Girls will be girls

12/19/2002 – World Junior Championships has two more rounds to go. Armenian GM Levon Aronian is half a point in the lead in the male section, while in the girls' group the Indian supertalent Koneru Humpy and the Chinese WGM Zhao Xue share the lead. Both groups are still segregated, but the players are learning to live with it. Only the girls sometimes dare to sneak a peek. Read about it in our exclusive illustrated report.

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Reports after eleven rounds

Tables, games and links at the bottom of the page.

John Henderson

As the 41st World Junior Championships heads for the decisive final rounds in Goa, it was all turnaround again at the top as GM Levon Aronian and IM Artyom Timofeev, respectively from Armenia and Russia, now go into the home straight as joint leaders.

With Timofeev outplaying the overnight leader, Luke McShane of England, in the top board clash for a vital victory, in the process McShane's chances of becoming only the second British player to win the coveted World Junior crown suffered a major setback. Meanwhile, on second board, the only other decisive top-board game of the round saw Aronian, who was last year's runner-up, in devastating form to beat India's S Poobesh Anand.

Now, with only two rounds of play left in the tournament being played at the luxurious 5-star Cidade de Goa, both leaders take their tally to 8 points--however the final destination of the junior crown is by no-means certain, as just a half-point behind them on 7.5 there's a determined chasing pack that includes Harikrishna, Ganguly, Berkes, McShane, Ghaem, Erenburg and Wojtaszek.


Vishal Sareen/Vijay Kumar

The separation of sexes is no more a talking point in the World Junior Championships! The players have learnt to live with it. Instead the center-stage is taken by chess (isn’t that why they are here?) and both the championships are very interestingly poised with just two more rounds to go.

Armenian Levon Aronian (above) is in fine fettle and is in joint lead in the boys’ with 8 points from 11 games. He is attending to chess quite well here! Excellent was his game against S. Poobesh Anand of India wherein he bruised and squeezed out the defensive resources in style despite opting for an erroneous plan in a nearly winning position.


Artyom Timofeev (above) of Russia is the other leader. He has worked his way up the hard way. His victory over erstwhile leader Luke McShane of England might just prove to be the proverbial twist in the tale of this World Juniors. Very energetic guy!


Radoslaw Wojtaszek vs Harikrishna

The Indian duo of Harikrishna and Surya Shekhar Ganguly are in the race too! The Indian chess players are making it quite big these days almost everywhere.


Pontus Carlsson of Sweden

Anand won this championship in 1987 and since then the Indians have generally been scoring around 50% in the World Juniors barring a few exceptions. However with the coming on of players like Harikrishna, Ganguly, Humpy and quite a few other upcoming ones, the chess factory has something to cheer about!


Berkes Ferenc vs Surya Sekhar Ganguly

Two-way-tie at the top and as many as seven players following them just a half point behind, it’s anyone’s game! Aronian says luck is going to play an important role!

The boys will be boys but the girls have proved that famous axiom: Where there is a will there is a way! Despite some clear instructions, they cannot just restrain themselves to watch the games of the other section. They stand on the ‘boundary line’ and watch. We have a famous one liner in India, if you want to get something done by someone, just tell the person not to do it!

Top seed and defending champion Koneru Humpy has marched her way back in to the leading bracket in the girls’ event but it has taken quite an effort on her part. She was happy that she at least hasn’t lost a match. Still her performance has not been on expected lines.


Tania Sachdev vs Natalia Pogonina

Chinese Zhao Xue and Russian Nadezhda Kosintseva are in joint lead with Humpy on 8.5 points each. The winner will probably be one amongst these three but another Chinese Wang Yu must be keeping her fingers crossed, as she is the only one on 8! What makes it more interesting is that all these four have played each other. That means they cannot cross each other’s path!


Chess moms waiting for their offspring


Boys at play...


... while the girls prefer the Indian game of carroms.

Only two more games….the beginning of the end of lot of fun, frolic and excitement!

Vishal Sareen/Vijay Kumar

Standings after eleven rounds

Sl.No  Name
 Title
 Fed
Points
 Boys
1  Levon Aronian
GM
 Armenia
9.0
2  Ferenc Berkes
GM
 Hungary
8.5
3  Luke McShane
GM
 England
8.5
4  Erenburg Sergey
IM
 Israel
8.0
5  Surya Sekhar Ganguly
IM
 India
8.0
6  Timofeev Artyom
IM
 Russia
8.0
7  Yakovenko Dmitri
GM
 Russia
8.0
8  Azarov Sergei
IM
 Belarus
7.5
9  Bu Xiangzhi
GM
 China
7.5
10  David Craig Smerdon
IM
 Australia
7.5
11  Ghaem Maghami Ehsan
GM
 Iran
7.5
12  Harikrishna P
GM
 India
7.5
13  Inarkiev Ernesto
GM
 Russia
7.5
14  Miton Kamil
IM
 Poland
7.5
15  Ni Hua
IM
 China
7.5
16  Potkin Vladimir
GM
 Russia
7.5
17  Stefan Kristjansson
IM
 Iceland
7.5
18  Radoslaw Wojtaszek
 
 Poland
7.5
 Girls
1  Koneru Humpy
WGM
 India
9.5
2  Zhao Xue
WGM
 China
9.5
3  Nadezhda Kosintseva
WGM
 Russia
9.0
4  Wang Yu
WGM
 China
9.0
5  Tatiana Kosintseva
WGM
 Russia
8.5
6  Harika Dronavalli
 
 India
7.5
7  Ekaterina Oubiennykh
WFM
 Russia
7.5
8  Sophie Milliet
 
 France
7.5
9  Ana-Cristina Calotescu
 
 Romania
7.0
10  Eesha Karavade
 
 India
7.0
11  Ioulia Makka
 
 Greece
7.0
12  Eva Moser
WGM
 Austria
7.0
13  Natalia Pogonina
WIM
 Russia
7.0
14  Tania Sachdev
 
 India
7.0


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