Harikrishna, Korbut win Junior titles

12/1/2004 – The Junior World Championships in Cochin was won by India's Pentala Harikrishna and by Ekaterina Korbut of Russia. The last round brought very tense games, triumphs and tragedies, and the final decision on the distribution of medals. We bring you a full illustrated report by Arvind Aaron.

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Junior World Championships

The 43rd World Junior and 21st World Junior Girls Championship was held at the Casino Hotel, Cochin, India from Nov. 18th to 30.

This event was a 13 Round affair with over 1080 participants from countries all over the world.

Harikrishna, Korbut Win Titles

By Arvind Aaron, Media Coordinator

Grandmaster Pentyala Harikrishna became the second Indian after Viswanathan Anand to win the World Junior Chess Championship when he drew the final round game after a long 50-move encounter at Casino Hotel in Kochi on a historical Tuesday.


Junior world champions Ekaterina Korbut and Pentala Harikrishna

Harikrishna scored 10 points, half point more than the rest in the 71-player field. "It was my career-best result," said Harikrishna who would be gaining around 15 Elo points from this event. It was his second world title. Harikrishna had won the World U-10 championship at Menorca, Spain in 1996.

The girls title was won by top seed Ekaterina Korbut of Russia with 10.5/13. Elisabeth Paehtz of Germany who needed a win for the title was outplayed by India's Kruttika Nadig. Paehtz left the hall in tears for her second place with 9.5 points. IWM Eesha Karavade of India beat Zhang Jilin of China for her second 13-game WGM norm and bronze medal. She too scored the same 9.5 points. "We got into a drawish ending and she (Zhang) kept pushing and lost a pawn and I won," a delighted Karavade explained her game.

Paehtz Elisabeth (Ger) - Nadig Kruttika (Ind)
World Junior Girls 2004 Kochi, India, 2004

After a seesaw game, with an easily drawn position on the board, the exhausted Elli Pähtz commits a capital blunder: 55.Rxd4?? Naturally it was necessary to take with the queen. Now her 16-year-old opponent has 55...Qe1+ 56.Kg2 (56.Kf3 Qe2#) 56...Re2+ 57.Kf3 Rf2+ and White loses her queen. The game ended on move 70 with 0-1.


Silver medal winner WGM Elisabeth Pähtz from Germany

Harikrishna came looking for a victory in the final round. He opened with 1.g3 and his strategy was clear. Better a little surprise than be surprised in the last round. The Hyderabad player won a pawn on the 18th move but play was clearly headed for an opposite colour bishop ending. Opposite colour bishops are known to produce drawn results. Berkes, the top seed, had nothing to gain in this game except that it was a prestigious clash between the top two seeds. Also, Berkes was the roommate of Petrosian who had a chance for the title. Berkes defended the pawn down ending well and drew in 50 moves in a rook and opposite colour bishop ending.

Harikrishna made sure Zhao Jun resigned against the world under-18 champion Radoslaw Wojtaszek of Poland before offering and getting a draw in his game. There was lots of tension and large number of spectators crowded the top three boards in the boys section.


Elizbar Ubilava (left) the trainer of the Indian team at the Calvià Olympiad

"I played mainly the English opening or some side variations," said Harikrishna while speaking to the press. "At Calvia I learnt from GM Elizbar Ubilava (Indian trainer) how to approach and prepare for a game. Playing in the same team with Anand gave me big confidence," said the new 18-year old world junior champion.

About his ambition, he said, "I would like to reach 2650 very soon and look at improving my rating towards the 2800 mark. He is looking for a sponsorship as his old one (2000 to 2004) with a Bangalore based IT major expires in December this year. Harikrishna was accompanied by his father and spoke to his mother and grandfather immediately after winning the title.

Harikrishna won seven games and drew six including his final round encounter. He remained the only undefeated player. "I was solid and played fast," Harikrishna said. Ubilava had told him to play fast and he followed it with rewards as he put his opponents in time pressure in the Anand style.

Asked if the Polish world under-18 champion Wojtaszek did him a big favour by defeating Zhao Jun, Harikrishna said, "(exploding into laughter) yes, I think I owe him a treat!" The Polish player sacrificed a rook for bishop on the 13th turn and won two pawns and a minor piece for a rook and converted that in a nicely executed ending.

