Mighty Indians at the World Youth 2015!

by Sagar Shah
12/2/2015 – India sent fifty young and talented kids to participate in the World Youth Championships 2015 in Greece. They returned with a massive tally of eleven medals – five gold, three silver and three bronze. We got in touch with these young kids – the medal winners sent us annotated games. We also have opinions of five-time World Champion Vishy Anand and the coach behind the WYCC success: GM R.B. Ramesh.

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Mighty Indians at the World Youth 2015!

By Sagar Shah

The World Youth Championships 2015 were held in Porto Carras, Halkidikki in Greece, from the 25th of October to 6th of November 2015. The 1596 participants came from 91 countries to take part in this unique event, where twelve age category tournaments, ranging from U8 to U18, in the open and girls section took place. In all 36 medals were at stake.

Chess players here, chess players there, chess players everywhere – that’s the World Youth for you!

The above table tells you the tale of how brutal India’s domination was at this meet. It won a total of five gold medals, while no other country managed to get more than one. In the World Youth 2014 India was the most successful country with six medals (two golds, two silvers and two bronze medals). This year they bettered their tally by taking home eleven!

Team India! Players and coaches gather for a picture at the closing ceremony.

Fifty Indian players went to Greece to participate in various age categories. This is not much if you consider that USA sent 129 players and Russia had 70. In one of the articles written by Arvind Aaron for the All India Chess Federation website he mentions that the total rating points gained by the Indians from the World Youth 2015 is a whopping 2629 Elo points! In this report we try to acquaint you with these eleven rising stars of Indian chess.

M. Mahalakshmi (2042), Gold in Under-18 girls

Ranked 32nd with an incredibly modest 2019 rating, Mahalakshmi from India was without a doubt the greatest Cinderella story in the World Youth in Greece. Ahead of players rated nearly 350 Elo more, she crushed the field with a 9.0/10 start, effectively winning the Girls Under-18 a round in advance.

“When I saw the players list before the tournament I just took this event as an opportunity to increase my rating. I didn’t think about winning the title, because I didn’t want to put pressure on myself. As my coach GM R. B. Ramesh usually says: ‘Don’t play for result, just play good games.’ I followed this piece of advice and result is there to be seen!” The 17-year-old started as the 32nd seed, and in the process of winning the gold medal she gained 209 Elo points, and also became a WIM. “Before this tournament we had a ten-day camp at the Chess Gurukul [the academy of GM R.B. Ramesh] and I think that was the turning point. I came to know the mistakes I was making, and learned many other things. This camp not only helped me to prepare for the event, I am sure it will be useful in the future too.”

After Mahalakshmi won the gold medal Vishy Anand tweeted: “Congrats to Mahalakshmi, U18 champion. I have known her for ten years. Her story is of true dedication. Coming from a very simple family, she constantly works hard at improving her game. She is the poster girl for India's Gen-next of chess champions. This is the big leap for bigger titles. A quiet girl with few words, she let her moves take her to the top. Congrats to R.B. Ramesh for being the pillar.” Mahalakshmi was extremely happy to read this. “I am very thankful to Anand Sir and Aruna Madam. They helped me to get sponsorships.” So what’s next on the agenda for Mahalakshmi? “My short term plan is to become a WGM as soon as I can, and the long term one is to achieve the full-fledged GM title.”

Mahalakshmi scored 9.0/11 and won the title with a round to spare. Here’s her favourite game from the tournament, with annotations by her:

