World Junior Rd 7: Unstoppable Shtembuliak

by Sagar Shah
10/22/2019 – In 2018 we had Parham Maghsoodloo who made a dash towards the finish line at the World Junior Championships. He won the event with one round to spare. In 2019 it seems like Evgeny Shtembuliak is going to take the honours. Although there are still four rounds left to be played, the Ukrainian GM has beaten some of the strongest opposition in the tournament. In round seven he got the better of GM Aram Hakobyan in a tense encounter. Shtembuliak leads with 6.0/7. He is followed on 5½/7 by Miguel Santos Ruiz alone. In the girls section Mobina Alinasab remained in the lead after her draw against Stavroula Tsolakidou, but she was joined at the top by Polina Shuvalova as well. IM SAGAR SHAH brings you detailed round seven report from New Delhi. | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Powerplay 22: A Repertoire for Black with the French Defence Powerplay 22: A Repertoire for Black with the French Defence

On this DVD Grandmaster Daniel King offers you a repertoire for Black with the French. Based around ten stem games, all White's major lines against the French are covered.


Remembering the legacy of Korchnoi

One of Korchnoi's biggest contributions to opening theory was seen in his game against Udovcic from 1967. It was a pawn sacrifice line in the French. It was not the first time that someone had played this, but Korchnoi was the first world-class player who tried it in practice. It went very well for him in the game and till date the opening has been played on the highest level.


The pawn on d4 is given up for quick development and activity:


In this position the main move for White is 12.♕a4, when Black does best to prevent the queen from sliding on the kingside with 12...♛b4. Hence, Divya played 12.a3 first. Not the most popular, but it was enough to throw her opponent off track. Altantuya responded with 12...a5 and this was the critical mistake. White jumped in with 13.a4 and with no ♛b4 possible and the b5 square weakness, the game was already decided in Divya's favour.


Divya Deshmukh showed some fine opening preparation to beat Boldbaatar Altantuya in round 7 | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Divya Deshmukh explains her game

In the girls section on board no.1 we had IM Stavroula Tsolakidou coming up with an interesting novelty on move no.8: 


In this well known position of Sicilian Taimanov, the move 8...d6 has never been played before. The point is that 9.♕xg7 is met with 9...♞g6 and Black is doing completely fine. But what about f4 and e5? Well, this is how Mobina continued.


In this position the Iranian girl had to play 11.♗d3 and after 11...♝xc3 12.bxc3 ♛xc3, move her king to f2 to get a very nice and active position. But in the above position Mobina went 11.0-0-0 and the position was extremely complex.

The game went on for 72 moves before the players agreed to a draw.


Final part of the game between Mobina and Tsolakidou

Polina Shuvalova played a very nice game to beat Vaishali and become joint leader with 6.0/7 | Photo: Niklesh Jain


Bibisara Assaubayeva was too strong for Rakshitta Ravi | Photo: Niklesh Jain


Antova Gabriela is on 5½/7 after her win over Arpita Mukherjee | Photo: Niklesh Jain

In the open section we had the two leaders Aram Hakobyan and Evgeny Shtembuliak. Both Hakobyan and Shtembuliak have shifted their base to the USA. While Aram studies at Saint Louis University, Shtembuliak is from the Texas Tech University. They both met each other on the top board. It was a big fight that in the end went Shtembuliak's way.

Evgeny Shtembuliak's latest claim Aram Hakobyan | Photo: Niklesh Jain


Final moments of Shtembuliak winning his game against Aram Hakobyan

Miguel Ruiz beat Ravi Haria | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Miguel Ruiz played an excellent exchange sacrifice against Ravi Haria. He didn't follow it up well and after a few moves had a pretty bad position. But Haria blundered and eventually lost the game. 


White in this position blundered with 28.e1. Do you spot how Black can win?

28.e1 is met with 28...xe1 and after 29.xe1 d2 it is all over! However, White had excellent chances to play for a win after 28.♖d1! Miguel thought that he was still doing well after 28...♛e2. However, the point is that 28...Qe2 is met with 29.♖xd3 ♛xd3 and 30.♘g5+! White wins!

Miguel Ruiz speaks about his win against Ravi Haria


After this win Miguel Ruiz moves to the sole second spot with 5½/7 | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Volodar Murzin continued his fine show, holding India Triple Crown champion Aravindh Chithambaram to a draw | Photo: Niklesh Jain

After missing round six, Amin Tabatabaei made a successful return by winning his round seven game against Ganzorig Amartuvshin | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Israeli IM Or Bronstein beat one of the top GMs of the tournament Albornoz Cabrera | Photo: Niklesh Jain

The game between Dmitrij Kollars and Sergey Drygalov ended in a draw | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Indian journalist Rakesh Rao takes a photo of Praggnanandhaa vs Khanin game which ended up in a draw | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Video Gallery

Top seed of the girls section Zhu Jiner is having quite a forgettable tournament | Photo: Niklesh Jain

A very interesting Opposite Color Bishop endgame analysis by IM Sagar Shah

Open standings after round 7


Girls standings after round 7


All games






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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