World Juniors 2018 Round 5: Maghsoodloo and Khomeriki are sole leaders

by Sagar Shah
9/9/2018 – Five rounds have been completed at the World Junior Championships 2018 in Gebze, Turkey and we have sole leaders in each of the sections. In the Girls, WIM Nino Khomeriki from Georgia displayed fierce attacking skills to beat Alicja Sliwicka, move to 5.0/5 and become the sole leader. In the open section Parham Maghsoodloo, once again emerged unscathed from a tense fight and with 5.0/5 is half a point ahead of three players — Firouzja, Christiansen and Sindarov. We have a detailed report from Turkey by IM Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal with photos, videos, analysis and more.

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


Your experiences shape you and your decisions. It was the year 2017 — World Junior Championships held in Tarvisio, Italy. Nino Khomeriki from Georgia was doing extremely well after round 6. She had just beaten the fourth seed Alexandra Obolentseva (2320) and was on 5.0/6, playing against the top seed of the tournament Zhansaya Abdumalik. That's when things went downhill for the Georgian. She lost her seventh round against the Kazakh player and in the next five rounds, she could only manage to score 1½/5.

Of course, such results are painful. You are thinking about a medal but finally end on the 18th spot. However, failure breaks many, and it strengthens the resolve of few. Nino seems to be one in the latter category. Born in 1998, the ongoing World Junior Championships in Gebze, Turkey is the last chance for the girl to win the coveted title of the best Junior in the world. And she is dead serious about it. After winning the fifth round and taking the sole lead with 5.0/5, the girl said, "This year I feel more self-confident, I feel myself better and I am in shape. The things that I will do on the rest day are a good sleep, pool, walking, spend time with my father, who is also my coach, my Georgian friends and just concentrate on the tournament, no shopping." It goes without saying that Nino has realized that this is her big chance. With 5.0/5, she is the sole leader, but she has two players right on her toes — Aleksandra Maltsevskaya from Russia and Gabriela Antonva from Bulgaria.

Totally focused and committed to the job — Nino Khomeriki | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Khomeriki is putting a lot of thought behind her play on the board. In the fifth round, she was surprised in the opening by her opponent Alicja Sliwicka. Instead of buckling under pressure she found a new way to play over the board!


Instead of going for the usual plan with ...Ng8 and ...f5, Nino played the move ...h6 and prepared f5 with ...Nh7. The position became extremely exciting as the Georgian player sacrificed her pawn for compensation and attack.


Of course, Nino went for the pawn sacrifice with 18...f3!

Even Parham Maghsoodloo's attention is attracted towards the strong attack that Khomeriki has launched! | Photo: Amruta Mokal


When asked about the rich heritage of Georgian women players becoming the best players in the world, Nino replied in an instant, "Georgian women are fighters!"

Sunday, 9th of September is a rest day. In the sixth round, Khomeriki will take on Gabriela Antova.

Gabriela Antova hails from Bulgaria, but currently is playing in the tournament under the FIDE banner. She is on 4½/5 and beat Chinese Chu Ruotong (2199) in the fifth round | Photo: Amruta Mokal


In a tense struggle, Aleksandra Maltsevskaya managed to outplay the Greek top seed Stavroula Tsolakidou | Photo: Amruta Mokal


Before we move to the open section, here is one position to polish you calculating and decision-making abilities.


White has just played her queen to f6. How should Black play for a win?



Mahalakshmi tried her best, but couldn't find all the intricacies in converting the game into a full point | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Open Section: Maghsoodloo is the sole leader with 5.0/5

Parham Maghsoodloo continued with his excellent form and is now on 100% score with 5.0/5. He is the sole leader right now after beating IM Harsha Bharathakoti with the black. One of the biggest qualities of Parham is that his ambitious attitude backed by concrete calculations and a high level of self-confidence.


Black already seems to be in a lot of trouble. But Parham found the most accurate defence in this position. What should Black play?

Maghsoodloo began with ...Ra7! An excellent move. Black would like to kick away the knight from e5 with the move f6. However, f6 is always met with Qh4! Hence, Parham played ...Ra7 so that when the queen comes to h4 after f6, he can go for the move ...g5! Having all your pieces on the last rank and still being able to play ambitiously is a hallmark of an extremely resourceful player.

