World Youth Rd 4: Srihari beats top seed Sreeshwan in under-14 open to claim sole lead

by Sagar Shah
10/6/2019 – At the end of the fourth round of the World Youth 2019, we have one section where a sole leader has emerged. In under-14 open, Srihari LR (pictured) claimed the pole position by beating top seed Sreeshwan Maralakshikari. The game was so good that it was given the "ChessBase Game of the day prize"! Divya Deshmukh, the top seed in under-14 section lost her game to a player rated over 400 points below her. Rudik Makarian, Aronyak Ghosh in under-16 open and Leya Garifullina and Nazerke Nurgali in under-16 girls are the four other players on a perfect score of 4.0/4. IM SAGAR SHAH brings you a detailed report with pictures, game, analysis from the Hotel Renaissance in Mumbai. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The Classical Sicilian The Classical Sicilian

This DVD offers Black a complete repertoire against all weapons White may employ on move six. The recommended repertoire is not as risky as other Sicilians but still offers Black plenty of counter-play.


Anything can happen

The difference between a strong grandmaster and a strong International Master is not huge, but it does show at critical moments in the game. Take for example the interesting game between Praggnanandhaa and Petriashvili. Pragg is a strong GM now with an Elo of 2567, at just 14 years old, he is already quite experienced. Petriashvili, on the other hand, is rated 2441 and is a strong International Master from Georgia. They played each other in round four of the World Youth under-18 championships 2019 and after 15 moves the following position was reached:


Black has just played his bishop to d6. Pragg had an important decision to make. Should he play 16.♘c4 or 16.♗g3? The latter was safer, while the former meant that the h2 pawn is en prise. What would you choose?

Pragg's choice of 16.♘c4 was interesting, but ♗g3! was a simple and strong move that would have given White a clear edge. After 16.♘c4, Black took the pawn on h2, and after 17.♔h1 we reached the following position:


It was important here for Black to understand that White is threatening ♕c5 along with a clamp on the dark squares with ♘d6+. Hence, Black should have just castled. Yes, g3 is the main issue after that but when the a8-h1 diagonal is opened up, Black can look out for tactics beginning with ...d5! The position is still unclear, but objectively Black's chances are better. Petriashvili played 17...f4 in the above position and after 18.c5 White was back in the driver's seat. Pragg managed to win the game after that. As you can see, the window for grabbing the initiative/advantage is tiny and if you don't jump through at the right moment against strong GMs like Praggnanandhaa, you won't get a second chance.


Praggnanandhaa talks about his win over Petriashvili

Standings in under-18 open

Praggnanandhaa is leading the tournament along with five other players Aryan Gholami from Iran, Viachaslau Zarubitski from Belarus, Iniyan P. Aditya Mittal and Arjun Kalyan from India.


Aditya Mittal, just 13 years old, has been showing some very interesting endgame technique. In round four he managed to score a win from a position that looked completely equal. Check out this video and learn from the youngster. 

Aditya Mittal grinds down Rahul Srivatshav in an equal position

Iniyan and Gholami

The top board game between Iniyan and Gholami ended in a draw | Photo: Amruta Mokal

In the girls under-18 section we have Honorata Kucharska and Viktoria Radeva who are in the joint lead with 3½/4 each. Top seed and defending champion Polina Shuvalova is currently on 3.0/4. She had some excellent chances to beat her opponent Honorata Kucharska, when the latter took too many risks. But the game eventually ended in a draw. We speak to Shuvalova after her game and analyze this complex game with her.

Defending World Youth under-18 champion Polina Shuvalova analyzes her game

Under-18 Girls


In the under-16 open section Sankalp Gupta was playing on the top board against Rudik Makarian of Russia. The game was oscillating between equality and slight advantage for White. However, at some point the Indian IM went wrong and landed up losing a piece.


Sankalp Gupta tried too hard and ultimately conceded the full point | Photo: Amruta Mokal 

Aronyak Ghosh showed the power of two bishops as he outplayed Lucas Tomiello | Photo: Rupali Mullick

Aronyak joins Rudik at the top with 4.0/4.


Under-16 open 


Leya Garifullina managed to outplay Lakshmi C with the black pieces | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Leya is one of the leaders in under-16 girls.

Nazerke Nurgali beat Saina Salonika and moved to 4.0/4  | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Nurgali is the other leader in the under-16 girls section.


Divya Deshmukh was dubbed as the favourite to win the under-14 girls section. With 2358, she was a solid 50 points ahead of the second seed Rakshitta Ravi and a 200-point gap separated her and the third seed. But the game of chess is always unpredictable and this is what happened in the fourth round of the World Youth Chess Championships 2019. Divya lost her game to Bat-Erdene Mungunzul from Mongolia (1912).


Black's position is worse, but Divya moved her queen to d8 and simply gave up the a6 pawn. After that it was pretty easy for Mungunzul to score the full point.


Dhyana Patel and Eline Roebers drew their game on the top board to move to 3½/4 | Photo: Amruta Mokal

As many as seven girls are in the lead with 3½/4. This is one section where the fight for the title is going to be quite intense.

Under-14 girls


U14: Srihari LR of India is now the sole leader with 4.0/4

In the previous round Sreeshwan was lucky as he converted a completely minus position into a win. But this time he wasn't fortunate enough as Srihari played one powerful move after another to win the game


Srihari analyzes his win over Sreeshwan Maralakshikari

It was a powerful game by Srihari and for this we award him with the best game of the day prize by ChessBase. He is awarded the vol.1 of Fabiano Caruana's Navigating the Ruy Lopez.

Under-14 open


Video and Photo Gallery

Grandmaster, trainer and commentator Dimitri Komarov speaks about how he tried to change the mindset of chess players in Sri Lanka, his current assignment with the UAE team and lastly about Nihal Sarin. Komarov is of the opinion that when it comes to positional play Nihal is stronger than Magnus Carlsen!

Dimitri Komarov

Elene Kostava is playing in the under-18 girls section. She is also a journalist by profession as she works in the Georgian Chess TV. We speak with Elene on different topics that includes chess in Georgia, her experience in India and her future plans!

Elene Kostava is a journalist for Georgian Chess TV

Organizers provided refreshments absolutely free of cost to not only the players, but also to the coaches, parents and accompanying persons! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Let's hope all that plastic is recycled!

When the players are not allowed to bring their own pens, you need to have a huge stock of pens! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

With over 450 youngsters taking part in six different categories, the arbiters have their hands full | Photo: Amruta Mokal

So many claims for threefold repetitions have to be carefully observed | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Tournament venue: Hotel Renaissance by the Marriott Group | Photo: Amruta Mokal

A room with a view: overlooking the Powai Lake | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Most of the international players have hardly gone outside the hotel. But within the premises they have enjoyed themselves! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Now this player has come well-prepared for a long game!  | Photo: Amruta Mokal

For the parents of the players fighting it out inside the playing hall, this proves to be a great bonding time! | 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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