World Junior Championship: GM Alex Ipatov is the winner

8/16/2012 – The World Junior Championships took place, without undue public attention, in Athens 2nd-16th August 2012. For much of the final stretch two players were in the lead: Richard Rapport (2605) and Alexander Ipatov (2577). The latter, who is from Ukraine but represents Turkey, won in the end on tiebreak. His trainer, GM Efstratios Grivas, sent us annotated games for our big pictorial report.

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The World Junior Championships took place in Athens 2nd-16th August 2012. The top players were Ding Liren (2695), Yu Yangyi (2635), Yaroslav Zherebukh (2629), Richard Rapport (2605), Aleksandr Shimanov (2596) and Alexander Ipatov (2577), all with full GM titles. In the Girls section the top seeds were IM Anastasia Bodnaruk (2414), WGM Deysi Cori (2413) and WGM Alina Kashlinskaya (2391).

World Junior Championship: GM Alex Ipatov is the winner!

Report by GM Efstratios Grivas

Alexander Ipatov (above left), representing Turkey, won the FIDE World Junior Championship U.20 in Athens, Greece. Ipatov collected 10/13 to claim first place. Second place was gained by GM Richard Rapport (above right, Hungary) who scored the same points but had worse tiebreak. Third place went to Ding Liren (China) with 9½/13. According to regulations Ipatov also qualifies for the World Cup 2013, part of the World Championship Cycle 2012-2014.

Final top standings after thirteen rounds

Rk. Ti. Name FED Rtg
Pts.
1 GM Ipatov Alexander TUR 2577
10.0
2 GM Rapport Richard HUN 2605
10.0
3 GM Ding Liren CHN 2695
9.5
4 GM Grandelius Nils SWE 2562
9.5
5 GM Yu Yangyi CHN 2635
9.0
6 GM Ter-Sahakyan Samvel ARM 2567
9.0
7 GM Zherebukh Yaroslav UKR 2629
9.0
8 IM Indjic Aleksandar SRB 2481
9.0
9 GM Huschenbeth Niclas GER 2532
9.0
10 IM Hansen Eric CAN 2472
9.0
11 FM Wei Yi CHN 2418
8.5
12 GM Shimanov Aleksandr RUS 2596
8.5
13 GM Van Kampen Robin NED 2565
8.5
14 IM Antipov Mikhail Al RUS 2462
8.5
15 IM Andersen Mads DEN 2464
8.5
16 IM Grover Sahaj IND 2516
8.0
17 GM Cori Jorge PER 2487
8.0
18 GM Salem A R Saleh UAE 2546
8.0
19 IM Yilmaz Mustafa TUR 2543
8.0
20 IM Holt Conrad USA 2498
8.0
21 FM Schreiner Peter AUT 2444
8.0
22 GM Baron Tal ISR 2451
8.0
23 IM Kovalev Vladislav BLR 2485
8.0
24 IM Heimann Andreas GER 2493
8.0
25 IM Bluebaum Matthias GER 2424
8.0
26 IM Shyam Sundar M IND 2486
8.0
27 IM Gao Rui CHN 2442
8.0
28 IM Kanarek Marcel POL 2487
8.0
29 IM Shyam Nikil P IND 2484
8.0
30 IM Bajarani Ulvi AZE 2446
8.0
31 Stanciu Alexandru ROU 2342
8.0
 
Girls
Rk. Ti. Name FED Rtg
Pts.
1 WGM Guo Qi CHN 2358
9.5
2 WGM Ziaziulkina Nastassia BLR 2342
9.5
3 IM Bodnaruk Anastasia RUS 2414
9.5
4 WFM Medina Warda Aulia INA 2218
9.5
5 WIM Arabidze Meri GEO 2379
9.0
6 WGM Cori T Deysi PER 2413
8.5
7 WIM Bulmaga Irina ROU 2380
8.5
8 WIM Sihite Chelsie Monica INA 2162
8.5
9 Wang Jue CHN 2355
8.5
10 WIM Abdulla Khayala AZE 2217
8.5
11 WIM Kulkarni Bhakti IND 2159
8.0
12 WGM Goryachkina Aleks. RUS 2361
8.0
13 WIM Rodriguez Paula COL 2196
8.0
14 WFM Osmak Iulija UKR 2171
8.0
15 WGM Vojinovic Jovana MNE 2337
7.5
16 WFM Kulon Klaudia POL 2259
7.5
17 WIM Varga Klara HUN 2181
7.5
18 Ibrahimova Sabina AZE 2091
7.5
19 WFM De Seroux Camille SUI 2101
7.5
20 WGM Kashlinskaya Alina RUS 2391
7.0
21 WGM Mona Khaled EGY 2121
7.0
22 Manelidou Maria GRE 2056
7.0
23 WIM Semenova Elena RUS 2134
7.0
24 WIM Schut Lisa NED 2305
7.0
25 WIM Abdumalik Zhansaya KAZ 2193
7.0
26 WCM Orozco Lina Yomayra COL 2150
7.0
27 WCM Narva Triin EST 2028
7.0
28 Unapkoshvili Nani GEO 2011
7.0
29 WFM Ivana Maria Furtado IND 2102
7.0
30 WIM Pavlidou Ekaterini GRE 2237
7.0


