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Round 7: Braun and Howell Take Lead, Harika Finishes At Top Before the Free Day

The brand new leaders, Arik Braun won against Chao Li on the first board while David Howell won against Alejandro Ramirez. The two leaders have 6 points followed by Chao Li, Eltaj Safarli ,and Hou Yifan at 5.5 points.

In Girls' section, Harika Dronavalli won against Guliskan Nakhbayeva to take the top spot before the rest day with 6 points. She is followed by Mariya Muzychuk and Adriana Nikolova.

Free day report is to be published today...

Detailed report of round 7 below...


In the final round before the free day there were many interesting fights in both sections of the World Junior Championship. Arik Braun won against Chao Li to take over the driving seat in an English opening, won a pawn and got the better position. He made no nonsense and won a crucial game to gain the leadership seat together with David Howell.

The English grandmaster faced the Costra Rican GM Ramirez and got a nice endgame position with black's ruined pawn structure. According to the computer, black of course does not lose immediately but practically a position which seems hard to defend to mundane eyes. Howell also shared the lead together with Braun after the win just before the half time.

Ivan Popov and Maxim Rodhstein were not able to breach the defenses of each other and drawn their games.


In the game between Gupta and Safarli, white seemed to have a promising position (left) and started making some exciting sacrifices after 20...Ba6 21.Rc7 Bf1 22.Rd7 f5 23.Rd8 Rd8 24.Kf1 fe4 25.Be4 Qc5 36.Qd3 a5 27.c4 a4 28.Bg6 hg6 29.Qg6 Kf6 and etc. Much blood was drawn from the board but what white had in return, a safely wandering black king around the board and many pawns were far from being sufficient and the Azerbaijani grandmaster won the game.

Yifan Hou played a very nice game against Czech grandmaster Viktor Laznicka. One of the youngest and the only female participant in the group, the Chinese prodigy won displaying some nice maneuvers. The Chinese superstar now shares the second place in Under 20 World Junior Championship, where the field is full of strong grandmasters.


Turkish international master Emre Can faced Davit Baramidze. The game was extremely complicated, French winawer with Ba4 where black was close to win at some moments according to computer after white's sacrifice which was not objectively true. However, thanks to the fighting spirit of both players the a very interesting endgame emerged but in the end melted down into a draw.


Arik Braun, now the new leader

Parimarjan Negi, the Indian prodigy, has 4.5 out of 7

Chao Li is now among the runner-up group having 5.5 out of 7

Alejandro Ramirez from Costa Rica has also 4.5 out of 7.

Yet another player with 4.5 points, Austrian GM Markus Ragger

FM  Drazen Dragicevic from Sweden

Vitaly Neimer of Israel has 3.5 points


Fethi Apaydın, Can Ertan and Berç Deruni from Turkish squad

Karl McPhillips has 3 points

Özge Vural from Turkey

Ahmet Turan Ünlü from Turkey, one of the 10 local players

Mustafa Berkay Özdöver, also a local hero!

Harika Dronavalli Takes Lead in World Junior Girls Before the Half Time


Harika Dronavalli won against Guliskan Nakhbayeva in a nice which she pursued a central strategy and took the upper hand after the opening. Mikadze and Muzychuk draw their game in the rare Richter-Veresov opening after a balanced game. Abrahamyan and Preehti  also ended as a draw after a routine and level game in Sveshnikov.


Nikolova, won a very nice game against Ivakhinova where she played a nice sacrifice on b5 as you can see from the diagram left:

25.Nb5 Qb6 26.Be2 Qb5 27.Rb3 Qb3 28.cb3 Kb7 29.b4 Na7 30.e5 Bc6 31.ed6 Kg2 32.Qe3 Bd8 33.Bf3 Bb6 34.Bc6 Nc6 35.Qe4 Rgg8 36. b5 Rc8 37.bc6


Majdan neutralized white's typical plans on king side in a Bc4 Najdorf with short castle and won her game after to join the group with 5 points.


The highest-scoring Turkish player in the group, WFM Kübra Öztürk was in dire staits against Sarah Hoolt but able to exploit her opponent's mistakes and win a crucial game to join the group with 5 points.

 WIM Anna Ivakhinova has 4.5 out of 7.

WGM Anya Corke from Hong Kong has 4 out of 7.

WFM Jovena Eric has 3.5 points.

WFM Marcel Efroimski from Israel, world under 12 champion has 2.5 points.

Tina Bukovec hails from Slovenia with 2 points.

WFM Elena Klimets from Belarussia has 3 points

Irmak Dai, a local player from Turkey has 1 points but a lot of experience.

 Turkish Chess Federation 2008