cup 2015 spot to his sister
Deysi Cori and decided to compete in the World Juniors, as it was his last year.
Jorge has not lived up to the expectations and is currently on 4.5/8 and in 26th position

In 2014, the gold and silver medal at the World Juniors went to the Chinese players Lu Shanglei and Wei Yi respectively. This year, they have sent only one player to participate in the championships and that is Bai Jinshi (picture above). He is currently on 5.0/8 and in 13th place.

With 5.0/8 and a performance of 2528, IM Shardul Gagare from India is well on track
to achieve his final GM norm

Now that’s a killer look! Vakhidov Shamsiddin from Uzbekistan is just 13 years old,
but he already has a rating of 2292. In this tournament he is gaining 36 Elo points
with wins over strong players like GM Murali Karthikeyan, Roberto Castro Vitor and Nico Georgidias.

Top seed in the girls section WGM Medina Werda Aulia from Indonesia has just not been
able to get going. She is on 4.0/8 with three losses and already losing 22 Elo points.

IM Nastassia Ziazulkina from Belarus is playing solid chess with three wins and five draws.
She is in fourth place with 5.5/8.

Azerbaijan has sent four girls to the tournament. Sabina Ibrahimova
has the highest points among them with 5.5/8 followed by…

… WGM Gunay Mammadzada who is on 4.5/8.

A few months ago, the author of these lines played against Gunay in the Dubai Open 2015 and was victim to a brilliant combination created by this talented girl. You can find the combination over here (scroll down to the end of the article to find it).

Dorsa Derakhshani from Iran (2244) is on 5.5/8 and gaining 48 Elo points. She travelled directly
from the Abu Dhabi Masters in the UAE to Russia to play in the World Juniors. She has recorded
some wonderful interviews for our website with star players like Igor Kovalenko and Emil Sutovsky.

Germany’s Filiz Osmanodja (2309) started with three straight losses!
She has made a come-back with four wins on a trot, but is still losing 28 Elo points.

With the rise in cheating incidents, naturally the organizers are taking fair amount of precautions

The beautiful playing hall which has been host to big events like Candidates 2014,
the FIDE Grand Prix series 2014-2015 and many others

The best part about World Juniors is that you get to make new friends!

And everywhere you see, you find people high on energy and enthusiasm!

Who is my opponent? Jan-Krzysztof Duda does it à la Kramnik!

High up on the style quotient

You know it is serious business when players like GM Artur Jussupow
and GM Loek van Wely have come as coaches to the event

GM Murtas Kazghalayev on duty

Vladimir Barsky has not only taken some excellent pictures for the event
but also has some wonderful video analysis (albeit in Russian) on the official website.

The official website also has some high quality pictures taken by Maria Emilianova

Pictures by Vladimir Barsky and Maria Emilianova


The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

Sagar Shah is an International Master from India with two GM norms. He is also a chartered accountant and would like to become the first CA+GM of India. He loves to cover chess tournaments, as that helps him understand and improve at the game he loves so much. He is the co-founder of the ChessBase India website.
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Emil Cabagay Emil Cabagay 9/12/2015 10:00
Very nice & refreshing to see junior chess players playing in unison despite various nationalities!! Thanks for the organizers.