Main Menu
Tournament Schedule
Technical Regulations
Former Champions
Info Bulletin
Live Games
Photo Gallery

Multifest for India: Two World Junior Champions on the Independence Day


World Junior Championship 2008 ended dramatically as it started. Abhijeet Gupta won against David Howell to win the World Junior Championship title. Arik Braun and Parimarjan Negi drew their game as Eltaj Safarli and Maxim Rodshtein. Parimarjan Negi won the silver medal by 9.5 points. Third place was shared by Arik Braun, David Howell, Eltaj Safarli, Hou Yifan and Bassem Amin.



World Junior Girls Championship title secured by the top seed Harika Dronavalli after her draw against Katerina Nemcova since she already had a full point gap with here nearest rival. Nazi Paikidze wona gainst Mariya Muzychuk to join her at the joint second place as Mary Ann Gomes won against Miranda Mikadze and Kübra Öztürk won against Soumya Swaminathan to do the same.

Harika Dronavalli became the world junior girls champion with the score 10.5 out of 13. The 2-5.places were shared by Mariya Muzychuk, the home side pride Kübra Öztürk, Mary Ann Gomes and Nazi Paikidze with 9 points.

Detailed report below.

Indians Celebrate Their Independence Day :

Abhijeet Gupta Won the Decisive Game of the Championship

The deciding game the World Junior Championship was between David Howell and Abijeet Gupta where black equalized effortlessly in a d3 Italian. When white decided to advance the pawns in front of the king too much, it proved too dangerous. Black punished this excessively risky strategy by opening up the f file and using it as a gateway to reach the opponent king. This gateway brought not only the victory but also the World Junior title.

Winner and the runner-up...One way traffic for India: Abhijeet Gupta and Parimarjan Negipicture_060
2008 World Junior Champion

Runner-up trying to figure out how to meet 3.f3...Parimarjan Negi, 15-year-old super talent from India

After the bizarre opening of 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 which reminds your reporter the game between Kramnik and Shirov in Cozorla 1998, was played between Arik Braun and Negi Parimerjan. Black won the bishop pair but white also had enough play on the king's side and the game eventually ended up with an equal endgame which meant Parimarjan Negi finished the event at 9 points while Howell and Braun had 9 points. This meant, the first two boards shared the top spots to a great extent and two Indians players won the first two players together with a winner from the Junior Girls category.

In the Bg5 Najdorf which was employed between Eltaj Safarli and Maxim Rodshtein where white sacrificed a piece for three pawns with a strong initiative against the black king which was stuck in the centre. White could not create a pawn avalanche while black could not exploit the extra piece which caused the game to result as a draw.

Bassem Amin won a quick game against Rauf Mamedov who was probably not in his best form in Gaziantep. In the Reti opening, white's blunder ended as a thunderbolt-like loss for the top seed and a shared third place for the Egyptian grandmaster.

GM Nguyen


Ngoc Truong Son Nguyen and Wesley So made a quick draw while Hou Yifan won against Le Quang in a Dragon black sacrificed an exchange on c3 with grabbing some pawns but there was not a strong initiative and maybe the number of pieces exchanged was too much for black to overcome the material deficit. Therefore, Hou Yifan won the game to share the third place and achieved her second GM norm (the first one was back in Aeroflot Open) with a 2661 performance. The Chinese super talent is only one step away from completing her GM norms.

FM Milan Pacher (Slovakia)
Mikko Niemi (Finland)
Ekrem Buğra Gökçek - Ahmet Turan Ünlü

Lütfullah Uludoğan (Turkey)
Teodor Anton (Romenia)
Metehan Gökçek-local boy
Tiberiu Georgescu (Romenia)
Pandiha Kartihekyan (India)

Turkish trainers FM Yakup Bayram and Teoman Ulucan from Ankara
Sabina-Francesca Foisor

Indiam team writing history by winning the gold medal in both World Junior titles and having also a runner-up.


Another historical figure of the championship, Kübra Öztürk from Turkey

Harika Dronavalli Wins World Junior Championship with a 1.5 Point Margin


Harika Dronavalli secured the first place and double of Indian titles with no match in the history of the championship.


On the second board Nazi Paikidze gained the upper hand against Mariya Muzychuk shortly after the opening (Dutch) and won elegantly after maximizing the activity of her pieces which enabled Paikidze to catch up Mariya Muzychuk and giving some other players a chance to share the second place.


Mary Ann Gomes used the bishop against the knight effectively after the opening which Mikadze picked up a pawn which casted white to have a durable advantage in the development of the pieces.

The critical phase of the game

The national hero of the tournament Kübra Öztürk won a historical game against Swaminathan Soumya of India, in King's Indian Fianchetto. Öztürk played strongly to some point where she made a very double-edged sacrifice. She counted on the strong pawn on f6, damaging the coordination and the activation of the black pieces.However, black also lapsed in the zeitnot and white started having the ropes in an interesting endgame where white had h and g pawns against black'a pawn with a material advantage of exchange on black's part.

Spectators hold their breath


Arbiter Andreas Kantokanis placing the kings. Both players shocked after what has happened.

Kantonakis first consoling Soumya Swaminathan...then congratulated Kübra Öztürk

The endgame was a thriller to any Turkish chess fan who were fascinated to see that Swaminathan Soumya forfeited from time while the arbiter showed her opponent that her time was over. This meant 2-time European U16 Champion from Turkey won a historical medal in World Junior Championship sharing 2-5.placed and taking the third place. Despite the position was draw, the Indian youngster forfeited from time which was the fortunate moment for the Turkish player.


Anastasia Bodnaruk, was in a difficult position against Rumenian WFM Sgircea in the opening but managed to win after her opponent's wrong choice of endgame.

Türkan Mamedyarova, benefited from the misplaced pieces of white in the Stonewall Dutch and finished the tournament at 8-13.places after gathering 8.5 points.


 Turkish Chess Federation 2008