[Event "World Youth -18G"] [Site "?"] [Date "2015.11.01"] [Round "6.1"] [White "Mahalakshmi.M"] [Black "Varshini.V"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E17"] [WhiteElo "2019"] [BlackElo "2115"] [Annotator "Mahalakshmi.M"] [PlyCount "153"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 {I usually play the Nimzo Indian and this time I preferred to play Catalan because I had a free day so I thought I can see all the variations.} b6 4. g3 Bb7 5. Bg2 Be7 6. O-O O-O 7. Re1 d5 8. cxd5 exd5 9. Nc3 c5 10. dxc5 bxc5 11. Qb3 Qb6 12. Ne5 Rd8 13. Rd1 Nbd7 {13...Nbd7 is a move that I prepared, and I knew that it was a good position for me.} 14. Bf4 (14. Bxd5 {I saw this variation and I rejected it because at the end I was getting a pawn but I was not satisfied with the resulting position.} Nxd5 15. Nxd5 Bxd5 16. Rxd5 Nxe5 (16... Qxb3 17. axb3 Nxe5 18. Rxe5 Rd1+ 19. Kg2) 17. Rxe5 Bf6 $44 ) 14... Nf8 {I was seeing Nc4, but in the game I chose something else which was not the most accurate.} 15. Qxb6 (15. Nc4 dxc4 (15... Qxb3 16. axb3 { [%cal Ga1a8]}) 16. Qxb6 axb6 17. Bxb7 {This forcing sequence was the best.}) 15... axb6 16. Nc4 dxc4 (16... Ne6 {This move was possible but she did not play it.}) 17. Bxb7 Rxd1+ 18. Rxd1 Ra7 (18... Rd8 19. Rxd8 Bxd8 20. Ba6 $18) 19. Bc6 Ne6 20. Bb8 Ra5 21. e3 {stopping Nd4} (21. Bb5 Nd4 {gives her counterplay.}) 21... h6 22. a4 Kf8 23. Nb1 (23. Kg2 {I think I should have played some more slowly by playing Kg2} Nd8 (23... Ne8 24. Nd5) 24. Bb5 Ra8 25. Bc7 $18) 23... Ne8 24. Na3 (24. g4 {This is good because when she attacks my bishop with the rook I have Bg3 but in the game I do not have it.} Nd8 25. Bb5 Ra8 26. Bg3) 24... Nd8 25. Bb5 Ra8 26. Bf4 {now I am not getting Bg3} g5 27. Be5 f6 28. Bc3 {[%csl Rf6,Rg5,Rh6]} Nd6 29. Bxf6 Nxb5 (29... Bxf6 30. Rxd6 $18) 30. Bxe7+ Kxe7 31. Nxb5 (31. axb5 $2 c3 $11) 31... Rxa4 32. Nc3 Ra6 33. Nd5+ Kf7 34. Nc7 Ra7 35. Nb5 Ra8 (35... Ra2 36. Rxd8 Rxb2 37. Nc3 b5 $132 {This would have given her good counterplay}) 36. Rd6 Ra1+ 37. Kg2 Rb1 38. Rxb6 (38. Rxd8 Rxb2 39. Nc3 b5 $132) 38... Ke7 39. Nc3 Rc1 40. Rxh6 Ne6 41. h4 (41. Ne4 Rc2 42. Rh7+ Kd8 43. Rb7 {would have been an easy win.}) 41... Rc2 42. Na4 gxh4 43. Rxh4 Kf6 44. Nb6 Rxb2 45. Nxc4 Rc2 {I struggled a lot as I didn't know how to push my pawns but finally converted it into a full point.} 46. Nb6 Ke5 47. Ra4 Kd6 48. Nc4+ Ke7 49. g4 Ng5 50. Na5 Kd6 51. Rf4 Ne6 52. Nc4+ Kd5 53. Nb6+ Kd6 54. Ra4 Kc6 55. Re4 Kd6 56. Nc4+ Ke7 (56... Kd7 57. Ne5+ Kd6 58. Nf7+ Kd7 59. Kg3 $18) 57. Kg3 Kf6 58. f4 Nc7 59. g5+ Kg6 60. Nb6 Nb5 61. Rc4 Na3 62. Rxc2 Nxc2 63. e4 Na3 64. Kg4 c4 65. f5+ Kg7 66. Nd5 Nb5 67. e5 c3 68. Ne3 Nd4 69. e6 Kf8 70. g6 c2 71. Nxc2 Nxc2 72. f6 Ne3+ 73. Kf4 Ng2+ 74. Kg5 Ne3 75. g7+ Kg8 76. e7 Kf7 77. g8=Q+ 1-0

WFM V. Varshini (2105) won the silver medal in the Under-18 girls section. At one point she was cruising along with 6.0/6, but was then beaten by Mahalakshmi. In the end she scored 8.5/11, gaining 134 Elo points.

