For the first time on Indian soil - The World Youth Championships 2019
It's a big moment for Indian chess - the prestigious World Youth Championships are taking place for the first time in our country. It will be held in Mumbai from the 1st to the 13th of October 2019. A total of 465 players from 64 countries will compete for six world championship crowns (under-14, under-16 and under-18 in open and girls). Some of the best talents in Indian chess will be participating in the event spearheaded by GM R. Praggnanandhaa with an Elo of 2567, who is the top seed in the under-18 open section. We give you an overview of all the sections, the favourites, the top Indian players and also tell you about the tournament, the venue, the must-visit places in Mumbai and more.
World Youth Championships to be held in Mumbai from 1st to 13th of October 2019
The most common response to this question is one! Vishy Anand. The right answer, however, is six! Back in 2015 when this picture was taken, all five youngsters in this picture were World Champions in their respective age categories. At the World Youth Championships 2015 India won a record five gold medals and all five of them were from the city of Chennai and Chess Gurukul Academy. But the reason to share this photo was to show you the progress made by each of the youngsters in the last four years. Let's go from right to left in the photo above.
1. Bharath Subramaniyam (under-8 gold)- From 1602 back in 2015, the youngster is now rated 2417 and is already an IM making him one of the youngest in the world!
2. R. Praggnanandhaa (under-10 gold) - Rated just 2077 in 2015, Pragg is now one of the most talented grandmasters in the world of chess. Dubbed as a future world champion material player, Pragg's Elo is a whopping 2567.
3. Rakshitta Ravi (under-10 girls gold) - Rakshitta won the under-10 girls gold in 2015 and had a rating of 1567. She is now 2310 and is already a WIM.
4. R. Vaishali (under-14 girls gold) - Vaishali was rated 2314 back in 2015. Her current Elo is 2398 and she is now a WGM with two IM norms and one GM norm under her belt!
5. Mahalakshmi (under-18 girls gold) - Rated just 2042 back in 2015, Mahalakshmi is now 2255 and a WIM.
This goes to prove that the winners of the World Youth Championships are more often than not extremely competent players and go on to become some of the best players in the world. The 2015 edition of the World Youth was the last time that all 12 sections (under-8,10,12,14,16,18 in open and girls) were held under one roof. Since 2016 FIDE has split the tournament into two events - World Cadets (under-8,10,12) and World Youth (under-14,16,18). It's quite a big honour for Indian chess that the World Youth Championships 2019 is going to be held in the country!
There will be in all six world titles at stake. Let's have a look at all of them individually.
Sreeshwan shot into prominence after he beat GM Vassily Ivanchuk in the first round of the Sunway Sitges International 2018. It's been just nine months since that result, but the boy has gone on from being a 2200+ rated player to now an International Master. He is definitely a favourite to win the title but will face stiff resistance from Volodar Murzin, the second seed.
Top 10 seeds:
|7||Samant Aditya S||35080580||IND||2334|
Top 10 seeds
From the ratings it is clear that under-14 girls is the best section for India to win a gold. WIM Divya Deshmukh, the country's biggest hope, when it comes to women's chess, is the top seed with a rating of 2362. She is followed by WIM Rakshitta Ravi, who is rated 2310.
Top 10 seeds
|1||IM||Niemann Hans Moke||2093596||USA||2439|
|3||FM||Avila Pavas Santiago||4437128||COL||2412|
|9||IM||Raja Rithvik R||35007394||IND||2369|
Top 10 seeds
|10||WFM||Savitha Shri B||35061887||IND||2076||w|
Top 10 seeds
|10||IM||Raghunandan Kaumandur Srihari||25004964||IND||2449|
Praggnanandhaa decided to skip the FIDE Grand Swiss to represent his country at the World Youth Championships. Being the top seed there would be a lot of pressure surrounding him. But Pressure is not a new word for the youngster who has been the center of attraction for chess fans all across the world right from the age of 10 years and 10 months when he became the youngest IM in the history of chess. Pragg's play is free flowing and exciting. He recently won the Xtracon Open ahead of many top GMs and is definitely the favourite to win the gold.
The under-18 section is also interesting because of the participation of young talents like IM Aditya Mittal and IM Leon Mendonca, who are just 13 years old but have decided to take part in the under-18 section.
Top 10 seeds
The venue of the tournament:
Top three places in each tournament will be awarded with cups and medals. Places from 4th to 6th will receive medals. All the winners will be awarded with chess gifts.
Places to see in Mumbai:
The city is buzzing with chess!
ChessBase India contest for the World Youth 2019:
Our last contest on the World Cup 2019 was not won by anyone. Well, we hope that this time you fare better. This time the contest is easier and the prize is still the same - Mega Database 2019 DVD signed by the 14th World Champion Vladimir Kramnik. What is your task?
You have tell us in the comments of this article as to how many medals you think India would win at this event and the also mention the breakup of gold, silver and bronze. Only the one who gets everything correct will win a prize!
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Previous reports on ChessBase India:
World Youth 2016- One medal for India - Aakanksha Hagawane winning the gold in under-16 girls
World Youth 2017 - Three medals for India - Jishitha D (under-14) gold, Arjun Erigaisi (under-14) silver, Sakshi Chitange (under-18) silver
World Youth 2018 - Two medals for India - Divya Deshmukh (under-14) bronze, Sanskriti Goyal (under-16) bronze