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World Juniors 2018 Round 8: Abhimanyu Puranik stuns Jorden van Foreest

by Sagar Shah - 13/09/2018

Karthik Venkatraman on the top board suffered a loss to Parham Maghsoodloo. Indians chances for someone winning a medal at the World Juniors are still alive as both Karthik and Abhimanyu Puranik are on 6.0/8 and in top ten spots. Abhimanyu played a highly entertaining game to beat Jorden van Foreest with the white pieces. In this report we have both the critical games - Karthik-Maghsoodloo and Abhimanyu-Jorden analyzed as well as video interviews of Parham and Abhimanyu. In the girls section Isha Sharma and Meenal Gupta have been performing admirably, but Saskhi Chitlange and V. Varshini have a realistic chance of winning a medal if they win their games in the ninth round.

Karthik Venkatraman played on board one in the eighth round, but lost his game to Parham Maghsoodloo | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Parham Maghsoodloo now on 7.5/8 after beating Karthik, seems unstoppable. He will face Awonder Liang in the 9th round and if he manages to win this game, he will extend his lead over the field to 1.5 points! Karthik in his game against Maghsoodloo had his chances after the opening. He was even better at some point. But he did not follow up accurately and just when it seemed like too many pieces would come off the board and players would agree to a draw, Karthik blundered and got himself pinned in a big way. Parham finished off the game to perfection.

Abhimanyu Puranik is on 6.0/8 after he scored a fine victory of Dutch number one junior Jorden van Foreest | Photo: Amruta Mokal

One thing we have to learn from Abhimanyu is the confidence with which he plays the game of chess. The boy really does not worry about the stature of his opponent. Although he was facing a world class opponent like Jorden van Foreest, he backed himself to play for a win and went for a line which he was playing for the first time in his chess career. And Abhimanyu was thoroughly outplayed in the opening and had nearly lost the game, but he kept his calm, extricated himself from that tough situation and went on to score the full point. With this win he keeps his medal chances alive.

Overview of Indian performances

Karthik Venkatraman has clearly been the best performer for India in the open section. In spite of having lost his eighth round game, he still maintains third position and has good chances for a podium finish. Abhimanyu Puranik is on same points as Karthik, but due to inferior tiebreak, he is currently on the tenth spot. S.L. Naryanan and Karthikeyan Murali who are on 14th and 13th position respectively need to get their act together and score three wins if they want to have any chances for a medal. Last year's bronze medal winner Aravindh Chithambaram seems to have lost his chance to finish in top three as he currently stands on 30th position.


In the girls section Sakshi Chitlange has won two games in a row and is on 13th position, while Varshini has won three in a row and is currently on 12th place. Apart from them no one really has a chance to finish in top three, but special mention must be made of Isha Sharma and Meenal Gupta. While Isha is gaining 92 Elo points, Meenal has seen a boost of 115 Elo points.

4GMKarthikeyan Murali2605IND11½½½1½½5,513101,30Open
10GMAravindh Chithambaram Vr.2578IND111010½½5,03010-3,40Open
13GMSunilduth Lyna Narayanan2573IND1½1011015,51410-1,00Open
23GMPuranik Abhimanyu2524IND1½1101½16,0101011,00Open
27IMKarthik Venkataraman2519IND11½½11106,031021,40Open
40IMHarsha Bharathakoti2474IND111100½½5,024106,20Open
50IMMohammad Nubairshah Shaikh2443IND½1½01½½15,04510-0,50Open
56IMRaja Harshit2419IND10½110014,55310-2,90Open
77IMKrishna Teja N2356IND100110104,08810-10,00Open
94FMShailesh Dravid2325IND0110½01½4,07920-9,60Open
12WIMChitlange Sakshi2279IND1½½½½½115,51340-16,00Girls
21WIMMahalakshmi M2213IND½1½1½½0½4,53320-5,60Girls
32WIMVarshini V2173IND101½01115,512209,60Girls
36WIMIvana Maria Furtado2144IND1½10½½003,55720-0,20Girls
55WCMIsha Sharma2012IND10½011104,5274092,40Girls
65Meenal Gupta1963IND½011½1015,01940115,20Girls


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The World Juniors is an extremely exciting tournament where some of the best junior players in the world of chess have gathered together in Gebze, Turkey from the 5th to the 16th of September 2018. The competition is stiff with the likes of Maghsoodloo, Van Foreest, Donchenko, Martirosyan, Esipenko, Firouzja and others participating. However, Indians are no less. Three of our GMs are extremely strong - Aravindh Chithambaram, Karthikeyan Murali and S.L. Narayanan. We also have Abhimanyu Puranik, Karthik Venkatraman, Harsha Bharathakoti and a few other strong players. In the girls section Sakshi Chitlange, Mahalakshmi lead the pack, but the surprise of day one was surely young Isha Sharma from Karnataka who won an excellent fighting game against the sixth seeded Aydan Hojjatova. Report from Turkey by IM Sagar Shah with photos by Amruta Mokal.

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