An important position must be discussed from the talented Indian IM's point of view as well.


Black has just undeveloped his knight with Nd7-b8, what should White play?

It is quite natural to go for the move Rf3 and start with the kingside attack. But Harsha made a move which maybe difficult for even seasoned GMs. He played the move 16.Rd1! Now it's not so easy to prove whether this move is objectively the best or not. But it's very difficult to play such an ultra-prophylactic move when you have some other active ideas at your disposal. As Harsha said after the game, "I saw that my rook is not doing much on a1. At the same time, Black will at some point put his knight on e4. When I take on e4 and he goes ...dxe4, my rook would be perfectly placed behind the passed pawn." In the game, this did happen and Harsha's move Rd1 was extremely useful.


Black has just moved his rook to d7 in this position. White can move his rook, but Harsha took the bold decision of sacrificing an entire rook!

White played gxh6 which was a very interesting move. After Rxd1+ Kg2 there are some great threats against the black king and perhaps any player who was not as good as Parham would have erred at this point. But the Iranian kept his cool, kept the balance in the position and wriggled out. The final position was a draw, but the Indian IM made the final mistake.


In this position, White made the move Bc3, which was a blunder. Do you see why?

Parham was quick to spot the checkmate and played the move Bh3+! If White would have played Qh7+ followed by Bc3, the position would have been equal. Heartbreak for Harsha, but it meant that the top seed moved to the sole lead with 5.0/5.

"I just defend very well", says Parham Maghsoodloo in an interview with ChessBase India after the game


After his victory, Maghsoodloo was extremely interested in knowing the truth of the position. He first discussed the moves with his friend Amin Tabatabaei.

When you see these Iranian youngsters the only thing that comes to your mind is - they truly love chess!

And later Maghsoodloo also joined the Indian players who were trying to find the truth in the position. Yes, winning is important for Parham, but more important is to find out how he could have played better.

It's usually the case where Alireza is able to outplay his opponents in complicated positions, but today he met his match in the form of... | Photo: Amruta Mokal

...12-year-old Javokhir Sindarov. The young Uzbek was clearly losing, but managed to save the game by resourceful play. | Photo: Amruta Mokal


Johan-Sebastien Christiansen won a fine game against GM Abhimanyu Puranik from the white side of Fianchetto Grunfeld | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Top players of Norway often work in close association with each other and this is clearly seen when Johan-Sebastien played the same opening idea that was essayed by John Ludwig Hammer against Abhimanyu in an online game.


In other notable results of the day, Andrey Esipenko is back on track with his third win on a trot. He beat GM Andrew Tang with the white pieces. Indian IM (who recently completed all his formalities for GM title) Karthik Venkatraman also played a fine game to beat Armenian top player Haik Martirosyan.

Interview with Karthik Venkatraman after his win over Haik Martirosyan

On 3.0/5 is Katarzyna Dwilewicz from Poland | Photo: Amruta Mokal

He is the youngest participant in the event. Can our readers guess who he is? | Photo: Amruta Mokal

On 3.0/5 is Nazerke Nurgali from Kazakhstan | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Thybo Jesper Sondergaard from Denmark on 3½/5 | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Platon Galperin and Nadezhda Salah from Ukraine pose for a nice picture before the start of the game | Photo: Amruta Mokal

They are friends off the board, but indulged in a full blooded fight over it. Sakshi Chitlange and Meenal Gupta from India. The game ended in a draw. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The tournament director Ozgur Solakoglu with some of the best Turkish junior players | Photo: Amruta Mokal

How can any tournament be successful without these hard working individuals - the team of arbiters! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

A Georgian wedding took place on the 8th of September at the hotel Ramada and it was quite interesting to see how they celebrated the event! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The hotel Ramada Plaza where all the action is taking place. 9th of September is a rest day. The sixth round action will begin on 10th of September 2018 at 15.00 hours Turkish time. Stay tuned. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Turkish chess is doing live commentary on a daily basis and they can be followed on the Turkish Chess Channel on Youtube. 

Interview with IM Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal, the people responsible for ChessBase coverage of World Juniors from Turkey

Standings after Round 5 (Open - top 20)


All games from Round 5


Standings after Round 5 (Girls - top 20)


All games from Round 5



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.


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register