World Juniors 2018 Round 9: Varshini's immortal
We are entering the final leg of the World Junior Championships 2018. With the completion of ninth round two Indians have a realistic chance for finishing with a medal. In the open section Abhimanyu Puranik continued with his excellent form as he downed GM Alireza Firouzja in a complex game coming out of the Accelerated Dragon Opening. The hero of the day, however, was V. Varshini who not only beat FM Gabriela Antova, but played one of the best games of her life, sacrificing one piece after another on four different moves. We bring you both the games of Abhimanyu and Varshini along with the performance of other Indian players.
Two performers for India stood out in the ninth round of the World Junior Championships 2018. They were V. Varshini and Abhimanyu Puranik. While Varshini did beat a strong player, more than that it was her moves which made a deep impact. She sacrificed her rooks on four different moves! Such tactical play is very uncommon, especially in girl's section. And Varshini not only played enterprisingly, those were all great moves in the position, objectively as well!
Check out this beautiful game played by Varshini analyzed by Amruta Mokal:
Abhimanyu beats Alireza Firouzja
After beating Jorden van Foreest in round 8, Abhimanyu kept up his great form and beat another world class junior - Alireza Firouzja. In fact just yesterday, we published an article in which Ivan Sokolov said, "Looking at Alireza reminds him of a young Anand!" What a compliment. For Abhimanyu to beat such a strong player is an amazing feat. And the way he did it was also impressive. He positionally outplayed his opponent and in the middlegame his superior knight on e5 was just no match for Alireza's bishop on e2. The rooks and queen penetrated and it was all over!
Overview of Indian performance:
Karthikeyan lost his ninth round and with it his chance for a podium finish. Aravindh Chithambaram has found the going tough since the rest day. He has lost one game and drawn three. S.L. Narayanan would be pretty sad about his missed win against Johann Sebastien Christiansen, where he was 2 pawns up in the queen endgame or else he might well have been on 7.0/9. Karthik Venkatraman was going strong with 6.0/7, but lost his last two rounds. Harsha, Nubair, Harshit, Shailesh and Krishna Teja have all performed close to their rating mark.
In the girl's section the best performer is surely Varshini. With 6.5/9 she is just half point behind the leaaders and on eighth position. Two other girls who should receive notable mention are Isha Sharma gaining 118 Elo points and Meenal Gupta who has pumped up her rating by 110 Elo points.
|10||GM||Aravindh Chithambaram Vr.||2578||IND||1||1||1||0||1||0||½||½||½||5,5||36||10||-5,20||Open|
|13||GM||Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan||2573||IND||1||½||1||0||1||1||0||1||½||6,0||16||10||-2,00||Open|
|50||IM||Mohammad Nubairshah Shaikh||2443||IND||½||1||½||0||1||½||½||1||0||5,0||57||10||-4,10||Open|
|77||IM||Krishna Teja N||2356||IND||1||0||0||1||1||0||1||0||1||5,0||74||10||-6,80||Open|
|36||WIM||Ivana Maria Furtado||2144||IND||1||½||1||0||½||½||0||0||1||4,5||44||20||4,40||Girls|