Super Six for India at WYCC 2014

by Sagar Shah
10/3/2014 – Chess in India is booming, and you know it is when the nation returns with two golds, two silvers and two bronze medals from the World Youth Championships in South Africa – the best tally of medals there. While the bronze medal at the Olympiad in Tromsø had shown how strong India has become, it is now clear that the future of Indian chess is in the safe hands of promising youngsters.

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Super Six for India at WYCC 2014

By Sagar Shah

Take a look at the above picture. It was taken during the Under-9 Nationals that were held in Chennai in November 2013. The winner in the boys section was Nihal Sarin and in the girls it was Divya Deshmukh. And guess what: both the Under-9 National winners turned out to be the World Under-10 champions!
It was a complete sweep by the Indians in the Under-10 category, with Nihal and Divya both securing the Gold.

World Boys U-10 top ten ranking after 11 rounds

Rk. SNo   Name FED RtgI Pts. Rp
1 5   Nihal Sarin IND 2018 9.0 2075
2 1 FM Abdusattorov Nodirbek UZB 2128 8.5 1928
3 4   Tsoi Dmitry RUS 2027 8.5 1984
4 16 FM Praggnanandhaa R IND 1836 8.0 1988
5 12   Dhanush Bharadwaj IND 1888 8.0 1776
6 2   Keymer Vincent GER 2092 8.0 1968
7 22 CM Kushagra Mohan IND 1771 8.0 1939
8 23 FM Kacharava Nikolozi GEO 1758 8.0 1796
9 7   Sindarov Javokhir UZB 1952 7.5 1826
10 6   Hong Andrew Z USA 2007 7.5 1895

Nihal, born in 2004, already has quite a few accolades to his name. In December 2013 he had won the gold medal in the World Under-10 blitz. The story of this victory was reported in the popular Indian newspaper Hindu. Judging from that article it seems that Nihal comes from very humble background. His father, even though short of financial resources, has put in quite some money so that his son's chess career would come to fruition. And it really has!

Big and small: Nihal with the CEO of the Indian Chess Federation Bharat Singh Chauhan

Nihal played some fantastic chess and won the tournament inspite of losing the last round. He scored 9/11 and in the process gained 58 Elo points. According to coach E.P. Nirmal, Nihal is extremely talented and he says, "I have seen a few prodigies and he is easily the most gifted player I have come across ever!" Nihal is a gem and the Indian chess community should take care that this young kid receives proper training and sponsorship so that all his potential can be realised.

World Girls U-10 top ten ranking after 11 rounds

Rk. SNo   Name FED RtgI Pts. Rp
1 13 WFM Divya Deshmukh IND 1607 10.0 1867
2 1 WFM Assaubayeva Bibissara KAZ 1927 10.0 1923
3 5 WFM Asadi Motahare IRI 1726 8.0 1539
4 62   Song Yuxin CHN 0 8.0 1628
5 9   Nurgali Nazerke KAZ 1634 7.5 1458
6 68   Zhu Evelyn USA 0 7.5 1369
7 18 WCM Caglar Sila TUR 1502 7.0 1402
8 6 WFM Samadashvili Martha USA 1674 7.0 1489
9 12   Wen Yili CHN 1610 7.0 1496
10 3 WCM Matus Nastassja A USA 1758 7.0 1440

Divya Deshmukh wrapped up her victory with an amazing score of 10.0/11. The daughter of two gynaecologists, this little wonder from Nagpur already has a bunch of records and achievements to her credit. Divya became the youngest WFM in the history of chess when she achieved the title at the age of seven years. She won the National Under-7 title and followed it up with winning the Asian title in both 2012 and 2013. She became the Under-9 National Champion and finally she has capped it all with a gold medal at the World Under-10 Championships.

If you understand Marathi – but even if you don't – you should watch this wonderful video on Divya

What does it look like from the other side? Divya kibitzing from next to her opponent

Divya is progressing rapidly. In this tournament she added a whopping 142 Elo points to her modest rating of 1607. The day is not far when we shall be seeing her compete with the best in women chess!

As with the U10 boys: the smallest players is first

Silver lining

What to say about this 15-year-old kid from Tamil Nadu? You know he is a class apart when he beats Alexie Shirov with 1.b3! IM Aravindh Chithambaram won the silver medal in the boys Under-16 category. He might be a tad disappointed though – after all he was the top seed in his category. But the field was quite strong and a silver medal is a fantastic achievement.

Aravindh already has three GM norms under his belt and a rating of 2496. However, he lost 20 Elo points in a rating tournament in Andhra Pradesh just a few days ago. He gained nine points over here which takes him to a live Elo of 2485. His GM title should be a matter of time.

World Boys U-16 top ten ranking after 11 rounds

Rk. SNo   Name FED RtgI Pts. Rp
1 6 IM Pichot Alan ARG 2452 9.0 2595
2 1 IM Aravindh Chithambaram IND 2496 8.5 2537
3 7 FM Bellahcene Bilel FRA 2428 8.5 2504
4 5 FM Rambaldi Francesco ITA 2456 8.5 2428
5 3 IM Karthikeyan Murali IND 2462 8.0 2455
6 2 IM Sanal Vahap TUR 2473 8.0 2448
7 9 FM Petrosyan Manuel ARM 2397 8.0 2407
8 4 FM Van Foreest Jorden NED 2457 7.5 2230
9 18 FM Rakotomaharo Fy A. MAD 2286 7.5 2220
10 10 FM Saiyn Zhanat KAZ 2397 7.0 2324

GM Vaibhav Suri, won silver in the Under-18 Boys section with a score of 9/11. Before I say anything about him, let me show you a list of the youngest GMs in history (from 2013). You can see Vaibhav's name on number 29. He became a GM before Harikrishna, Judit Polgar and even the great Bobby Fischer?!! Need I say anything more! After becoming a GM at the age of 15, Vaibhav has been in the 2500 Elo zone for quite some time now. But I feel he hasn't stagnated – in fact his giant leap is just around the corner and soon we will be seeing him in the 2600 Elo bracket.

