World Junior 2014 in Pune starts on Monday

by Venkatachalam Saravanan
10/5/2014 – Remember the days when young players wanted to win the World Junior Championship because it gave them an automatic GM title? How things have changed: this year a total of 139 players from 47 countries are participating, among them 18 GMs and 20 IMs, led by Russian GM Vladimir Fedoseev, clocked at Elo 2677. V. Saravanan reports on final preparations in Pune, India.

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Getting ready for the World Junior 2014 at Pune

By V. Saravanan

It’s the beginning of the beginning at Pune, as we enter the final bend of the run up to the World Junior Chess Championship 2014 at Pune, Maharashtra.

Endless cups are coffees consumed, as the fine-tuning takes place
for the successful conduction of the event.

It’s a barrage of meetings at the five-star Hyatt Pune, as brainstormings take place on visa, forex, check-ins, webcast, menu, venue, room-nights, transportation, pickups…

GM Abhijit Kunte, third from right, thick in the action

For an event of such magnitude, it is crucial to have the hotel’s full-fledged support,
and the Hyatt Pune has shown an excellent attitude so far.

A fresh looking lobby awaits all participants for check-in…

The ambience in some of the public spaces is breathtakingly beautiful

The rooms are invitingly luxurious as well

The restaurant with a view of the garden – cosy and inviting

Just a couple of days after the end of the tournament, on the 22nd and 23rd one of the biggest Hindu festivals of India arrives: the ‘Diwali’ (or Deepavali, as we in South India refer to), the festival of lights, fire-crackers and sweets. It is celebrated as the anniversary of the charismatic god Krishna slaying the demon Narakasura, all over the country.

Getting ready for the festival, the hotel has kept specially hand picked sweets,
packed beautifully, all around the place, for sale

Hyatt has even spruced up their pub, ‘Fish Bowl', promising to extend operational hours late
into the night, with an impressive wine rack array at the entrance. Quite inviting, really...

The organisation is in full gear by now. The Facebook and Twitter handles of the event are already busy, creating a buzz before the championship, not to forget the official website. Most of the games will be webcast live on the event, while video feeds will be provided for the top two boards in both the sections.

An impressive array of titled players of the state of Maharashtra have been lined for live web commentary during the event – former World Junior Girls Champion WGM Soumya Swaminathan along with IM Sagar Shah, IM Prathamesh Mokal, and WGM Swati Ghate, along with yours truly.

Now, we have nothing much to do, waiting for the players to arrive. Of course, as the country gets stronger and deeper in terms of chess strength, there is always the underlying optimism, hoping that the yellow metal will once again be won by two of the biggest Indian hopefuls, Vidit Gujrathi and Padmini Rout. And both look at Pune as one of their favourite hunting grounds, having strong roots with the city and the Maharashtra Chess League, in particular.

Vidit Gujrathi was the captain of the winning team of the 2014 edition...

... and Padmini Rout was the best woman player of both the editions held so far

And eagerly awaiting a special guest, a little big guy who is coming up very fast among the ranks, winning the world Under 10 crown at Durban just a few of days ago – Nihal Sarin (photo above), from Kerala, the state from the south western coast of India.

Top 30 participants in the Open section

We have a total of 139 players from 47 countries participating in the open section,
among them 18 GMs and 20 IMs, led by Russian GM Vladimir Fedoseev with Elo 2677

