World Youth Rd 7: An 1830-rated player performing at 2568!

by Sagar Shah
10/9/2019 – Russia came to the under-14 open section with two medal hopefuls Volodar Murzin (2433) and Andrey Tsvetkov (2382), but both were beaten by the same Indian player — Abinandhan R. His rating? Just 1830! IM SAGAR SHAH shows you how in this report from Mumbai, plus Hans Neimann's fine win over Rudik Makarian in under-16 open and Aryan Gholami's victory to snatch sole lead in under-18 open. But that's not all — the game of the day was definitely Polina Shuvalova's rook and queen sacrifice! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Power Play 20: Test Your Attacking Chess Power Play 20: Test Your Attacking Chess

Grandmaster Daniel King presents ten exemplary attacking performances. At key moments he stops and asks you to play a move. King then gives feedback on the most plausible continuations. It’s the next best thing to having your own personal trainer!


The underdog: Abinandhan R

Going into the rest day, and with four rounds left to be played, it is a good time to take stock of what's going on in each category and who are the people who have chances to win medals. But first let's speak about the biggest achiever of the tournament: Abinandhan R.

The youngster from Tamil Nadu has played some amazing chess at the World Youth Championships 2019 to perform at an Elo of 2568 and already gain 211 Elo points! He is currently in joint lead with 6.0/7 in the under-14 open section and has played some scintillating chess. 

The find of the tournament — Abinandhan R | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Name Abinandhan R
Starting rank 55
Rating 1830
Rating national 0
Rating international 1830
Performance rating 2568
FIDE rtg +/- 211,6
Points 6
Rank 3
Federation IND
Ident-Number 0
Fide-ID 35011642
Year of birth 2005

Abhinandan's card so far

Rd. Bo. SNo   Name Rtg FED Pts. Res.
1 10 10   Pranav V 2308 IND 4,5 w 1
2 19 22   Pham Khoi 2121 NED 4,0 s 1
3 7 16 FM Flores Quillas Diego Saul Rodri 2164 PER 5,0 w ½
4 8 2 FM Murzin Volodar 2433 RUS 4,5 s 1
5 4 17   Kolay Alex 2164 USA 4,5 w ½
6 5 14 FM Aaryan Varshney 2239 IND 4,0 s 1
7 3 4 FM Tsvetkov Andrey 2382 RUS 4,5 w 1

Let's try to see two of Abinandhan's wins against the most talented Russian youngsters: Volodar Murzin and Andrey Tsvetkov.


Abinandhan's win against Tsvetkov in round seven was even more impressive as he played quite originally to checkmate Black's king:


As White, how do you continue the attack?


Under-14 open

Overnight leader Aydin Suleymanli was held to a draw on board one by Sreeshwan Maralakshikari.

Aydin Suleymanli vs Sreeshwan Maralakshikari | Photo: Amruta Mokal

This meant that Aydin was now joined at the top by two Indians: Srihari and Abinandhan. 

Srihari (right) went for a risky opening strategy with the Albin Counter Gambit to beat Pranav Anand | Photo: Amruta Mokal


Under-14 open standings after round 7


Under-14 girls

Rakshitta Ravi beat Dhyana Patel for the top board clash in the under-14 girls section | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Rakshitta is now one of the leaders with 6.0/7:


The move 5...g6 in this position by Rakshitta was not so great. It allowed White to play 6.♘g5 and get a better version of the two knight's variation with 4.♘g5. Dhyana had a clear advantage after the opening, but she made a couple of mistakes and lost the thread of the game.


Ekaterina Nasyrova felt intuitively how she should attack in the position and played some excellent chess! | Photo: Amruta Mokal


The third leader in under-14 girls who is also on 6.0/7 is Eline Roebers. We interviewed Eline after the game. She showed us her seventh round win and also told us preferences when it came to Indian food!

Eline Roebers on her win against Safiye Ince

The under-14 girls is heating up also because the top seeded Divya Deshmukh has made a strong comeback winning her last three rounds and is now on 5½/7.

Divya Deshmukh's caveman approach!