Tigran Petrosian of Armenia enjoyed an overwhelming advantage against Iran's Moradibadi. Needing a win in the ending to tie for first place, Petrosian slipped and drew for a shared second.

Korbut faced the queen pawn and went for an irregular variation. Motoc of Romania lost her way early and offered weaker resistance losing two pawns. Thereafter, the Romanian staged a recovery to organise an attack but Korbut defended and kept the pawns intact to win the game and the title.


Gold medal winner Ekaterina Korbut

Korbut becomes the first Russian since Alisa Galliamova (1988) to win the world junior by a clear one point margin. She is superstitious in the sense that she wore the same dress for the last ten games. She is a typical Russian, avoiding to talk to the press. She won eight games and drew five to be the only undefeated player among the 37 girls who participated. She started cautiously with two draws and caught up with the leaders when she beat Ushenina of Ukraine in the middle of the tournament.


A bronze medal for WIM Eesha Karavade of India

"Yes, it was my career best showing," said Eesha Karavade who made her earlier WGM at Pune this September. She played the Berlin defence of the Ruy Lopez with the black pieces to win in 64 moves. Kruttika Nadig who caused the biggest upset in the girls section, by winning the queen of Paehtz to take the fourth place after her 70-move triumph.

It was an eventful tournament for other Indians as well. Deep Sengupta of Jharkhand made his maiden 10-game GM norm. Eesha Karavade obtained her maiden 13-game WGM norm. N. Vinuthna of Hyderabad completed her IWM title requirements. Maharashtra player, Kruttika Nadig living in Bangalore completed her second 14-game IWM norm. Among the visitors, Siti Zulaikha of Malaysia completed her IWM title and Zhao Jun of China became a grandmaster making his third and final norm here.

The prizes were distributed by L.Kuriakose, IRS., Chief Commissioner of Income Tax at a glittering ceremony in the evening. India showed to the chess world that they could organise the World Junior for the fourth time in a third venue. One title in the boys and one bronze medal in the girls is more than what India expected from this meet and it is time for celebration among the chess fraternity in the land which invented chess.

