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Countdown to the World Junior Championship

Who are Showing Up? -1

World Junior Championships are now not only hosting "future stars" but also numerous established grandmasters. Gaziantep is going to host many renowned grandmasters and stars in world chess during the 2008 World Junior Championship. See the gigantic photo album of the expected stars of world chess below.

World Junior Championship Hosts....


GM Rauf Mamedov, one of the young grandmasters of Azerbaijan, who recently led Manisa Doruk College to take the silver medal in İş Bank Chess League, rated 2627.

Maxim Rodhstein, a later addition to this report, is definitely among the top juniors around the world. The 2605-rated Israeli grandmaster has two golds in World Youth Championship and two silvers in European Youth Championships. He also won 2007 Andorra International Open.


GM Dmitry Andreikin, former World Under 10 Boys Champion, now a strong grandmaster representing the young generation of GMs of Russia, rated 2604, shared 3-4.places in the world junior championship last year.


GM Viktor Laznicka, rated 2601, won the national championship title of Czech Republic back in 2006, and probably one of the strongest juniors in the world in recent years.


GM Davit Baramidze, 2593, German grandmaster born in Tbilissi posing in one of his games in Bundesliga (from Chessbase.de)


GM Li Chao, the member of the gang of upcoming Chinese grandmasters, rated 2590.

GM Luka Lenic, the young star of Slovenia, a country with a rich chess tradition, a pupil of GM Adrian Mikhalchishin, who works with Turkish youngsters and women's team also, rated 2584.


GM Sergei Zhigalko (Belarus),2583, former European Under-18 Champion in Boys back in 2006, the member of Zhigalko clan, the two brothers being the young stars of Belarussian chess.


GM Le Quang Liem, 2577, former World Under-14 Champion, also won zonal tournament (zone 3.3.) of world championships ahead of manystrong players from Vietnam, Philipinnes and Mongolia.


GM Wesley So, 2567, the seventh youngest person to become grandmaster ever when he was 14 years, 1 month and 28 days old. He completed his GM norms last december in 2007 Pichay Cup International Chess Tournament.

GM Amin Bassem,2561,  one of the two grandmasters of Egypt, the other one being the reigning world junior champion Ahmed Adly. He became African champion under-20 in 2004 and 2005. In 2005 and 2006 Amin became Arab champion under-20, as well as Arab Men Champion.  He took bronze medal at the World Championship under-18, in 2006.  In 2007 Amin Bassem became the champion of Abu-Dhabi Masters and Under-20 Arab Championship.


GM Eduardo Iturrizaga, 2561, the first ever Venezuellan grandmaster, runner-up in 2008 Iberamerican Championship.


Yet another 2561 rated Grandmaster, from England, David Howell, the young star of the British chess is also going to play in Gaziantep. He was already noticed in his successful games against many strong grandmasters when he was a small kid, in the future he became one of them. He already visited Turkey last year for the World Youth Championship but this time he would like to achieve a better result against a stronger opposition.


WGM Hou Yifan,2557, 14 came to Turkey twice, for European Club Cup and to İş Bank Atatürk International Women Masters , a brand new super-tournament for women.  She has one GM norm from Aeroflot Open 2008 . She won the first edition of the Turkish super tournament quite comfortably. She  Now she is back in Turkey again for figting against the best junior players in the world.


GM Abhijeet Gupta, 2551,  won his international master title when he was 15, which was a record for India. He also has another record of becoming the youngest National junior champion, when he was only 13.

GM Ivan Popov, 2549, Russian grandmaster who won the World Under 18 Boys title last year in Kemer , Antalya, Turkey and also runner-up in World Junior Championship.


IM Sanan Sjugirov,2545, from Kalmykia, won the U12 European Youth Chess Championships in 2004 and 2005, the U14 European Youth Chess Championship in 2007, the U10 World Youth Chess Championship in 2003 and the U14 World Youth Chess Championship in 2007. He is also the reigning Russian Junior Champion.


IM Arik Braun, 2533,  became U18 Youth World Champion in 2006. He became very well-known after he stormed the first half of Corus Wijk aan Zee C Group.


GM Alejandro Ramirez, 2531, the first ever Central-American Grandmaster from Costa Rica, became grandmaster at the age of 15.


GM Ante Brkic, 2530, from Croatia, who completed his norms in January 2007, completed his norms in Bosnian Chess League in June 2006.

GM Parimarjan Negi, 2529, the 15-year-old Indian prodigy, completed his norms for the grandmaster title when he was 13 years, 4 months, and 22 days old. He is the second youngest International Grandmaster ever, after Sergey Karjakin. He is the youngest grandmaster of India, one of the chess giants in the world now.


GM Eltaj Safarli, 2527, the Azerbaijani grandmaster played in the Turkish İş Bank League champions, Adana Truva, helped the Adana team to won their first league title, also won the Essent Open last year.


GM Sebastian Feller, young French GM, rated 2523, in the analysis hall during the Aeroflot Open 2008.


IM Manuel Leon Hoyos, 2543, the Mexican youngster who assisted Turkish-speaking Ukrainian super GM Vassily Ivanchuk. He is the leading youngster of a country where chess is spreading like a fever. Note the interest shown into the super GMs, in Morealia.


Greek IM Ioannis Papadopoulos, 2490, made a huge sensation after winning the Greek Championship 2007 , ahead of GMs Banikas, Kotronias, Athanasios Mastrovassilis and Nikolaidis.


IM Emre Can, 2461, former Under-14 Bronze medalist and took the fourth spot in 2007 European Under 18 Championship , the strongest youngster of the hosting country. He has a GM norm from Olomuc GM Tournament last year. He just entered University Entrance Exams, which is a big obstacle for Turkish youth, now he is expected to be back in chess full time as before.


 Turkish Chess Federation 2008