World Boys U-18 top ten ranking after 11 rounds

Rk. SNo   Name FED RtgI Pts. Rp
1 3 IM Bortnyk Olexandr UKR 2505 9.5 2711
2 1 GM Vaibhav Suri IND 2521 9.0 2624
3 6 IM Henriquez Villagra C. CHI 2466 7.5 2480
4 2 IM Bluebaum Matthias GER 2521 7.5 2504
5 12 FM Studer Noel SUI 2404 7.5 2452
6 8 IM Harutyunian Tigran K. ARM 2439 7.5 2406
7 16 FM Nasuta Grzegorz POL 2361 7.5 2299
8 5 FM Alekseenko Kirill RUS 2483 7.0 2467
9 17   Vignesh Narayanan R.i IND 2360 7.0 2426
10 4 IM Wagner Dennis GER 2499 7.0 2398

The Bronze Babies

I just don't know what to write about this little kid! Born in 2006 – hasn't he just landed on planet Earth?!! I tried to search for some information on him, but couldn't find anything. And that's when I realized that this boy lets his moves do the talking. I downloaded the games from the official website and found one played by him on the top board in round nine. From the black side of Dragon, Leon Luke played a brilliant game which completely belies his age! I just couldn't believe that an eight-year-old kid could do this. He was surely better in the game and had he won it, it would have given him good chances for a gold medal. But it was not to be and finally he had to settle for Bronze with a score of 8.0/11. Here's the game:

[Event "World Youth Chess Championships"] [Site "?"] [Date "2014.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Tugstumur, Yesuntumur"] [Black "Mendonca, Leon Luke"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B76"] [PlyCount "61"] [SourceDate "2014.09.30"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 O-O 8. Qd2 Nc6 9. g4 Bd7 10. h4 h5 11. gxh5 Nxh5 12. O-O-O a6 13. Be2 Rc8 14. f4 Ng3 15. Rhg1 Nxd4 16. Bxd4 Bxd4 17. Qxd4 Rxc3 18. Bd3 Rxd3 19. Qxd3 Nh5 20. f5 Kh7 21. Rg5 Qc8 22. Rdg1 Rg8 23. Qf3 Nf6 24. Qb3 Rg7 25. h5 Nxh5 26. Qh3 Kh6 $2 (26... Kh8 {would have kept an advantage for Black, who has two minor pieces and a pawn for the rook}) 27. Qh4 Be8 28. f6 exf6 29. Rxh5+ gxh5 30. Qxf6+ Rg6 31. Qh8# 1-0

World Boys U-8 top ten ranking after 11 rounds

Rk. SNo   Name FED RtgI Pts. Rp
1 2   Makoveev Ilya RUS 1799 9.5 1576
2 7 CM Tugstumur Yesuntumur MGL 1612 9.5 1631
3 10 CM Mendonca Leon Luke IND 1465 8.0 1446
4 29   Deng Yu Dong Michael HKG 0 8.0 1562
5 5   Gukesh Dommaraju IND 1661 8.0 1449
6 9 CM Aditya Mittal IND 1496 7.5 1391
7 60   Vo Pham Thien Phuc VIE 0 7.0 1394
8 1   Guo Arthur USA 1908 7.0 1251
9 12   Polavaram Rithik S USA 1430 7.0 1329
10 52   Rohun Trakru USA 0 7.0 1374

R. Vaishali is proving that she is one of the best players in the world in her age category. In 2012 she won a gold medal in the Under-12 Girls, and now she has followed it up with Bronze in the under 14 section. She has also started beating established players, most notably IM B.S. Shivananada. With a rating of 2124, it won't be long before this young girl starts giving a scare to the strongest GMs.

World Girls U-14 top ten ranking after 11 rounds

Rk. SNo   Name FED RtgI Pts. Rp
1 4 WFM Zhou Qiyu CAN 2119 8.5 2169
2 6 WFM Kiolbasa Oliwia POL 2094 8.5 2129
3 3 WFM Vaishali Ramesh Babu IND 2124 8.0 2098
4 2 WFM Obolentseva Alexandra RUS 2151 8.0 2061
5 5   Yuan Ye CHN 2098 8.0 2103
6 14   Bauyrzhan Arnash KAZ 1930 8.0 1911
7 10   Eswaran Ashritha USA 1977 7.5 2014
8 8   Kozina Anastasia RUS 1988 7.5 1899
9 26 WFM Zhao Shengxin CHN 1766 7.5 1898
10 13 WIM Vazquez Maccarini D. PUR 1935 7.0 1975

Source: ChessAce chess blog


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Sagar is an International Master from India with two GM norms. 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 and CEO of ChessBase India, the biggest chess news portal in the country. His YouTube channel has over a million subscribers, and to date close to a billion views. ChessBase India is the sole distributor of ChessBase products in India and seven adjoining countries, where the software is available at a 60% discount. compared to International prices.


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