Final standings boys

Rk Ti Name Rtg FED Pts RtgSum
1 GM Harikrishna P (IND) 2612 IND 10 30111
2 GM Petrosian Tigran L. (ARM) 2539 ARM 30001
3 - Zhao Jun (CHN) 2511 CHN 29709
4 IM Wojtaszek Radoslaw (POL) 2536 POL 9 29462
5 GM Alekseev Evgeny V. (RUS) 2604 RUS 29925
6 GM Berkes Ferenc (HUN) 2630 HUN 29569
7 IM Jianu Vlad-Cristian (ROM) 2444 ROM 29477
8 GM Drozdovsky Yuri (UKR) 2510 UKR 29455
9 - Deep Sengupta (IND) 2359 IND 29423
10 GM Koneru Humpy (IND) 2503 IND 29399
11 IM Moradiabadi Elshan (IRI) 2445 IRI 28609
12 FM Zhe Quan (CAN) 2345 CAN 8 29754
13 - Tikkanen Hans (SWE) 2338 SWE 8 28915
14 IM Bartel Mateusz (POL) 2481 POL 8 28744
15 IM Quezada Perez Yunieski (CUB) 2513 CUB 29387
16 IM Deepan Chakravarthy (IND) 2396 IND 29247
17 IM L'Ami Erwin (NED) 2516 NED 29031
18 IM Paragua Mark (PHI) 2534 PHI 28936
19 - Barbosa Oliver (PHI) 2311 PHI 28714
20 IM Iljin Artem (RUS) 2522 RUS 28322
21 GM Smeets Jan (NED) 2515 NED 28309
22 GM Timur Gareyev (UZB) 2525 UZB 7 28888
23 - Das Arghyadip (IND) 2353 IND 7 28746
24 IM Smerdon David (AUS) 2425 AUS 7 28645
25 IM Poobesh Anand (IND) 2367 IND 7 28450
26 - Sai Srinivas D. (IND) 2237 IND 7 28397
27 - Nadj Hadjesi Balind (SCG) 2337 SCG 7 28317
28 - Hasan Mehdi (BAN) 2251 BAN 7 28156
29 FM D'Costa Lorin A.R. (ENG) 2358 ENG 7 28008
30 FM Gupta Abhijeet (IND) 2412 IND 7 28005
31 - Grigorov Grigor (BUL) 2321 BUL 7 27839
32 IM Lafuente Pablo (ARG) 2473 ARG 7 27622
33 FM Mandizha Farai (ZIM) 2200 ZIM 7 27479
34 FM Perdomo Leandro (ARG) 2312 ARG 29020
35 - Rohit G (IND) 2281 IND 28279
36 IM Venkatesh M.R. (IND) 2450 IND 28006
37 - Cifka Stanislav (CZE) 2310 CZE 27731
38 - Sandeep Y. (IND) 2138 IND 27327
39 - Vaidya Chaitanya N. (IND) 2184 IND 27158
40 IM Johannes Manyedi M. (RSA) 2316 RSA 26902
41 - Bucchicchio Giampaolo (ITA) 2315 ITA 26676
42 - Tiwari Arjun (IND) 2319 IND 25735
43 - Braschi Giancarlo (ITA) 2172 ITA 25343
44 FM Geir Sune Tallaksen (NOR) 2343 NOR 6 28231
45 - Olsson Linus (SWE) 2289 SWE 6 28151
46 - Bhatti Ranveer Singh (IND) 2195 IND 6 27334
47 - Puneet Jaiswal (IND) 2212 IND 6 27238
48 - Arun R. Karthik (IND) 2152 IND 6 27095
49 - Ashwath R. (IND) 2124 IND 6 26906
50 - Mihailidis Anastasios (GRE) 2278 GRE 6 26829
51 - Ryosuke Nanjo (JPN) 2154 JPN 6 24564
52 - Tomba Ivan (ITA) 2235 ITA 6 24112
53 - Patwardhan Omkar (IND) 2212 IND 27253
54 - Artels Lieven (BEL) 2084 BEL 27175
55 - Karthikeyan P. (IND) 2131 IND 27095
56 - Soumitra Mujumdar (IND) 2148 IND 26620
57 - Navin T.U.Kanna (IND) 2058 IND 26412
58 - Gopal G.N. (IND) 2278 IND 5 27394
59 - Cereijo Nicolas (ARG) 2120 ARG 5 26932
60 - Ruijgrok Dennis (NED) 2255 NED 5 26871
61 - Louw Daniel Johannes (RSA) 2187 RSA 5 24777
62 - Mishra Soumyaranjan (IND) 2299 IND 5 24658
63 - Raghuram C. V. Balaji (IND) 2043 IND 5 24388
64 - Phadke Sohan (IND) 2125 IND 5 24202
65 - Aswin Jayaram (IND) 2160 IND 27646
66 - Swaraj Palit (IND) 2172 IND 27131
67 - Nitin S. (IND) 2119 IND 24651
68 - Soon Wai Cheong (MAS) 2048 MAS 24515
69 - Venkat S. Sundaram (IND) 2152 IND 24247
70 - Prasanna K.(IND) 2096 IND 24050
71 - Phanikanth J.S.S. (IND) 1985 IND 23933
72 - Anis Bari (IND) 2194 IND 0 0

