World Youth Rd 5: Top players begin to dominate

by Sagar Shah
10/6/2019 – As often happens in tournaments, the first few rounds are filled with upsets, lower rated players stunning their higher rated opponents. However, once the rounds progress and the dust settles you begin to see the stronger players with higher rating begin to call the shots. This is what is happening at the World Youth 2019 as players like Praggnanandhaa, Shuvalova, Garifullina, Makarian, Suleymanli, Rakshitta are in the lead. IM SAGAR SHAH brings you the most interesting moments of the day along with analysis of some selected attacking games, endgames and study like positions. | Photos: Amruta Mokal

My Black Secrets in the Modern Italian My Black Secrets in the Modern Italian

The Italian Game is considered a sound but quiet opening without early trades, giving rise to rich positions where plans are more important than forced variations. So shows black's plans on this DVD.


Although players from 64 countries have gathered in Mumbai, India to fight for six world titles, one cannot deny the fact that these youngsters are making new friends each day, interacting with each other, knowing about different cultures and creating memories that will last for a lifetime! That's the beauty of tournaments like World Youth Chess Championships!

Some players have a habit to focus completely on the game before the round, while others like to keep it relaxed.

Before the game — so much to talk about, so little time! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

No matter which country you come from, or what your age is, you must respect your opponent by shaking hands before the start of the game! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Under-18 Open

The under-18 open section is one where the attention of the entire world lies. Will Praggnanandhaa, the 14-year-old talent, be able to win the title? Well, at least for now, he looks to be on track as he notched up his fourth win in the tournament out of five rounds, this time against his compatriot Arjun Kalyan (2483). With this Pragg leads the tournament with 4½/5 along with Aryan Gholami.

Pragg played an interesting opening novelty in the Italian to get a very pleasant position out of the opening | Photo: Amruta Mokal


White has usually played moves like ♗d3 or ♗b3 or ♗f1 in this position. Pragg came up with the new idea of ♗a2-b1. His point is to get the bishop to the important b1-h7 diagonal without falling for any tactics.

Black got a very comfortable position when Pragg made a mistake in the middlegame. But Arjun wasn't able to nurture that advantage and very soon his position started to go downhill. 


Pragg took 40.gxf7+ in this position. But he has a faster way to win. Can you find it?

The solution is very pretty and begins with 40.♕h7+ ♚f8 and now 41.f6!! A move like this is easy to miss. The point of this is that after 41...♛xf6 42.♗xd5, the queen can no longer recapture the knight and after 42...cxd5 43.♕h8+ followed by 44.♖xe3 and White is clearly better.

Pragg speaks about his win against Arjun Kalyan and explains the reason for some decisions that he made in the game

Aryan Gholami managed to beat Viachaslau Zarubitski to join Pragg at the top


9.d3!? by Aryan is a typical pawn sacrifice in such English structures. The idea is to take advantage of Black lagging behind in development. 


17...d5 by Zarubitski was a mistake as White could simply take the knight on d5 and followed it up by picking up the b7 pawn. His double bishops combined with the outside a-pawn gave him a nearly winning advantage.


Under-18 open standings after round 5


Under-18 girls

With the top board clash between Honorata and Radeva ending in a draw, we now have six leaders in the girls under-18 section | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Under-18 girls standings after round 5


Under-16 open

The two leaders in the under-16 section Aronyak Ghosh and Rudik Makarian drew their game | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Under-16 open standings after round 5


Under-16 girls

Leya Garifullina missed a big chance to win her game against Nazerke Nugarli after winning a piece | Photo: Amruta Mokal


Here Garifullina had a decision to make. She cannot cling on to both her f2 and d5 pawns. She decided to play ♕h4 saving the f2 pawn and giving up the one on d5. But it turns out that keeping the pawn on d5 would have ensured an easy win because the pawn is just three squares away from queening. Meanwhile, the perpetual checks do not exist in the position. The white king will hide on a3 or a2 with the bishop on b2.


This position should win somehow, but even after trying for a lot of moves, White was unable to make progress and the players soon agreed to a draw.


Under-16 girls standings after round 5


Under-14 open

Aydin Suleymanli beat Srihari LR in a one sided battle | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Under-14 open standings after round 5


Pranav Anand joined the leaders at the top with a win over Sebastien Poltorak (2130). For this effort he also wins the Best Game of the Day award.