World Youth Ch 2015 - Girls under 18
Rk
Title 
Name
FED
Rtg
Pts
TB
1 WFM Mahalakshmi M IND 2019 9.0 0.0
2 WFM Varshini V IND 2105 8.5 0.0
3 WIM Blagojevic Tijana MNE 2315 8.0 0.0
4   Uuriintuya Uurtsaikh MGL 2237 8.0 0.0
5   Heinemann Josefine GER 2253 8.0 0.0

Bharath Subramaniyam (1602), Gold in Under-8

The little boy from Chennai, Bharath Subramaniyam, won the gold medal in the U8 section. Just like in the girls’ U18, Bharath’s main competition came from a fellow Indian Dev Shah. In their personal encounter Bharath managed to beat Dev and claim the gold medal, while Dev had to settle for the silver.

 

The winners of the Boys Under-8

World Youth Ch 2015 - Open under 08
Rk
Title 
Name
FED
Rtg
Pts
TB
1
 
Bharath Subramaniyam H IND 1602 9.5 0.0
2
CM
Dev Shah IND 1521 9.0 0.0
3
 
Fiszer Bartosz POL 1443 8.5 0.0
4
 
Murgescu Adi USA 0 8.5 0.0
5
CM
Sindarov Islombek UZB 1567 8.0 0.0

India’s future is bright: gold and silver medalists in Under-8, Bharath and Dev

So how does an eight-year-old boy like Bharath work, in order to get better at the game? “I am being coached by GM R.B. Ramesh and WGM Aarthie Ramesh. We have regular classes, where I attend them with players who are much higher rated than me. For example, GM Arvind Chitthambaram is also present at those lectures, and being in the same class as him gives me opportunities to understand how higher rated players think. Other than that there are camps conducted by Ramesh Sir before major events. I owe a lot to him for the increase in my calculations and speed. I keep working on the middle game combinations regularly. Before the round I make it a point to solve tactics to get my mind sharp. Also I work for 3-4 hours during events to prepare openings against a particular opponent by looking at his style of play. On regular school days I work on chess for three hours.”

Bharath’s favourite chess player is Vishy Anand, and his favourite openings are Grand Prix Sicilian with white and the Sveshnikov with black. When asked about his aims in chess the little boy confidently says, “My short term aim is to cross 2100 in a year, and my long term goal is to become a World Champion.”

We have selected two games of Bharath, annotated by the lad himself. Please pay special attention to the insightful statements of this eight-year-old boy who already seems to have a handle on deep Nimzovian principles.

[Event "World under 8 Greece"] [Site "?"] [Date "2015.11.01"] [Round "?"] [White "Shah, Dev"] [Black "Subramaniyam. H, Bharath"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A48"] [WhiteElo "1521"] [BlackElo "1602"] [Annotator "Bharath Subramaniyam"] [PlyCount "68"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. Bf4 Bg7 4. e3 d6 5. h3 Nbd7 6. Be2 b6 7. O-O Bb7 8. c4 Ne4 9. Nbd2 e5 10. Bh2 O-O 11. Nxe4 Bxe4 12. Nd2 Bb7 13. Bf3 Bxf3 14. Nxf3 Qe7 15. Qc2 {Until this move it is all opening theory.} f5 16. Rad1 e4 17. Nd2 g5 18. Rde1 Rae8 19. Re2 (19. Qa4 Nf6 20. Qxa7 Ra8 21. Qb7 Qd7 {I had seen this variation. White should give up a pawn in order to preserve his queen.}) 19... h5 20. Rfe1 h4 21. Kh1 Nf6 22. b4 (22. d5 g4 23. Nb3 Nh5 24. Nd4 Bxd4 25. exd4 g3 26. fxg3 hxg3 $17) 22... g4 23. c5 bxc5 24. bxc5 d5 {Following the rule – when you attack on the flank you have to close the center. Also no counterplay on the c-file.} 25. c6 $2 (25. Qa4 {This is one chance that White had.}) 25... Qe6 26. hxg4 {Forced.} (26. Qc5 gxh3 27. gxh3 f4 28. exf4 Qxh3 $40) 26... fxg4 27. Be5 Nh5 28. Bxg7 Kxg7 29. Rg1 $2 g3 $2 {I missed the 29...Ng3+! Not sure when I had missed something like this before.} 30. f3 exf3 31. Nxf3 Qh6 32. Qc5 (32. Ne5 $1) 32... Nf4 33. Ree1 $4 (33. Rd2) 33... Nd3 34. Qxd5 Nf2# 0-1

A few words must be said about the silver medal winner Dev Shah. Dev led the tournament with 6.0/6 at the start. However he lost the seventh round to Bharath and the eighth to Lkhagvajamts Ochirbat. The fact that Dev didn’t give up and fought back to win the last three rounds speaks volumes about his fighting spirit and mental strength. The boy hails from one of the most famous cities of India, Mumbai, which hasn’t seen a grandmaster after Pravin Thipsay achieved that title in 1997. The eight-year-old might well be the answer to the GM drought in the city!