In second place by tiebreak: Hungarian GM and prodigy Richard Rapport


Third place for top seed GM Ding Liren of China


The Girls' Section was won on tiebreak points by Chinese WGM Guo Qi

Alexander Ipatov’s name is now next to a famous long list of World Junior Champions including Viswanathan Anand, Boris Spassky, Anatoly Karpov, Alexander Beliavsky, Garry Kasparov, Kiril Georgiev, Maxim Dlugy, Vladimir Akopian, Emil Sutovsky, Lazaro Bruzon, Levon Aronian, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Pentala Harikrishna, Zaven Andriasian, Ahmed Adly, Abhijeet Gupta, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Dmitry Andreikin, Dariusz Swiercz, etc.

Alexander Ipatov was born in Ukraine on July 16th 1993. He was two times Vice-Champion of the Ukraine among boys under ten years (2003), under 14 (2007), under 16 and 20 (2008, he was just 14 at the time!). He is a Master of Sports (Ukraine) and a participant of two world championships under ten years (2003, 11th place), under 14 years (2007, 8th place). His first major feat was the second place at the international chess tournament Le Mans (France, 2008). While commenting the World Chess Championship live in Sofia he won the strong Sofia Blitz Championship and from there his success followed one after the other. A few months later IM Ipatov won a medal and GM norm at Cappelle La Grande and the same year came his final GM norm in Nakhchivan with equal points as Vallejo, Sokolov, and Almasi.

Early in 2012 Ipatov was attracted by the Turkish Chess Federation and the same year he brings the first gold from World Junior Championships to the country. His next event is the important World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, where he will be on the top boards of the team.

I think that Alex was in trouble in only one of his games at the World Junior:

[Event "FIDE-WC U.20"] [Site "Athens"] [Date "2012.08.11"] [Round "9.2"] [White "Ipatov, Alexander"] [Black "Ter-Sahakyan, Samvel"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D45"] [WhiteElo "2577"] [BlackElo "2567"] [Annotator "Efstratios Grivas"] [PlyCount "158"] [EventDate "2012.08.02"] [EventRounds "13"] [EventCountry "GRE"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Nc3 Nbd7 6. Qc2 Bd6 7. b3 O-O 8. Be2 b6 9. O-O Bb7 10. Rd1 Qe7 11. e4 Nxe4 12. Nxe4 dxe4 13. Qxe4 Nf6 14. Qh4 c5 15. Bf4 Rad8 16. Be5 cxd4 17. Rxd4 Bxe5 18. Nxe5 Qc5 19. Rxd8 Rxd8 20. Ng4 Rd2 21. Rd1 Rxd1+ 22. Bxd1 Nxg4 23. Bxg4 Qd4 24. h3 g6 25. Qg3 e5 26. Qe3 Qxe3 27. fxe3 h5 28. Bf3 e4 29. Be2 h4 30. g3 g5 31. Bg4 Kg7 32. Kf2 Kf6 33. gxh4 gxh4 34. Ke2 Bc6 35. b4 Ke5 36. Bc8 f5 37. Kd2 Be8 {White's chosen opening wasn't a success, as Black's novelty (15...Rad8) solved all his opening problems. After some further White innacuracies Black is about to cash the point...} 38. c5 ({ An active try, as after} 38. a3 f4 39. exf4+ (39. Ke2 f3+ 40. Kf2 Bf7 $19) 39... Kxf4 {, White can barely escape...}) 38... Bb5 (38... bxc5 39. bxc5 Bb5) 39. Ke1 (39. cxb6 axb6 40. Ke1 f4 41. exf4+ Kxf4 42. Be6 Ke5 43. Bb3 Bd7 44. a4 Bxh3 45. a5 bxa5 46. bxa5 Bc8 {should win for Black as well.}) 39... bxc5 40. bxc5 Bc6 $1 {That's the point! Black stops the white c-pawn and plans to attack it with his king after the coming ...f4.} 41. Kd2 f4 42. exf4+ (42. Ke2 f3+ 43. Kf2 Kd5 44. Bf5 Kxc5 $19 {.}) 42... Kxf4 43. Bg4 e3+ 44. Ke2 Bb5+ 45. Ke1 Ke4 {It seems that there is nothing left to play for White. But Alex is a creative player, so he tries to pose the maximum problems to his opponent.} 46. Be2 Bd7 47. Ba6 $1 Kd4 48. Ke2 Be8 $6 ({The text still wins, but it was easier to go for} 48... Bxh3 49. c6 Bg4+ 50. Kf1 (50. Ke1 h3 51. Bf1 Kc5 $19) 50... Kc3 $1 51. Be2 Be6 52. c7 Kd2 53. Ba6 Bh3+ $19 {.}) 49. Kf3 $1 {Passivity leads to nowhere!} Bh5+ 50. Kf4 e2 51. Bxe2 Bxe2 52. c6 Bb5 53. c7 Bd7 54. Kg5 Bxh3 55. Kxh4 Bc8 56. Kg3 Kc3 {Black wins, as he can take White's last pawn without allowing the white king to settle for his queen corner - keep in mind that the black bishop is of opposite colour corner of its pawn on the a-file.} 57. Kf3 Kb4 58. Ke4 Ka3 59. Kd4 Kxa2 60. Kc4 {And here is the critical position.} Kb2 $2 (60... Ka3 $1 {is the only winning move:} 61. Kb5 Kb3 62. Ka5 a6 63. Kb6 Kb4 {and the black pawn promotes.}) 61. Kb4 $1 {But now it's a draw, as the white king has two safe squares on a4 and b4, and he cannot be allowed to surrender critical squares to his counterpart.} Bb7 62. Ka4 Ka2 63. Kb4 Bc8 64. Ka4 Ba6 65. Ka5 Bb7 66. Kb4 a6 67. Ka4 Bc8 68. Kb4 Ka1 69. Ka4 Kb1 70. Kb4 Kb2 71. Ka4 Kc3 72. Ka3 $1 ({And the white king settls for the safety of his queen corner. Losing was} 72. Ka5 $2 Kb3 73. Kb6 Kb4 $19 {.}) 72... Be6 73. c8=Q+ Bxc8 74. Ka2 Be6+ 75. Ka1 a5 76. Kb1 a4 77. Ka1 a3 78. Kb1 Kb3 79. Ka1 Bf5 1/2-1/2

After this game I told him that he is destined to win the tournament. There is nothing like playing 13 consecutive games without an error, so if he could escape his weak moment there was nothing to fear from now on! The next game was of a highly sporting importance:

[Event "FIDE-WC U.20"] [Site "Athens"] [Date "2012.08.07"] [Round "6.2"] [White "Grandelius, Nils"] [Black "Ipatov, Alexander"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E10"] [WhiteElo "2562"] [BlackElo "2577"] [Annotator "Efstratios Grivas"] [PlyCount "84"] [EventDate "2012.08.02"] [EventRounds "13"] [EventCountry "GRE"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nc6 {As Grandelius seemed to have no experience in this line, the 'Two Knights Tango', we decided in the morning preparation to give it a try. Of course it was a dangerous decision, as Alex was playing this system for the first time in his life. But he quickly absorbed all the critical lines and plans that I was able to explain to him. I was lucky enough to have played this system with the white pieces, so I knew all the details and the complexities that a position like this offer. After some further study alone, he was ready to go for it!} 4. a3 d6 5. Nc3 g6 6. g3 Bg7 7. Bg2 O-O 8. O-O a6 9. d5 Na5 $1 ({This novelty seemed better than} 9... Ne7 10. e4 b5 11. e5 dxe5 12. Nxe5 Rb8 13. dxe6 Bxe6 14. Qe2 c6 {1/2-1/2 Carstensen,J-Aagaard,J Helsingor 2012.}) 10. Nd2 Rb8 11. b4 {White is more or less obliged to go for the gold!} Nxc4 12. Nxc4 Nxd5 13. Nxd5 Bxa1 14. Bh6 Bg7 15. Bxg7 Kxg7 16. Qd4+ f6 17. Nc3 {After some forced move an interesting position is on the cards. White has gained two pieces for a rook and two pawns. The position is balanced, offering chances to both sides.} d5 $1 18. Na5 $6 (18. Nb2 a5 19. Nd3 $13 {was a must.}) 18... c5 $1 {Black must activate his central pawns and rooks, otherwise the pieces will prevail.} 19. Qf4 (19. Qxc5 $2 b6 {.}) 19... Bd7 20. Rd1 $6 (20. Nb3 cxb4 21. axb4 Rc8 $15 {.}) 20... b6 21. Nb3 c4 22. Nd2 (22. Nd4 $5 e5 23. Qe3 exd4 24. Rxd4 $17 {.}) 22... e5 23. Qf3 d4 {Suddenly the black passed pawns are rolling and nothing can stop them!} 24. Nd5 Rc8 25. e4 c3 26. Nf1 Bb5 27. h4 f5 $1 28. Rc1 Bc4 29. h5 b5 (29... fxe4 30. Qxe4 Qxd5 31. Qxd5 Bxd5 32. Bxd5 d3 33. Be4 Rfd8 $19 {was good enough.}) 30. hxg6 hxg6 31. g4 Qg5 32. Qg3 Rfe8 ({Here Alex was a bit stoned, as he had missed the text move. Easier was} 32... fxg4 {.}) 33. gxf5 Qxg3 34. f6+ Kf8 35. fxg3 (35. Nxg3 Bxd5 36. exd5 d3 37. Bf3 Rc4 $19 {.}) 35... Bxd5 36. exd5 e4 37. d6 (37. Bh3 Kf7 $1 38. Bxc8 Rxc8 39. d6 Kxf6 40. d7 Rd8 41. Kf2 Rxd7 $19 {.}) 37... Rcd8 38. g4 e3 39. g5 e2 40. Kf2 d3 $1 {The black pawns are unstoppable!} 41. Ne3 Rxe3 42. Rh1 e1=Q+ 0-1

