World Youth Rd 6: Just 14 and already a pro?

by Sagar Shah
10/8/2019 – A professional chess player at just 14 years of age? IM SAGAR SHAH has the details in his latest report with pictures and analysis from Mumbai. Other sole leaders after round six in the event are Leya Garifullina at 5½/6 in the under-16 girls and Rudik Makarian with 5½/6 in the under-16 open. | Photos: Amruta Mokal

The Fashionable Caro-Kann Vol.1 and 2 The Fashionable Caro-Kann Vol.1 and 2

The Caro Kann is a very tricky opening. Black’s play is based on controlling and fighting for key light squares. It is a line which was very fashionable in late 90s and early 2000s due to the successes of greats like Karpov, Anand, Dreev etc. Recently due to strong engines lot of key developments have been made and some new lines have been introduced, while others have been refuted altogether. I have analyzed the new trends carefully and found some new ideas for Black.


Meet future of Azerbaijan chess

There are many strong players all across the world who are strong at the age of 14. But how many of them have the courage to say in a public interview that they are professionals? Meet Aydin Suleymanli, the 14-year-old from Azerbaijan, who is the leader in the under-14 open section. He played an excellent endgame to grind out a win from a drawish position against Aditya Samant (2334) of India.

Aydin Suleymanli leads the under-14 open | Photo: Amruta Mokal


Caruana prizeSuleymanli's win earned him the best game of the day award.

After the game we caught up with Aydin and asked him if he goes to school. "I do not go to school so much. Chess is my profession. And it's more important for me." When quizzed about his work routine, he replied, "I practice chess all day!" So you want to become a professional chess player, was my question. With a smile on his face he said. "I think I am already a professional chess player. I want to be an elite grandmaster." 

The confidence, simplicity and self belief with which he said these lines was quite motivating. I am sure that we are going to hear Aydin's name for many years to come!

What does Aydin have to think about his country mate's Radjabov's victory at the World Cup? "All of us are very happy that someone from our country won the World Cup. I congratulate him and hope he becomes the World Champion." But Radjabov isn't keen on playing Candidates. "I think he will play", said Aydin with a sly smile.

Aydin Suleymanli's interview with IM Sagar Shah


Final moments of Suleymanli's win over Samant

Under-14 open standings after round 6


Are girls better fighters?!

After around three hours of play, this was the scene at the playing venue:

Draw please! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The top tables in the under-18 open section had all their games completed! But players on the top four boards in the under-18 girls section were all fighting hard!

Let's play a bit longer! | Photo: Amruta Mokal 

In my experience, girls truly play uncompromising chess and this is true right from youngsters to the World Championship level! At the World Youth Championships currently in progress in Mumbai, the under-18 girls section has three leaders on 5.0/6 and the girls under-14 has five leaders with 5.0/6.

Defending champion and top seed Polina Shuvalova is back at the top after a couple of draws | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Anna Afonsieva (left) got the better of Annmarie Muetsch | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Under-18 girls standings after round 6


The top board clash in under-18 open between Aryan Gholami and Praggnanandhaa ended in a draw. They both maintain their leads with 5.0/6 each.

Aryan Gholami and Praggnanandhaa | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The two Indian GMs at the event - P Iniyan and R Praggnanandhaa | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Under-18 open standings after round 6


Leya Garifullina is playing strong chess and is clearly the favourite to win the title!

Under-16 girls standings after round 6


The sole leader in under-16 open Rudik Makarian (left) the strong Iranian player Arash Daghli | Photo: Amruta Mokal


Under-16 open standings after round 6


The game between overnight leaders in under-14 girls section Rakshitta Ravi and Eline Roebers ended in a draw | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Nasyrova Ekaterina (right) won her game and is now one of the leaders | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Dhyana Patel (right) is also on 5.0/6 | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Under-14 girls standings after round 6


"Chess is war on the board. The object is to crush your opponent's mind." These were the words of Bobby Fischer. However, for the players at the World Youth Championships, their opponents are a way to make new friends! Many of them come to the board with a gift that they have brought from their motherland, so that their opponent's can take back some memories of having played against them! Such a wonderful gesture. Have a look!

A friendship key chain! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

A present from Latvia to the opponent! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

One South African gave her opponent a currency and a band, while another... | Photo: Amruta Mokal

...presented a keychain! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

A turkish wrist band! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Food and nutrition tips for chess players

As a chess player, what do you take with you to the board?

Smiley shaped chocolates | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Normal chocolates? | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Or nuts?! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

I guess this is a question that every chess player has. It doesn't matter if he is a World Champion or just another serious tournament player. What are the right food habits is a pertinent question. In order to answer this and more questions related to food and nutrition, the World Youth Championship 2019 organizing committee in association with ChessBase India invited the famous nutritionist and sports scientist from Mumbai Krushmi Chheda.

Krushmi Chheda is a sports scientist, nutritionist and a fitness expert | Photo: Amruta Mokal

She was invited at the World Youth Championships 2019 to speak about the importance of nutrition and food for chess players.

Nearly 100 people attended the workshop | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Krushmi spoke about how good food habits and right food intake can help to enhance the performance of a sports player.

The entire talk by Krushmi as well as the Q&A session has been recorded by ChessBase India for you to learn from the expert on this important subject. These talks are a part of the World Youth Chess Championships to spread awareness about fitness, nutrition, psychology, mind training which has been hitherto ignored by chess community. For all those who would like to get in touch with Krushmi can do so via email or phone (+917045663991)

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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