[Event "World Youth Chess Championship U8"] [Site "?"] [Date "2015.11.04"] [Round "?"] [White "Bharath Subramaniyam H"] [Black "Xu, Jihan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C02"] [WhiteElo "1602"] [Annotator "Bharath Subramaniyam"] [PlyCount "57"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] 1. e4 e6 2. Nf3 d5 3. e5 Ne7 4. d4 Nf5 5. Bd3 Nh4 $6 {Black is wasting time.} 6. O-O Nc6 7. c3 Bd7 8. Nbd2 Ng6 9. Bc2 {I wanted to play 9.g3 here, followed by h4. But then I sensed my opponent is going to do a queenside castle. I would rather wait for him to castle.} Qe7 10. a4 O-O-O 11. b4 Qe8 12. Nb3 f6 13. Qe2 Be7 14. Bd3 Qf7 15. Rb1 fxe5 {[#]} 16. Nxe5 {I was thinking about 16. dxe5, but then I thought my opponent would sacrifice his rook on f3 when I am attacking his king.} Ncxe5 17. dxe5 Rhf8 18. Na5 {Setting a trap.} Nf4 $2 { Falling in to the trap. 18..Kb8 was forced.} (18... Kb8 19. f4 $40) 19. Bxf4 Qxf4 20. Ba6 $1 Rde8 21. Bxb7+ Kd8 22. Nc6+ Bxc6 23. Bxc6 Qc4 24. Qxc4 dxc4 25. Rbd1+ Kc8 26. Bd7+ Kb7 27. Bxe8 Rxe8 28. Rd4 Rf8 29. Rxc4 1-0

Rakshitta Ravi (1516), Gold in under-10 girls

Daughter of IM T.S. Ravi and WIM Sai Meera Ravi, Rakshitta’s story of winning the gold medal was nothing short of unbelievable. She began the tournament with quite some uncertainty. After five rounds she was on 3.0/5, but in the last six games she scored six wins to clinch the gold medal! Did she in her wildest of dreams think that she would win Gold after a 3.0/5 start? “I wasn’t thinking about this. Generally I don’t worry about the outcome of the tournament until it finishes, since my parents always taught me to just focus on the next round game.” The ten-year-old played continuous tournaments in the past six months and worked on chess for six to eight hours for an entire month as preparation for the Under-10 World Youth. “I would like to thank my parents and R.B. Ramesh sir for this title. I practice chess with my mother. My father is mostly busy at the office, but after he returns home sometimes we play lightning games together, and he often gives me positions to solve blindfold.”

Rakshitta, who idolizes Judit Polgar, has quite a unique aim in chess – she would like to become the youngest World Women Champion. Rakshitta’s favourite game from the tournament was the one against Bat-Erdene Munguzul in the last round, which she has annotated and sent to us.

