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World Juniors 2018 Round 5: Karthik Venkatraman beats the top Armenian junior Martirosyan Haik

by Sagar Shah - 10/09/2018

In 2017 a match was held in USA between the stars of USA and the World. The world team consisted of some of the best players from the world, who got excellent coverage and became well known personalities in chess circles. A few of them were Haik Martirosyan from Armenia, Andrey Esipenko and Aleksey Sarana from Russia, Anton Smirnov from Australia, Pragg and Aryan Chopra from India, and a few more. Of course these are extremely talented players, there is no doubt about it. But there are many in the world who are equally good, but haven't received the same amount of exposure or coverage. One such boy is Karthik Venkatraman, the latest GM of India and based on his sheer playing skills managed to outplay Haik Martirosyan, who was rated 2597.

Performance of Indians at the World Juniors 2018 after five rounds:

4GMKarthikeyan Murali2605IND11½½½3,520100,50Open
10GMAravindh Chithambaram Vr.2578IND111014,010106,10Open
13GMSunilduth Lyna Narayanan2573IND1½1013,52410-1,50Open
23GMPuranik Abhimanyu2524IND1½1103,519100,80Open
27IMKarthik Venkataraman2519IND11½½14,0121013,00Open
40IMHarsha Bharathakoti2474IND111104,061012,90Open
50IMMohammad Nubairshah Shaikh2443IND½1½013,057100,00Open
56IMRaja Harshit2419IND10½113,532103,60Open
77IMKrishna Teja N2356IND100113,06410-7,10Open
94FMShailesh Dravid2325IND0110½2,59420-10,80Open
12WIMChitlange Sakshi2279IND1½½½½3,03240-29,20Girls
21WIMMahalakshmi M2213IND½1½1½3,519202,80Girls
32WIMVarshini V2173IND101½02,54420-11,40Girls
36WIMIvana Maria Furtado2144IND1½10½3,0252016,20Girls
55WCMIsha Sharma2012IND10½012,5464040,40Girls
65Meenal Gupta1963IND½011½3,0304056,80Girls


Five rounds have been completed at the World Juniors 2018 and it is extremely heartening to see no Indian player was below 50% score going into the rest day. Karthi Venkatraman, Aravindh Chithambaram and Harsha Bharathakoti lead the team with 4.0/5. They are followed by Karthikeyan Murali, S.L. Narayanan, Abhimanyu Puranik and Harshit Raja who are on 3.5/5. In the girls section M. Mahalakshmi had a great chance to move to 4.0/5, but drew a winning game and is currently on 3.5/5. Two girls who are doing extremely well are Isha Sharma and Meenal Gupta, both are gaining 40 and 56 Elo points respectively. Ivana Maria Furtada has also played against some strong players and has held her fort with 3.0/5.

Karthik Venkatraman was the hero of the day as he beat Haik Martirosyan from the white side of the Italian

Karthik Venkatraman became a GM recently when he achieved his final GM norm in August 2018. At the World Junior Championships 2018 he played with the white pieces in the fifth round against the talented Armenian opponent Haik Martirosyan (2593). The Indian GM played quickly and with strong moves simply outplayed the Armenian. We discuss this game in this video. We also ask Karthik about the people who have helped him to become a GM, his coaches, friends and well wishers. An important point that Karthik shares in the video is: he tries to be different from other people. In the sense that everyone says that endgame is extremely important, but Karthik doesn't like endgames very much and finds them boring.He found his own path to improvement without studying endgames deeply and became a GM. That being said, he now understands the importance of sound knowledge on endgames and is working on the same. A lot to learn from India's 55th GM - Karthik Venkatraman.

Interview with Karthik Venkatraman

The key match up of round five was between Harsha Bharathakoti and Parham Maghsoodloo. Harsha fought really well and at some point even held the advantage. But towards the end he made one final error and was checkmated.

Parham Maghsoodloo finds the critical blow and checkmates Harsha Bharathakoti

A scene to behold. Even after losing the game, Harsha and the Indian players analyze the game with Iranian Maghsoodloo and Tabatabaei
I just defend very well, says Parham Maghsoodloo!

Aravindh Chithambaram won a nice game when he prepared a sharp line against opponent's slightly inferior setup. He brought home the full point.

IM Krishna Teja and GM Karthikeyan Murali enter the playing venue

Ivana Maria Furtada is studying civil engineering and doesn't devote much time to chess, yet 3.0/5 with a gain of 16 Elo points is quite impressive

One of the finest performers for India in the girls section has been Meenal Gupta (right) who is on 3.0/5. She drew her game against WIM Sakshi Chitlange (left).

M. Mahalakshmi has scored 3.5/5 and is playing well, but she missed out on the full point against Akshita Gorti

Mahalakshmi, who is black here, is a piece up. How should she win this game?

There is only one move that wins for Black and unfortunately Mahalakshmi wasn't able to find it.

The Ramada Hotel where the tournament is taking place

Video Interviews:

S.L. Narayanan shows his fifth round win
Harshit Raja shows his win in the fifth round and also speaks about his rest day plans! Unfortunately no football with Magnus Carlsen!

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