Final standings girls

Rk Ti Name Rtg FED Pts RtgSum
1 WGM Korbut Ekaterina (RUS) 2400 RUS 10½ 26849
2 WGM Paehtz Elisabeth (GER) 2398 GER 27115
3 WIM Eesha Karavade (IND) 2307 IND 27089
4 - Nadig Kruttika (IND) 2182 IND 26897
5 WGM Ushenina Anna (UKR) 2370 UKR 8 26994
6 WFM Vinuthna N. (IND) 2229 IND 8 26872
7 WIM Bensdorp Marties (NED) 2214 NED 8 25859
8 - Sivasankari P. (IND) 2112 IND 8 23500
9 - Zhang Jilin (CHN) 2287 CHN 27105
10 WFM Siti Zulaikha (MAS) 2162 MAS 26759
11 WIM Sachdev Tania (IND) 2256 IND 26554
12 - Ramya Krishna I. (IND) 2096 IND 25902
13 - Majdan Joanna (POL) 2219 POL 7 26803
14 WFM Motoc Alina (ROM) 2359 ROM 7 26549
15 - Van Weersel Arlette (NED) 2184 NED 7 25562
16 WFM Perez R. Jennifer (CUB) 2162 CUB 7 25216
17 - Saheli Nath (IND) 2130 IND 27242
18 - Kavitha J.E. (IND) 2088 IND 26325
19 - Delphin C. (IND) 1998 IND 25917
20 WIM Gutsko Anastasiya (UKR) 2272 UKR 25776
21 - Koneru Chandra Hawsa (IND) 2107 IND 25592
22 - Iswarya Shobana L. (IND) 2082 IND 23319
23 - Raghavi N. (IND) 2117 IND 6 26274
24 WIM Aketayeva Dana (KAZ) 2223 KAZ 6 26127
25 WIM Ghader Pour Shaesteh (IRI) 2025 IRI 6 26012
26 WFM Gutierrez C. Paloma (ESP) 2119 ESP 6 23774
27 - Nimmy George (IND) 2063 IND 6 23590
28 - Anuprita Patil (IND) 2081 IND 6 23541
29 - Sandhya N. (IND) 2113 IND 6 22748
30 - Stiri Alexandra (GRE) 2201 GRE 6 22735
31 - Meenu Rajendran (IND) 1979 IND 25793
32 - Hodova Lucie (CZE) 2118 CZE 5 25651
33 WFM Mijovic Aleksandra (SCG) 2152 SCG 5 23051
34 - Brekke Jorunn (NOR) 1988 NOR 5 22825
35 - Colautti Marcela (ARG) 0 ARG 23130
36 - Matta Francesca (ITA) 1857 ITA 4 23191
37 WFM Elappen Jenine (RSA) 2031 RSA 3 23027
38 WGM Dronavalli Harika (IND) 2391 IND 0 0

All junior world champions

Year Venue Boys Girls
2004 Cochin, India Pentala Harikrishna India Ekateriana Korbut Russia
2003 Nakchievan Mamedyarov, Shakh. Azerbaijan Nana Dzandze Georgia
2002 Goa, India Levon Aronian Armenia Xue Zhao China
2001 Athens Peter Acs Hungary Humpy Koneru India
2000 Yerevan Lazaro Bruzon Cuba Xu Yuanyuan China
1999 Yerevan Alexander Galkin Russia Maria Kouvatsou Greece
1998 Calicut, India Darmen Sadvakasov Kazakhstan Hoang Thang Trang Vietnam
1997 Zagan Tal Shaked USA Harriet Hunt England
1996 Medellin Emil Sutovskij Israel Zhu Chen China
1995 Halle Roman Slobodjan Germany Nino Khurtsidze Georgia
1994 Caioba Helgi Gretarsson Iceland Zhu Chen China
1993 Calicut, India Igor Miladinovic Yugoslavia Nino Khurtsidze Georgia
1992 Buenos Aires Pablo Zarnicki Argentina Krystina Dabrowska Poland
1991 Mamaja Vladimir Akopian Armenia Natasa Bojkovic Yugoslavia
1990 Santiago Ilya Gurevich USA Ketevan Kakhiani USSR
1989 Tunja Vasil Spasov Bulgaria Ketevan Kakhiani USSR
1988 Adelaide Joel Lautier France Alisa Galliamova USSR
1987 Bagujo Viswanathan Anand India
1986 Causdal Walter Arenciba Cuba Ketevan Arakhamia USSR
1985 Dubai Maxim Dlugy USA
1984 Kiljava Curt Hansen Denmark
1983 Belfort Kiril Georgiuev Bulgaria
1982 Copenhagen Andrey Sokolov USSR
1981 Mexico Ognjen Cvitan Yugoslavia
1980 Dortmund Garry Kasparov USSR
1979 Skien Yasser Seirawan USA
1978 Graz Sergey Dolmatov USSR
1977 Innsbruck Artur Yusupov USSR
1976 Groningen Mark Diesen USA
1975 Tjentiste Valery Chekhov USSR
1974 Manila Anthony Miles England
1973 Tesside Alexander Beliavsky USSR
1971 Athens Werner Hug Switzerland
1969 Stoccolma Anatoly Karpov USSR
1967 Jerusalem Julio Kaplan Puerto Rico
1965 Barcelona Bojan Kurajica Yugoslavia
1963 Belgrado Florin Gheorghiu Romania
1961 L'Aia Bruno Parma Yugoslavia
1959 Muenchestein Carlos Bielicky Argentina
1957 Canada William Lombardy USA
1955 Amberes Boris Spassky USSR
1953 Copenhagen Oscar Panno Argentina
1951 Birmingham Boris Ivkov Yugoslavia

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