[Event "WYCC U-10"] [Site "?"] [Date "2015.11.05"] [Round "11"] [White "Mungunzul, Bat-Erdene"] [Black "Rakshitta, Ravi"] [Result "0-1"] [WhiteElo "1731"] [BlackElo "1516"] [Annotator "Rakshitta Ravi"] [PlyCount "64"] [EventDate "2015.11.11"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 Nc6 3. d5 Ne5 4. Qc2 e6 5. e4 $6 {White is wasting time in pushing pawns in the opening instead of piece development.} (5. Nf3 Nxf3+ 6. exf3 exd5 7. cxd5 Bb4+ 8. Bd2 Bxd2+ 9. Nxd2 O-O $15 {I thought this is better for Black because of White's weak d5 pawn and king in the centre.}) 5... Bc5 6. h3 O-O 7. a3 $2 {Another pawn move. White is not focusing on her development.} (7. Nc3 d6 8. Nf3 Nxf3+ 9. gxf3 exd5 10. cxd5 Nd7 $15 {[%cal Gf7f5,Gd7e5]}) 7... exd5 8. cxd5 d6 9. Be2 Re8 10. Nc3 c6 $1 {Opening the centre as the white king is uncastled!} 11. dxc6 bxc6 12. f4 $6 {This weakens the e4 pawn and the g3 square.} (12. Nf3 Nxf3+ 13. Bxf3 Ba6 {[%cal Gd6d5] Stopping White from castling.}) 12... Ng6 13. Nf3 Nh5 $1 {[%csl Rg3][%cal Gh5g3]} 14. f5 Nh4 15. g4 Ng3 16. Rh2 Nxe2 17. Qxe2 Ba6 $1 18. Qd1 d5 $1 {[%csl Re1] The position is gone for White now!} 19. e5 Nxf3+ 20. Qxf3 Rxe5+ 21. Kd1 d4 22. Ne4 Qb6 $6 ( 22... Qe7 23. f6 Qe6 24. Nxc5 Rxc5 $19) 23. Bf4 Ree8 24. f6 g6 25. h4 d3 $1 { [%csl Rb3][%cal Gb6b3]} 26. b4 Bg1 (26... Bxb4 27. axb4 Qg1+ 28. Kd2 Qxa1 $19) 27. Rh1 Qd4 28. Bc1 Rxe4 $1 (28... Qxa1 {is also posible but I thought that Re4 is better due to active pieces.}) 29. Ra2 Rae8 30. Qf1 Re1+ 31. Qxe1 Rxe1+ 32. Kxe1 Qe4+ 0-1

The Girls Under-10 was a big success for India, with Ravi Rakshitta taking Gold, and Deshmukh
Divya taking Bronze. Yuxin Song, who took Silver, was China's only medal.

Divya was the defending champion in the under ten category. The girl from Nagpur was leading the event with 5.5/6. But she lost the seventh and eighth rounds. She fought back, won the last three games and claimed the bronze medal. We reported quite extensively on her in our World Youth 2014 report.

World Youth Ch 2015 - Girls under 10
Rk
Title
Name
FED
Rtg
Pts
TB
1   Rakshitta Ravi IND 1516 9.0 1.0
2   Song Yuxin CHN 1700 9.0 0.0
3 WFM Divya Deshmukh IND 1772 8.5 0.0
4 WCM Mungunzul Bat-Erdene MGL 1731 8.0 0.0
5 WCM Can Isil TUR 1795 8.0 0.0

R. Vaishali gold medal in Under-14 girls, R. Praggnanandhaa gold in Under-10 boys

The golden siblings of Indian chess – R. Praggnanandhaa and R. Vaishali [picture by Amruta Mokal]

Vaishali and Praggnanandhaa are two of the most raw and brilliant talents of Indian chess currently. The siblings are bold, creative, unpredictable, and at the same time extremely hard working. Posed with the problem of their daughter continuously watching the television, Vaishali’s parents decided to enroll her into chess and drawing (arts and painting) classes. While the girl showed no real interest in the latter, the speed with which she learned the chess moves was astonishing. Vaishali picked up the game and kept getting better at it. Seeing her, Praggnanandhaa too got hooked on the 64 squares. These two youngsters are not only one but two-time World Champions already – Vaishali won gold medals in Under-14 girls in 2015 and in Under-12 in Maribor in 2012, Praggnanandhaa was the gold medal winner in Under-10 in 2015 and Under-8 in Al Ain in 2013.

One could argue that as the overwhelming top-seed, R Vaishali was 'expected' to win,
but the truth of the matter is that out of the 12 different categories she was only one of two top seeds
to have succeeded in converting that favoritism into a gold medal, leading from start to finish

Vaishali, with a rating of 2314, started as the top seed in the Girls Under-14 event. She scored eight wins and three draws on her way to winning the medal by a margin of one point over her nearest rivals. In many ways Vaishali’s Gold didn’t come as a surprise – she was the top seed and had already proved her mettle by winning the National Women Challengers 2015, ahead of strong players like IM Tania Sachdev, WGM Mary Ann Gones, WGM Soumya Swaminathan, IM Nisha Mohota, etc. There is no doubt that the 14-year-old will make it big in the years to come.