Under-14 girls standings after round 7


Under-16 open

The sole leader in the under-16 section after round seven is Hans Niemann. After beating Rudik Makarian, we asked him as to how he would spend his rest day. "I will relax a bit in the pool, and yes complete my school assigments!" Hans Niemann's laptop is also not working and he is preparing with the help of his friend in the US. This goes to show what a big talent he is. In spite of not focusing on chess with all his might, he is able to lead such a strong event.

Hans Niemann played some inspired chess to beat the in-form Rudik Makarian | Photo: Amruta Mokal


Hans Niemann speaks to IM Sagar Shah after his game and tells us about his thought process and why he made specific moves

Under-16 open standings after round 7


Under-16 girls

Nazerke Nurgali beat Kamaliya Bulatova to join Leya Garifullina at the top | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The favourite to win the title Leya Garifullina drew her game against Anousha Mahdian | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Under-16 girls standings after round 7


Under-18 open

Aryan Gholami beat Nikoloz Petriashvili and moved into sole lead with 6.0/7 | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Aryan's play was extremely instructive, particularly at one moment where he sacrificed a pawn:


How should Black play here?


Black has just given a check on a2. Where do you move your king?


The much-awaited clash between top two seeds in under-18 open section Shant Sargsyan and Praggnanandhaa ended in a draw | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Under-18 open standings after round 7


Under-18 girls

Polina Shuvalova is now the sole leader in girls under-18 after she scored a fine win over Anna Afonsieva.


White to move. What would you play?

Polina played 30.♗f2, pushing the queen away. Afonsieva played 30...♛e7


White to play

Can you guess what was in store for her?

31.xg7! xg7 32.xh7!

Polina Shuvalova vs Anna Afonsieva | Photo: Amruta Mokal


BAM!! The queen is sacrificed to mate Black's king!

After 32...xh7 33.f6+ h6 34.e3+ h5 35.f3+ h4 36.f2+ Black decided to throw in the towel.


Final position

The king was dragged out in the open and checkmated with two bishops and a rook!


For her beautiful play, especially the rook sac on g7 followed by the queen sac on h7, Shuvalova gets ChessBase's best game of the day award.

Navigating the Ruy Lopez Vol.1-3

The Ruy Lopez is one of the oldest openings which continues to enjoy high popularity from club level to the absolute world top. In this video series, American super GM Fabiano Caruana, talking to IM Oliver Reeh, presents a complete repertoire for White.

Vantika Agrawal beat Thalia Cervantes and moves to 5½/7 | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Lara Schulze won a fine game in the Sicilian against Alicja Sliwicka and is now in joint second position with 5½/7

Under-18 girls standings after round 7



One of things that the organizers have taken care of at the World Youth Championships is the food. Usually Indian food is spicy, but at the Renaissance hotel the chefs have ensured that the spice is always under control so that players from 64 different countries can enjoy Indian cuisine.

Every day you have two soups — a vegetarian and a non-vegetarian one | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Marinated fish in Soy sauce | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The Naan bread which is liked by a lot of international players | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Paneer Masala an Indian vegetable speciality | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The Salad bar | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Why are they standing in a queue? | Photo: Amruta Mokal

That's the LIVE pasta station which is very popular | Photo: Amruta Mokal

You often have to wait for 10-15 minutes to get your pasta made, but it is worth it! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The desserts include cakes, pastries and ice creams of different flavours for the players | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Talks by experts

After the talk by a physiotherapist on October 5th and a nutritionist on the 6th, it was now time to bring on a psychologist. The topic on October 7th was parents' psychology.

Rekha Nahar, a certified psychologist | Photo: Amruta Mokal

She is also the mother of two chess kids and she was the perfect person to deliver the lecture.

Around 100 parents and coaches attended the session | Photo: Amruta Mokal

There was a unique segment with music at the end of the session which you shouldn't miss in the video below | Photo: Amruta Mokal

These sessions have proved to be quite a value addition for all the parents who are present at the venue | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Usually they await the games of their children to come to an end. But because of these lectures, they are able to spend their time fruitfully.

Rekha, the person who gave a lecture, was accompanied by her husband Pinkesh | Photo: Amruta Mokal

October 8th is a rest day at the World Youth Championships. The eighth round will take place on Wednesday.

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.


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register