Pranav Anand will be learning from Fabiano Caruana soon


Pranav played aggressive chess, sacrificing a pawn and using the activity of all his pieces to launch a decisive attack. Yes, he wanted to win the king, but in the end was satisfied with trapping the black queen!


Pranav. V is an uncompromising youngster who always wants to win his games | Photo: Niklesh Jain

He showed how this will power can bring about a positive result when he converted a win out of a drawn pawn endgame. 


White to play. This is an excellent position to spend time analyzing whether White should take the pawn on a4 or not. We have some analysis on the replayer below, but I recommend you to dig deeper and find more variations in this rich endgame!


Under-14 girls

Rakshitta Ravi scored a win on top board to be one of the leaders at 4.5/5 | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Under-14 girls standings after round 5


14-year-old Dhrupad Kashyap's win in round five reminded us of Kasparov's famous win over Portisch | Photo: Ravikant Tiwari

Let's first have a look at Dhrupad's win:


How should White win this position?


And now for Kasparov's victory:


How to play well and yet not win!

Harshini against Munkhzul, in under-18 girls, was a perfect example of how you play well to get a completely winning position and then botch it all up with one move!


Black has just taken a pawn on b5. How should White continue?

Harshini rightly realized that taking the bishop would be wrong as that would allow 59...♚g7 followed by 60...♚h8 and it would be a drawn position.

Harshini vs Munkhzul | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Hence, she tried to keep the fighting going with 59.♖a7+:


The obvious move seems to be 59...f8. This was chosen by Black in the game, and this loses. It was important to keep the king active and go behind the pawns beginning with ...♚e6! After 59...♚e6 the position is drawn, but of course White can keep trying to set some small traps.


White makes progress with 62.♔h6 and now threatens g6-g7.


After some excellent manoeuvring in time pressure Harshini was able to reach this position. She now has the deadly threat of g7 and it seemed as if her opponent would resign any moment.


Munkhzul hurriedly played 68...b3. How should White win this winning position?

The simplest way to win is to play 69.h8=Q ♝xh8 70.♖c8+ ♚e7 and pick up the bishop on h8. This would have crowned Harshini's fine play in the preceding moves with the full point. However, White started to go wrong from here.


Harshini played 70.g7 and it seems like a powerful move. But this is exactly what Black was hoping for. Munkhzul played a check on h3 and after another check on g3, took the rook on f7.


Yes, White can make a queen now but it is not sufficient to win.


This is still a tricky position because the rook cannot be safely brought back close to the black camp. The position still has practical chances and the computers are also very excited about White's prospects. But to win this in a practical game is almost impossible!


A physiotherapist's look into the world of chess

The organizers of the World Youth Championships 2019 along with ChessBase India have setup a series of six talks from October 5th to 11th 2019. We have invited well known and renowned physiotherapists, nutritionists, psychologists, meditation experts etc. for these seminars. While the players go to play their games, the parents and the accompanying persons often spend their time waiting for the kids to come back from the game. We tried to make sure that this time is well utilized. On October 5th, Dr. Abhishek Bangera, physiotherapist from Mumbai spoke about the basic exercises that chess players must indulge in to avoid injuries, aches and pain.

Dr. Abhishek Bangera is a practicing physiotherapist and also a credentialled Mckenzie Therapist | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The session was attended by nearly 100 parents who not only listened to Abhishek speak but also exercised along with him | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The entire physiotherapy lecture for all those who missed it

On October 6th we have a session with a world-class nutritionist on the best food habits for chess players!

All the players of USA have their own personalized jackets! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

All the players of the tourament were given this gift by the organizers, which included a bag, a bottle and a cap! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

As people come from different countries with different climatic conditions, it is very difficult to set a temperature in the playing hall that would be comfortable for all! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

One of India's top blind players Aryan Joshi visited the tournament hall to watch the tournament in progress where he met GM R B Ramesh and discussed some of the problems he was facing in his game! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Avathanshu Bhat interviewing Peter Long

Avathanshu Bhat continues his series of board of many colours by interviewing Peter Long from Malaysia, who is here for the FIDE trainer's seminar | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The team of hard-working arbiters for the event!


Chief arbiter Panagiotis Nikolopoulos with sector arbiters Shadi Paridar and Olexandr Prohorov | Photo: Amruta Mokal

All games


U14 open


U14 girls


U16 open


U16 girls


U18 open


U18 girls



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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