[Event "World u-14 girls Greece 2015"] [Site "?"] [Date "2015.10.31"] [Round "6.2"] [White "Vaishali, R."] [Black "Kalaiyalahan, Akshaya"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B20"] [WhiteElo "2314"] [BlackElo "2233"] [Annotator "Vaishali.R"] [PlyCount "67"] [EventDate "2015.10.31"] {Kalaiyalahan Akshaya from England was the second seed of the event.} 1. e4 c5 2. b3 {After seeing some of her games it looked like she is a theoretical player, so I went for a side line. After b3 she thought for eight minutes. This is a sign that she didn't expect it.} Nc6 3. Bb2 d6 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. f4 a6 6. Nf3 e6 7. Bd3 d5 8. e5 Nd7 9. a3 {Preventing Nb4.} Be7 10. Ne2 Qc7 11. Ng3 g6 12. c4 d4 13. Ne4 b6 14. O-O a5 15. Qe2 h6 16. Nf2 Bb7 17. Be4 g5 18. fxg5 hxg5 19. Ng4 O-O-O 20. d3 Kb8 21. Bc1 Rdg8 $6 (21... Ndxe5 $5 22. Ngxe5 Nxe5 23. Bxb7 Nxf3+ 24. Bxf3 Qxh2+ 25. Kf2 g4 (25... Qh4+ $2 26. g3 Qh2+ 27. Bg2 $18) 26. Qe4 $8 Bh4+ 27. Ke2 gxf3+ 28. Qxf3 Qe5+ $13) 22. h3 $1 {A prophylactic move.} f5 23. exf6 Nxf6 24. Nxf6 Bxf6 25. Nh2 {This is the idea of h3.} Bd8 26. Ng4 Ne5 27. Bxb7 Nxg4 28. Qxg4 Qxb7 29. b4 axb4 30. axb4 cxb4 {[%csl Rb4,Rb6, Rd4,Re6,Rg5]} 31. Bd2 $18 Qc6 32. Rf7 Rh4 $4 {[#]Ends the game quickly.} 33. Bf4+ Kc8 34. Qxe6+ $1 1-0

Vantika Agarwal from Delhi lost her final round to Vaishali and had to settle for the bronze medal

World Youth Ch 2015 - Girls under 14
Rk
Title
Name
FED
Rtg
Pts
TB
1 WFM Vaishali R IND 2314 9.5 0.0
2 WFM Sliwicka Alicja POL 2129 8.5 0.0
3   Vantika Agrawal IND 2039 8.0 0.0
4 WFM Obolentseva Alexandra RUS 2084 8.0 0.0
5 WFM Shuvalova Polina RUS 2171 8.0 0.0

Apart from winning Gold here Praggnanandhaa was also
the gold medalist in the Boys Under-8 in 2013 with a perfect 11.0/11!

The ten-year-old from Chennai started off as the sixth seed in the event. He raced to take the sole lead with 6.5/7, beating the top rated player of the event Javokhir Sindarov on the way. His game against Sindarov perfectly exemplifies his playing style – natural and free flowing.

[Event "WYCC Open 10"] [Site "Porto Carras"] [Date "2015.10.29"] [Round "5.1"] [White "Praggnanandhaa, R."] [Black "Sindarov, Javokhir"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B07"] [WhiteElo "2077"] [BlackElo "2299"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "77"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:10:35"] [BlackClock "0:17:22"] 1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nbd7 4. Nf3 e5 5. Bc4 Be7 6. O-O O-O 7. a4 a6 8. Qe2 c6 9. Rd1 Qc7 10. a5 $1 {Clamping the queenside pawns and the b6 square.} h6 11. h3 Re8 12. dxe5 $1 {Stabilizing the center in order to start a kingside attack.} dxe5 13. Nh4 $1 Nf8 14. Be3 Be6 15. Nf5 Bxf5 16. exf5 $16 {With natural moves White has gained quite a tangible advantage out of the opening.} Bb4 17. Bb6 Qe7 18. Ne4 Nxe4 19. Qxe4 Nd7 20. Be3 (20. Rxd7 Qxd7 21. f6 { was a pretty strong idea with great attacking chances. Praggnanandhaa uses a similar idea later in the game.}) 20... Rad8 (20... Nf6 $1 $11) 21. Qf3 e4 22. Qg3 Kf8 $2 {[#]A tactical error which is excellently refuted.} 23. c3 $1 { First the bishop is forced to an exposed square.} Bc5 24. Rxd7 $1 {Then a defender is eliminated.} Rxd7 25. f6 $1 {And finally the second defender is deflected!} Qxf6 (25... gxf6 26. Bxh6#) 26. Bxc5+ {White is completely winning and Praggnanandhaa packed up the game quite easily.} Kg8 27. Bd4 Qg5 28. Qxg5 hxg5 29. b4 Red8 30. Be3 g4 31. hxg4 Kf8 32. Kh2 f6 33. g5 Rd1 34. Rxd1 Rxd1 35. gxf6 gxf6 36. Kg3 Rg1 37. Be6 Rh1 38. Bf5 Ke7 39. Bc8 1-0

