Norway and Kazakhstan win gold at World Junior Championship

by Georgios Souleidis
11/27/2017 – Norway has a second World Champion: in Tarvisio, Italy, Aryan Tari won the World Junior Championship with 8½/11. He shared first place with Manuel Petrosyan from Armenia and the Indian Aravindh Chithambaram Vr. but had the best tiebreak. At the World Junior Championship for Girls Zhansaya Abdumalik took clear first with 9½/11. | Photo: Bernd Vökler

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"Mark of a champion"

The World Junior Championship was a hard-fought tournament and before the tournament a lot of players were given chances to win. Aryan Tari (pictured above) started with a draw in round 1 but then won five games in a row. In round 6 he took the lead and defended it to the very end to win the tournament and to become World Junior Champion 2017. A famous fellow countryman of Tari was one of the first to congratulate.

Tari, who did not lose a single game in the tournament, also used twitter to thank his supporters and fans.

Tari shared first place with Manuel Petrosyan (Armenia) and Aravindh Chithambaram (India) who both also finished with 8½/11. Petrosyan won silver by beating Kirill Alekseenko in the last round. Alekseenko had an unlucky finish: up to round nine he had shared the lead with Tari but then nerves got the better of him and he lost his last two games.

Aravindh Chithambaram, however, had a fantastic finish: he won his last three games and the bronze medal. Three Indian players finished among the top seven.

Aravindh Chithambaram

Aravindh Chithambaram | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Pragg comes up short

Before the last round the Indian fans put their hopes also on Praggnanandhaa. If the 12-year old "Wunderkind" had won his final game he might have become World Champion and the youngest grandmaster of all time, as the GM title is automatically awarded to the winner. Considering his age, playing (and nearly winning) the under-20 World Junior is an astounding feat. He finished undefeated with 8.0/11. He missed a key chance in the penultimate round against Russian IM Semen Lomasov.

Praggnanandhaa R. - Lomasov, Semen (Tactical Analysis by ChessBase India)

Queen's Pawn Openings

Queen‘s Pawn Openings such as the Trompowsky, the London System, the Colle System, the Torre Attack and many others crop up all the time at club level. From time to time they are popular with Grandmasters too!

The youngster misevaluated the weakness of Black's king.

In the final round, a draw against Rasmus Svane from Germany, left Praggnananda in fourth place.

Rasmus Svane

Rasmus Svane | Photo: Bernd Vökler

It is no small consolation that Praggnananda neverthless scored his first GM norm in fine style, and still is well capable of breaking Sergey Karjakin's all-time youngest GM record in the coming months. Plus he continues to impress his idol:

Selected games from rounds 8 to 11


Final standings (top 25)

Rk. Name Pts.
1 Tari Aryan 8,5
2 Petrosyan Manuel 8,5
3 Aravindh Chithambaram Vr. 8,5
4 Praggnanandhaa R 8,0
5 Van Foreest Jorden 8,0
6 Sorokin Aleksey 8,0
7 Karthikeyan Murali 8,0
8 Lomasov Semen 7,5
9 Alekseenko Kirill 7,5
10 Xu Xiangyu 7,5
11 Liu Yan 7,5
12 Bai Jinshi 7,5
13 Triapishko Alexandr 7,5
14 Tran Tuan Minh 7,5
15 Sarana Alexey 7,5
16 Martirosyan Haik M. 7,5
17 Svane Rasmus 7,5
18 Kobo Ori 7,0
19 Oparin Grigoriy 7,0
20 Gagare Shardul 7,0
21 Liang Awonder 7,0
22 Zanan Evgeny 7,0
23 Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan 7,0
24 Shevchenko Kirill 7,0
25 Donchenko Alexander 7,0

...148 players

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Abdumalik takes Junior Girls

The World Junior Championship for Girls was much more one-sided and dominated by one player: Zhansaya Abdumalik started as top-seed and won with 9½/11. In the end the 17-year old from Kazakhstan was a whole point ahead of Anastasya Paramzina from Russia who won silver. Jennifer Yu from the USA suffered a last round loss against Abdumalik but still won bronze.

Zhansaya Abdumalik | Photo: Bernd Vökler

After winning silver in 2013 and bronze in 2015 gold in 2017 is Abdumalik's third medal at the World Junior Championship U20 for Girls. Before that she had won won silver at the U10 and gold at the U12. Now she might start to think about a career as professional chess player. For Kazakhstan it was the second gold in a row at the World Junior Championship U20 for Girls — in 2016 Dinara Saduakassova had won gold in Bhubaneswar, India.

Selected games from rounds 8 to 11


Final standings (top 20)

Rk. Name Pts.
1 Abdumalik Zhansaya 9,5
2 Paramzina Anastasya 8,5
3 Yu Jennifer 8,0
4 Tsolakidou Stavroula 8,0
5 Tokhirjonova Gulrukhbegim 8,0
6 Osmak Iulija 7,5
7 Shuvalova Polina 7,5
8 Injac Teodora 7,5
9 Kanakova Natalie 7,5
10 Nomin-Erdene Davaademberel 7,0
11 Aakanksha Hagawane 7,0
12 Badelka Olga 7,0
13 Dordzhieva Dinara 7,0
14 Antova Gabriela 7,0
15 Janzelj Lara 7,0
16 Chernyak Viktoria 7,0
17 Vaishali R 6,5
18 Khomeriki Nino 6,5
19 Obolentseva Alexandra 6,5
20 Khademalsharieh Sarasadat 6,5

...89 players

Translation from German: Johannes Fischer



Georgios Souleidis is an International Master with a degree in media and communication studies. He is an experienced journalist, author, photographer, chess trainer, editor-in-chief for the German Bundesliga, YouTuber, a regular contributor to the chessbase website, German chess magazine SCHACH, and previously blogged on his own site


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