The last round was a nervous affair. It seemed that a draw would be enough for Alex to catch the gold, so my main task was to 'convince' him to play for a win rather for a draw! And this is the right policy; there are many cases of failed players who played just for the draw… History and experience once more was on our side…

[Event "FIDE-WC U.20"] [Site "Athens"] [Date "2012.08.15"] [Round "13.2"] [White "Ipatov, Alexander"] [Black "Shimanov, Alexandr"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E60"] [WhiteElo "2577"] [BlackElo "2596"] [Annotator "Efstratios Grivas"] [PlyCount "71"] [EventDate "2012.08.02"] [EventRounds "13"] [EventCountry "GRE"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 c5 5. Nf3 Qa5+ 6. Nbd2 cxd4 7. Nxd4 Nc6 8. Nxc6 bxc6 9. O-O O-O 10. a3 Qc7 11. Qc2 d6 12. Rb1 Bg4 13. h3 Bd7 14. b4 h5 15. Bb2 e5 16. Rfd1 Rad8 17. Qc3 h4 18. g4 Nh7 19. Ne4 f5 20. Nxd6 fxg4 21. c5 Ng5 22. Qe3 Ne6 23. Bxe5 gxh3 24. Bxh3 Bxe5 25. Bxe6+ Bxe6 26. Qxe5 Bd5 27. Rxd5 cxd5 28. Qxd5+ Kg7 29. Qe5+ Kg8 30. Qd5+ Kg7 31. Qd4+ Kg8 32. Qxh4 Qg7 33. Qc4+ Kh8 34. Rb3 Qh6 35. Rg3 Kh7 36. Qe4 (36. Qe4 {Here Alex looked at the game next to him (Ding Liren-Rapport) and he observed that a dead draw was on the cards. So, knowing that he is the champ, he offered a draw but obviously he is completely winning:} Qh5 37. Qe7+ Kg8 38. c6 {. Who can blame him?}) 1/2-1/2

Epilogue: That was an interesting story after all! A Turkish representative, guiding by a Greek trainer, triumphed in the heart of Athens, just along the Acropolis. Well, it seems that we truly live in a global world! Once more, congrats Alex!


The proud trainer and his successful student, with trophy, at the closing ceremony

Picture gallery

4 GM Grandelius Nils SWE 2562
9.5

6 GM Ter-Sahakyan Samvel ARM 2567
9.0

12 GM Shimanov Aleksandr RUS 2596
8.5

16 IM Grover Sahaj IND 2516
8.0

19 IM Yilmaz Mustafa TUR 2543
8.0

5 WIM Arabidze Meri GEO 2379
9.0

3 IM Bodnaruk Anastasia RUS 2414
9.5

6 WGM Cori T Deysi PER 2413
8.5

7 WIM Bulmaga Irina ROU 2380
8.5

8 WIM Sihite Chelsie Monica INA 2162
8.5

9 Wang Jue CHN 2355
8.5

23 WIM Semenova Elena RUS 2134
7.0

25 WIM Abdumalik Zhansaya KAZ 2193
7.0

29 WFM Ivana Maria Furtado IND 2102
7.0

All photos by Andreas Kontokanis


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