Although Praggnanandhaa lost his eighth round to Oskar Oglaza, he fought back and won the ninth and the tenth round. A quick draw in the final round clinched the gold medal for him. Seeing the way he is progressing I would strongly recommend chess writers and reporters to learn how to spell his name correctly. We are going to see him go places!

World Youth Ch 2015 - Open under 10
Rk
Title 
Name
FED
Rtg
Pts
TB
1
FM
Praggnanandhaa R IND 2077 9.0 0.5
2
 
Makoveev Ilya RUS 1982 9.0 0.5
3
 
Wang Justin USA 2046 8.5 0.0
4
CM
Sadhwani Raunak IND 1981 8.5 0.0
5
CM
Suleymanli Aydin AZE 1910 8.5 0.0

We have already published this in our articles before, but if you haven’t seen it, we must warn you that this video of Vaishali, Praggnanandhaa and their mother, taken by Amruta Mokal at World Juniors 2014 in Pune, is high on the cuteness quotient.

Nihal Sarin, open Under-12, silver medalist

Tied for first: the remarkably talented player from India, Nihal Sarin (2096)

If there was someone who was unlucky to not win the gold medal in the event, it had to be the 11-year-old Nihal Sarin. The lad started as the 28th seed in the event, but clearly under-rated. In the past few months he had lost a ton of points, and had come down from 2312 to 2096. Nihal lost the third round to a 1956 rated player from Georgia. But after that he picked up pace and beat the top two seeds of the event: Awonder Liang (2365) of USA and Nodirbek Abdusattorov (2432) of Uzbekistan in rounds eight and nine respectively. In the end he tied with Mahammad Muradli of Azerbaijan with 9.0/11, but had to settle for the silver due to an inferior tie-break. Nihal has sent us one of his favourite games from the event, annotated in his inimitable style.

[Event "WYCC Greece"] [Site "?"] [Date "2015.10.28"] [Round "4"] [White "Sarin, Nihal"] [Black "Francisco RP Neves, Veiga Jose"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A61"] [WhiteElo "2096"] [BlackElo "1798"] [Annotator "Nihal Sarin"] [PlyCount "73"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 e6 4. Nc3 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 6. Nf3 g6 7. h3 a6 8. a4 Bg7 9. Bf4 O-O 10. e3 Re8 11. Nd2 Nh5 {A very rare move.} (11... Nbd7 {is the most popular move according to database.}) 12. Bh2 Be5 $6 (12... Qh4 13. Nc4 { preventing 13....Rxe3 and invasion of the black queen at b4.}) (12... f5 { was better}) 13. Bxe5 Rxe5 14. Nc4 Re8 15. Be2 Nf6 {[#]} 16. Qb3 $3 {A very powerful paralysing move. The black pieces will be lacking space and the a8 rook will be cut off from the game. The black bishop will not be able to take part in the game and his other rook will be doomed defending his weak pawn on d6. In the meantime White can create an enormous space advantage and can leave Black cramped till the end of the game.} Qc7 17. Qb6 $1 {The point behind the last move. The black rook will be stuck on a7 and cannot come back to the game. } Qxb6 18. Nxb6 Ra7 19. g4 $1 {Controlling f5 square and threatening 20.g5 Nfd7 21.Nc4.} Rd8 20. f4 Ne8 21. e4 $18 Nd7 22. Nc4 f6 23. h4 h6 24. Kf2 g5 25. hxg5 hxg5 26. fxg5 Ne5 27. Nxe5 dxe5 28. gxf6 Nxf6 29. Ke3 {White is a pawn up with a clearly winning position.} b6 30. g5 Nh7 31. Rh6 Rg7 (31... Nxg5 32. Rg1 Rg7 33. Rxb6) 32. Rah1 Nf8 33. Rh8+ Kf7 34. Rf1+ Ke7 35. d6+ Rxd6 36. Rfxf8 Bd7 37. Nd5+ 1-0

When's he going to play? Nihal Sarin during one of his games.

