Indians sweep the World Junior Championship

by ChessBase
8/19/2008 – 19-year-old Indian GM Abhijeet Gupta became the third Indian ever to win the World Junior (after Anand and Harikrishna). He did it after winning his last five games in a row, with 10/13 points. Second was 15-year-old Indian GM Parimarjan Negi. The girls' section was won by Indian IM Harika Dronavalli, who finished a point and a half ahead of her nearest rival. Big illustrated report from Gaziantep.

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


The World Junior Championship was held in Gaziantep, the sixth largest city and one of the major economic centers in Turkey. There are two central districts within the Centrum, Sahinbay and Sehitkamil. The municipality of Sehitkamil was the host and sponsor of the 2008 World Junior Championship.

Indians Celebrate Independence and World Junior titles

Report from Gaziantep by Özgür Akman

Abhijeet Gupta and Harika Dronavalli won the World Junior titles, after dramatic turnarounds, which are frequent in World Junior Championships, this time held in Gaziantep between 2-16 August. The young Indians had brought a second reason to celebrate: August 15, which happens to be the date that India declared its independence from United Kingdom.

Round 12: Still Far From Being Conclusive

The number of rounds left is decreasing, but the excitement in the event keeps rising. In the penultimate round, Abhijeet Gupta continued his comeback by defeating Arik Braun, who has been playing on the very top boards. David Howell won against Maxim Rodhstein to catch up with Abhijeet Gupta, while Parimarjan Negi ground down the Vietnamese grandmaster Ngoc Truong Son Nguyen at 9 points out of 12. The three-way tie at 9 points out of 12 between Abhijeet Gupta, Parimarjan Negi and David Howell is followed by a group of two: Eltaj Safarli and Arik Braun, who are withing striking distance with 8.5 points. Those five players had a chance to win the world junior title.

In the contest for the world junior girls title, Harika Dronavalli gained a large advantage after winning against Narmin Kazimova and reaching ten points. Her closest rival, Mariya Muzychuk, was not able to surpass Anastasia Bodnaruk and is chasing her from further away now, with 9 points. Swaminathan Soumya and Miranda Mikadze drew with each other and share third place with 8.5 points after round 12. Five players led by Kübra Öztürk from the home country are among the group having 8 points.

Round 13: Abhijeet Gupta Completes the Streak and
Wins the World Junior Title, Harika Confirms Her Lead

The World Junior Championship had a very dramatic conclusion, as expected. Abhijeet Gupta won another game, against David Howell, and completed his magnificent sprint in the final rounds of the contest. Abhijeet won the World Junior title with ten points, since Parimarjan Negi drew with Arik Braun.

World Junior Champion 2008: Abhijeet Gupta from India

The victory against David Howell from England on the Independence Day of India meant Abhijeet Gupta is the third Indian world junior champion, after Vishwanathan Anand and Pentala Harikrishna. Parimarjan Negi, the 15-year-old boy, won the silver medal with 9.5 points. Third place was shared by Arik Braun, David Howell, Eltaj Safarli, Hou Yifan and Bassem Amin.

Second place and Silver for 15-year-old Parimarjan Negi, India

On the steps: GM Parimarjan Negi, GM Abhijeet Gupta (both India), IM Arik Braun (Germany), GM Eltaj Safarli (Azerbaijan), WGM Hou Yifan (China), GM Amin Bassem (Egypt)

Boys (open section) – final standings after 13 rounds

SNo. Title Name Rtg FED
19 GM GUPTA Abhijeet 2551 IND
26 GM NEGI Parimarjan 2529 IND
23 IM BRAUN Arik 2533 GER
14 GM HOWELL David 2561 ENG
28 GM SAFARLI Eltaj 2527 AZE
16 WGM HOU Yifan 2557 CHN
13 GM AMIN Bassem 2561 EGY
11 GM SO Wesley 2577 PHI
9 GM NGUYEN Ngoc Truong Son 2579 VIE
29 IM MELKUMYAN Hrant 2507 ARM
8 GM ZHIGALKO Sergei 2583 BLR
33 GM WEN Yang 2487 CHN
21 IM SJUGIROV Sanan 2545 RUS
10 GM LE QUANG Liem 2577 VIE
17 IM KRAVTSIV Martyn 2555 UKR
1 GM MAMEDOV Rauf 2627 AZE
4 GM LAZNICKA Viktor 2601 CZE
1 GM MAMEDOV Rauf 2627 AZE

Harika Dronavalli clinched the world junior girls title by drawing against Katerina Nemcova in the final round. She was out of reach to anybody else in the field. Nazi Paikidze won a crucial victory against Mariya Muzychuk and caught her at 9 points. Mary Ann Gomes was another Indian to win a medal by defeating Miranda Mikadze of Georgia.