No. Name of the Player Title Rating Country Criteria
1 Vladimir Fedoseev GM 2677 Russia Extra
2 Robin van Kampen GM 2638 Netherlands Invited
3 Wei Yi GM 2638 China Invited
4 Jorge Moises Cori Tello GM 2630 Peru Invited
5 Vidit Santosh Gujrathi GM 2602 India Extra
6 Karen Grigoryan GM 2595 Armenia Invited
7 Benjamin Bok GM 2587 Netherlands Extra
8 Jan Krzysztof Duda GM 2576 Poland Invited
9 Lu Shanglei GM 2550 China Extra
10 Grigory Oparin GM 2546 Russia Invited
11 Aleksandar Indic GM 2539 Serbia Extra
12 Vladislav Kovalev GM 2532 Belarus Invited
13 Kamil Dragun GM 2530 Poland Extra
14 Nijat Abasov GM 2527 Azerbaijan Extra
15 Ankit Rajpara GM 2509 India Extra
16 Mikhail Antipov GM 2508 Russia Extra
17 Pouya Idani IM 2499 Iran Invited
18 Sahaj Grover GM 2492 India Extra
19 Ulvi Bajarani GM 2483 Azerbaijan Invited
20 Quinten Ducarmon IM 2479 Netherlands Extra
21 Toms Katans IM 2479 Latvia Invited
22 Diptayan Ghosh IM 2473 India Extra
23 Jakhongir Vakhidov IM 2471 Uzbekistan Invited
24 Aravindh Chithambaram IM 2467 India Extra
25 Karthikeyan Murali IM 2462 India Extra
26 Narayanan Srinath IM 2443 India Extra
27 Aryan Tari IM 2440 Norway Invited
28 Gagare Shardul IM 2440 India Extra
29 Prasanna Raghuram Rao IM 2438 India Extra
30 Das Sayantan IM 2423 India Extra

Top 20 participants in the Girls section

We have 78 participants from 32 countries in the girls section, including five WGMs and 11 WIMs, where again Russian Alexandra Goryachkina (above photo by Yelena Dembo's Chess Academy) with Elo 2430 defends her title.

No. Name of the Player Title Rating Country Criteria
1 Alexandra Goryachkina WGM 2430 Russia Extra
2 Meri Arabidze WGM 2411 Georgia Invited
3 Padmini Rout WGM 2354 India Extra
4 Daria Pustovoitova FM 2354 Russia Invited
5 Sarasadat Khademalsharies WGM 2324 Iran Invited
6 Lisa Schut WIM 2317 Netherlands Invited
7 Ni Shiqun WIM 2309 China Invited
8 Nguyen Thi Mai Hung WIM 2307 Vietnam Invited
9 Zhai Mo WIM 2302 China Extra
10 Marina Brunello FM 2281 Italy Extra
11 Sabina Ibrahimova WIM 2249 Azerbaijan Invited
12 Sarvinoz Kurbonboeva WFM 2228 Uzbekistan Invited
13 Anna Agnieszka Iwanow WIM 2210 Poland Invited
14 Klara Varga WIM 2210 Hungary Invited
15 Ann Lindsay Chumpitaz WIM 2201 Peru Invited
16 Irina Petrukhina WFM 2182 Russia Extra
17 Ivana Maria Furtado WIM 2182 India Extra
18 Mona Khaled WGM 2173 Egypt Invited
19 Gu Tianlu WIM 2161 China Extra
20 Pujari Rucha WFM 2154 India Extra

But did we tell you that we have special guests too, among whom the one who will bound to hold our attention will be a pleasant but formidable guy from Netherlands? Yes, Erwin l’Ami is going to be here to assist the Dutch players here, among them the impressive Robin van Kampen and Benjamin Bok.

As traditionally, it will be a 13 round swiss, with the first round on the 6th of Oct, and the last round on 20th Oct, with a rest day on the 13th of October. As they say, watch this space!

Playing Schedule

Activity Time Date
Opening Ceremony 19:00 5th October, 2014
Technical Meeting 22:00 5th October, 2014
Round 1 15:00 6th October, 2014
Round 2 15:00 7th October, 2014
Round 3 15:00 8th October, 2014
Round 4 15:00 9th October, 2014
Round 5 15:00 10th October, 2014
Round 6 15:00 11th October, 2014
Round 7 15:00 12th October, 2014
Free Day 13th October, 2014
Round 8 15:00 14th October, 2014
Round 9 15:00 15th October, 2014
Round 10 15:00 16th October, 2014
Round 11 15:00 17th October, 2014
Round 12 15:00 18th October, 2014
Round 13 10:00 19th October, 2014
Closing Ceremony 18:00 19th October, 2014
Departure of Delegations 20th October, 2014

Links

The games will be 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 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.



Saravanan is an IM from Chennai, the southern-most state of Tamil Nadu, India. He has been an active chess player in the Indian circuit, turning complete chess professional in 2012, actively playing and being a second to strong Indian players. He has been consistently writing on chess since late 1980s and is a correspondent to national newspapers and news channels.
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