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Round12: Three Meet at the Top, Harika Close to the Title

picture_261One thing that does not change is the "change" itself! In the penultimate round of the World Junior Championship, Abhijeet Gupta grounded down Arik Braun to share the lead with David Howell who won against Maxim Rodshtein, and Parimarjan Negi who won against Ngoc Truong Son Nguyen at 9 points out of 12. Eltaj Safarli and Arik Braun are still at striking distance with 8.5 points.

In World Junior Girls Championship Harika Dronavalli won against Narmin Kazimova and has 10 points out of 12. Her closest rival Mariya Muzychuk drew with Anastasia Bodnaruk and has 9 points now. Swaminathan Soumya and Miranda Mikadze drew their games and Mikadze is at the third place with 8.5 points. 5 players led by Kübra Öztürk from the home side are at a striking distance.

Detailed report below.

Three Lead Before the Final: Abhijeet Gupta, David Howell and Parimarjan Negi


The first board encounter between Abhijeet Gupta and Arik Braun ended as another shift in the leadership of the field. In early exchange of queens at Slav, white obtained a nice position and won a sacrifice then gradually but safely the Indian newcomer completed his comeback with ha critical win against the former leader from Germany who had been fighting at top for many rounds.Now, Abhijeet Gupta is among the leaders with 9 points.



David Howell had a nice position against Maxim Rodshtein in the English Opening where black had a strong double pawns on d limiting white's strategies while the bishop pair was another plus. Then, black conquered the c file and at the left position, the young English GM, reached the opponent king by a nice strike f3 with the idea of transferring the black queen to f4 and h4 while supporting it with the rook by Rc6-Rg6, application of this  geometry brought a crucial penultimate round win to David Howell who is also now among the leaders with 9 points.


Parimarjan Negi was also one of the players to be inspired by the mid-distance athletes who are going to run in a few weeks time in the Summer Olympiad in Beijing, China. He won an important  victory against the Vietnamese grandmaster Nguyen in a classical French position despite being an exchange down, but in a closed position with the only semi-open file controlled by white pieces. White took help from the mistakes of the opponent and the nice tactical possibilities to share the first places.


Eltaj Seferli- Ngoc Truong Nguyen game ended as a silent draw while top seed Rauf Mamedov sought to finish the nightmare event with a nice win against Martin Kravtsiv of Ukraine.


The US team consisting of Tyler Hughes, Tatev Abrahamyan, University of Texas University of Dallas Kostra Rican GM Alejandro Ramirez and their trainer Ambert Ambartsoumanian

WFM Anastasia Bodnaruk held Mariya Muzychuk to a draw and maybe she was the side closer to the win.

  Azeri IM Vasif Durarbeyli.

Czech players GM Viktor Laznicka ve WIM Katerina Nemcova relaxing before the game

Arik Braun ve Sarah Hoolt from Germany

Georgians  WIM Keti Tsatsalashvili and Nodar Lordkipanidze
Teodor Anton of Romenia

The witty and pretty Azerbaijani Khayala Iskandarova who showed her table-tennis skilled which are going to be reported later.

Trainer of the Chinese team GM Xu Jun

Harika Dronavalli's Giant Step Towards the Title

Harika Dronavalli, won a comfortable game against Azerbaijani newcomer to the top boards, Narmin Kazimova after exploiting the space advantage and c file to dissolve the position into a very nice endgame. This meant Harika had 10 points and was ahead of the rest of the field by a full-point margin.

Mariya Muzychuk faced Anastasia Bodnaruk who has been looking for a turmoil in the course of her tournament back to the top. Things did not look well for Muzychuk for a long time after an equal middlegame but she held on and the game ended as draw. However, this might not be the best results for Muzychuk since now Harika led the field by a one points margin before the final round.

Mariya Muzychuk's mother Nataliya Muzychuk kibitzking her daughter's game.

Soumya-Mikadze game ended as a draw in f3 Caro-Kann and Mikadze is at the third place with 8.5 points.

Guliskan Nakhbayeva, sacrificed a pawn against Nazi Paikidze in order to complete her development but it was not sufficient and Paikidze won a quick and an easy game.

In the French advanced where the game became complicated quite early, Katerina Nemcova's king on d1 was safe enough and she was able to complete here development with Rb1-Rb4 maneuver .Then her opponent Severiukhia's blunder Nf5 enabled her to win an easy game and she will face the leader Harika Dronavalli in the final round.

Kübra Öztürk with a Crucial Win, Achieved Her First WGM Norm



Kübra Öztürk won a crucial game against Romenian WGM Sabina-Francesca Foisor not only in terms of the standings in the championship but also this win enabled her to achieve her first WGM norm. She already passed the 2200 mark in this championship to complete the requirements for the WIM title.

Öztürk is the first ever Turkish player to achieve a WGM norm since Ekaterina Atalık already won this title when she was not playing under Turkish flag.

Öztürk gained the initiative from the queen side and got the upper hand. Black wen t on to win a pawn and finished the game after 37.Rb1 in a nice fashion as below:

37...Qb1 38.Qc5 (if takes the queen than after Rc1, black takes back the queen with  bonus material) 38...Nc5 39.Bb1 Nb3 40.Na2 Nd2 41.nc3 Nb1 42. Nb1 a2 0-1

 Turkish Chess Federation 2008