World Junior Champion Girls 2008: Harika Dronavalli from India

However, the most dramatic game was between Kübra Öztürk, the hope of the home country and the most successful country in the competition (India). Kübra Öztürk faced Swaminathan Soumya and was close to winning at some point, then almost spoilt it. However, unfortunately for the Indian girl she lost on time when she was very close to a draw, which enabled the Turkish girl from Ankara to bring another historic medal to Turkey after two under-16 European titles. This time a much stronger event and very good fighting chess brought Kübra the first WGM norm achieved by any female players in this country, and the shared second place.

The winners: WFM Nazi Paikdze (Georgia), WGM Nariya Muzychuk (Ukraine), IM Harika Dronavalli (India), WFM Kübra Öztürk (Turkey), WIM Mary Ann Gomes (India). All the players who shared the second place received a silver medal according to the regulations.

Girls' section – final standings after 13 rounds

SNo. Title Name Rtg FED
1 IM HARIKA Dronavalli 2461 IND
2 WGM MUZYCHUK Mariya 2413 UKR
31 WFM OZTURK Kubra 2188 TUR
7 WIM GOMES Mary Ann 2316 IND
18 WIM MIKADZE Miranda 2258 GEO
4 WGM NEMCOVA Katerina 2372 CZE
38 KAZIMOVA Narmin 2148 AZE
3 WFM BODNARUK Anastasia 2394 RUS
10 WIM SOUMYA Swaminathan 2293 IND
25 WIM NADIG Kruttika 2241 IND
33 WFM NAKHBAYEVA Guliskhan 2170 KAZ
23 WFM NIKOLOVA Adriana 2242 BUL
48 GUO Qi 2048 CHN
24 MUMINOVA Nafisa 2242 UZB
26 WIM YILDIZ Betül Cemre 2236 TUR
5 WGM FOISOR Sabina-Francesca 2337 ROU
11 WIM DAULYTE Deimante 2288 LTU
34 WFM SGIRCEA Silvia-Raluca 2167 ROU

The World Junior Championship ended gloriously for India, one of the fastest developing chess countries in the world and already very close to the top, with an army of young talents and top grandmasters like Krishnan Sasikiran, Pentala Harikrishna and Koneru Humpy. And of course world champion Vishwanathan Anand. India also won the Asian Games in Doha and looking for many more medals from the cradle of chess them in the future.


A selection of games is being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse the PGN games.

Pictorial impressions from the last two rounds

Turkan Mamedyarova, Kübra Öztürk and Betül Cemre Yildiz chatting before the game

The playing hall, with Nataliya Muzychuk, mother of the Muzychuk sisters, kibitzing her daughter’s game against Anastasia Bodnaruk

The Indians are coming: Abhijeet Gupta (right), Parimarjan Negi (and Maxim Rodshtein with the long hair)

Khayala Isgandarova from Azerbaijan, who happens to be a great table-tennis player, scored 6.5 out of 13.

Grandmaster Xu Jun, trainer of the Chinese youth

GM Ngoc Truong Son Nguyen, 2579, from Vietnam scored 8.5 points and shared 8-14.places

WFM Silvia-Raluca Sgircea from Romania scored 7.5 out of 13

Raushan Kumar Jaiswal from the roof of the world, Nepal, scored 4 out of 13

Jeremias Bianca Albani from Portugal, scored 6 out of 13

Kübra Öztürk, one the way to the first medal in World Junior Championship for her country

Abijeet Gupta scored five consecutive victories in the final rounds

Amin Bassem, only the second grandmaster of Egpyt, the first ever being Ahmed Adly, who won the World Junior Championship title last year

Hou Yifan and Lin Chen. Hou received her second grandmaster norm with a performance of 2661

Narmin Kazimova from Azerbaijan

Fatma Yildiz, one of the dedicated sports experts of the Turkish Chess Federation, with Turkan Mamedyarova

A table tennis derby between Khayala Isgandarova and Chao Li

Nazi Paikidze, deputy chief arbiter Namig Ismailov and Marie Boyarchenko

Everybody leaving Turkey, a nice farewell photo...

Representatives from all of the organizers together: Honorary President of FIDE Florencio Campomanes, Continental President of Americas Jorge Vega, Mayor of Sehitkamil Metin Özkarsli and President of the Turkish Chess Federation Ali Nihat Yazici

In good health and spirits: Florencio Campomannes, Honorary President of FIDE

Protocol from the closing ceremony, including the Governor of Gaziantep Süleyman Kamçi, Member of the Parliament from Gaziantep Ibrahim Mazicoglu, the Mayor of the Metropolitan Municipality of Gaziantep Dr. Asim Güzelbey, the sponsor of the event Mayor of Sehitkamil Metin Özkarsli, Honorary President of FIDE Florencio Campomanes, TCF President and FIDE Vice-President Ali Nihat Yazici

All pictures by Özgür Akman

Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register