World Youth Ch 2015 - Open under 12
Rk
Title
Name
FED
Rtg
Pts
TB
1
CM
Muradli Mahammad AZE 2121 9.0 0.0
2
CM
Nihal Sarin IND 2096 9.0 0.0
3
CM
Peng David T USA 2231 9.0 0.0
4
FM
Abdusattorov Nodirbek UZB 2432 8.5 0.0
5
FM
Liang Awonder USA 2365 8.5 0.0

Top seed Nurgyul Salimova was the second top-rated player in the U12 Girls category to win gold,
American Carissa Yip, ranked third, was silver, while Saina Salonika from India took bronze.

World Youth Ch 2015 - Girls under 12
Rk
Title 
Name
FED
Rtg
Pts
TB
1 WFM Salimova Nurgyul BUL 2144 9.5 1.0
2   Yip Carissa USA 2007 9.5 0.0
3 WCM Salonika Saina IND 1858 8.5 0.0
4 WCM Duran Esma Doga TUR 1876 8.0 0.0
5 WFM Tan Huynh Thanh Truc VIE 1676 8.0 0.0

Chess Gurukul is a chess academy in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, founded by GM R.B. Ramesh and his wife WGM Aarthie Ramaswamy. One of the most amazing facts is that – all the five Indian gold medalists from the World Youth 2015 are from Chess Gurukul!

GM R.B. Ramesh (centre) and his son Karthik with the five gold medal winners at the Chennai airport

So what’s the secret of creating so many champions at one single place? We caught up with Ramesh and asked him a few questions:

Sagar Shah: How are you able to create so many champions at Chess Gurukul?

R.B. Ramesh: We are lucky in a way to get so many talented kids come to us for chess training. Full credit goes to the parents, who are very supportive, and the kids who are extremely hard working and ambitious. We try to focus on improving their abilities than to straight away go for good results.

SS: Can you tell us what the emphasis is when you work with these talented kids?

RBR: The focus is on the player’s ability to analyze a position and take decisions on their own. Players are encouraged to be more creative and follow their intuition, and at the same time calculate variations, wherever it is required, without being lazy about it. A combination of concrete play and trusting intuition is encouraged.

SS: What do you think should be done so that these talented kids fulfill their potential and become world class players?

RBR: Funds! The lack of this is a key put-off factor for these talented kids. They need to play in International tournaments outside India to get the much needed exposure and keep up the motivation level. The players are talented and hardworking. With proper support a lot more records could be broken.

Check out the Chess Gurukul website and the efforts to fund budding talents

Vishy Anand took out time from his busy schedule to meet the golden five

No article about India’s success could be complete without the views of Vishy Anand. We asked the five-time World Champion how he felt about India’s performance at the World Youth 2015, and what these kids require the most, so that we can get another World Champion like him in the country. This is what Anand had to say:

“Of course I am elated about the performance. What I see is gen-next in chess becoming a reality. It was a pleasure to meet these kids. The chess problems they go through are almost a mirror image of what I faced. What can be done is to get them to play abroad more often. For this sponsorship is the key. We are working with many individuals and organizations, like the Rotary Club of Madras, to get money for these kids via crowd funding. It’s a slow but essential process. But I hope the right talent gets to showcase at the right time. Since chess is getting very fast paced, timing is critical in hitting your talent peak.”

Results of all 50 Indian players at the World Youth 2015 on chess-results website

All photos, unless otherwise indicated, are by Reint Dykema

 

Links

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 there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 13 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

Source: ChessBase India special report



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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LAMIB LAMIB 12/6/2015 07:01
Very inappropriate remarks by slasheru. Some guys always find time to stamp their narrow minded thinking everywhere they can. Even in such a beautiful game as Chess. What a pity!
slasheru slasheru 12/2/2015 02:55
If you weren't an Indian, would you still write articles like this all the time?
excalibur2 excalibur2 12/2/2015 01:07
Congratulations to the Indians! They really dominated the World Youth Champs like no one has ever done before.
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