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Maghsoodloo Wins World Junior Title With Stunning Performance
Parham Maghsoodloo of Iran receives the cup. | Photo: Official website.

Maghsoodloo Wins World Junior Title With Stunning Performance

PeterDoggers
| 35 | Chess Event Coverage

Stunning the chess world with a 9.5/10 score before losing in the last round, Iranian GM Parham Maghsoodloo won the World Junior Championship in Gebze, Turkey. Aleksandra Maltsevskaya of Russia won gold in the girls section.

The World Junior Championships (open and girls) were held September 5-15 in the Ramada Plaza Hotel in Gebze, Turkey. The Open section had players from 59 different federations, including 25 GMs and 40 IMs and no less than 30 players rated above 2500.

The top four junior players in the world did not participate: Wei Yi (China, 2742), Jan-Krzysztof Duda (Poland, 2739), Vladislav Artemiev (Russia, 2703) and Jeffery Xiong (USA, 2651). That made Parham Maghsoodloo (Iran, 2649) the top seed in Turkey, and he fulfilled the promise splendidly.

He was the only player on a perfect score after five rounds. After a friendly draw with his compatriot GM Alireza Firouzja, Maghsoodloo scored another four straight wins! This way he secured tournament victory with a round to spare, when he was already two points ahead of the pack.

In round five his opponent was close to a draw, but in time trouble he avoided a perpetual when Maghsoodloo suddenly played a devastating bishop check: 

In round nine it was GM Awonder Liang who was given the task to slay the mighty Iranian, but the American soldier failed as well. Maghsoodloo in fact played a beautiful, textbook positional game and gave his opponent no chance whatsoever.

GM Parham Maghsoodloo, World Juniors 2018

What a performance by GM Parham Maghsoodloo! | Photo: Official website.

Only in the last round Maghsoodloo was beaten. He lost to the Russian rising star GM Andrey Esipenko, who nonetheless missed the podium on tiebreak (partly because of an early loss to an IM from Kazakhstan).

Eventually the Indian GM Abhimanyu Puranik won the silver medal, while bronze went to Russian IM Sergei Lobanov. The latter had a spectacular final-round game, where he had to look for a not a second, but a third queen to place on his board!

Two more Iranian GMs did well and gained Elo points: Amin Tabatabaei (fifth place) and the aforementioned Firouzja (10th place). It will be interesting to see how the Iranian team will do in the upcoming Olympiad, after their excellent performance two years ago, when they finished on a shared 11th place.

2018 World Juniors | Final Standings (Top 20)

Rk. SNo Fed Title Name Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3 rtg+/-
1 1 GM Maghsoodloo, Parham 2649 9,5 0 70,5 76 20,7
2 23 GM Puranik, Abhimanyu 2524 8,5 0 69,5 73 22,6
3 21 IM Lobanov, Sergei 2535 8,5 0 66 70,5 16,2
4 6 GM Esipenko, Andrey 2593 8,5 0 65 68,5 11,5
5 11 GM Tabatabaei, M.Amin 2576 8 0 69 74,5 10,4
6 17 GM Bai, Jinshi 2556 8 0 65 69 9,8
7 22 IM Christiansen, Johan-Sebastian 2525 7,5 0 74 78,5 16
8 18 GM Hakobyan, Aram 2554 7,5 0 71 76 11,3
9 40 IM Harsha, Bharathakoti 2474 7,5 0 70,5 75 18,2
10 8 GM Firouzja, Alireza 2582 7,5 0 68,5 73,5 8,4
11 3 GM Donchenko, Alexander 2614 7,5 0 68 73 2,3
12 13 GM Sunilduth, Lyna Narayanan 2573 7,5 0 67 71,5 1,9
13 2 GM Van Foreest, Jorden 2624 7,5 0 65,5 70 -6,5
14 4 GM Karthikeyan, Murali 2605 7,5 0 65 70 -0,5
15 10 GM Aravindh, Chithambaram Vr. 2578 7,5 0 63,5 68,5 1,3
16 5 GM Martirosyan, Haik M. 2597 7,5 0 63,5 68 -4,4
17 26 IM Yakubboev, Nodirbek 2521 7,5 0 62 67 0,8
18 19 IM Lomasov, Semyon 2545 7,5 0 62 66,5 -5
19 38 IM Sindarov Javokhir 2484 7 0 74,5 78,5 16,2
20 27 IM Karthik Venkataraman 2519 7 0 74 78,5 18,1

(Full final standings here.)

The girls section saw a slightly surprising winner: the untitled Aleksandra Maltsevskaya of Russia, rated 2234. Georgian WIM Nino Khomeriki had been leading early on as the only player on 6/6, but then she lost to WIM Dinara Dordzhieva and later to FM Bibisara Assaubayeva.

Dordziheva drew her game in the final round, while Maltsevskaya won. She edged out WGM Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova of Uzbekistan on tiebreak; Khomeriki won the bronze medal.

Aleksandra Maltsevskaya, Nino Khomeriki, Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova World Juniors Girls 2018

The medal winners in the girls section. | Photo: Official website.

2018 World Juniors | Girls, Final Standings (Top 20)

SNo Fed Title Name Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3 rtg+/-
19 Maltsevskaya, Aleksandra 2234 8,5 1 73 77 55,6
4 WGM Tokhirjonova, Gulrukhbegim 2369 8,5 0 68,5 73,5 16,2
9 WIM Khomeriki, Nino 2313 8 0 71 75,5 20,6
45 WFM Nurgali, Nazerke 2080 8 0 69 73 182,8
7 WIM Dordzhieva, Dinara 2318 8 0 68,5 73,5 21,8
1 IM Tsolakidou, Stavroula 2393 8 0 65,5 71 -0,3
5 WIM Zhu, Jiner 2364 8 0 61,5 66,5 -3,8
3 FM Assaubayeva, Bibisara 2371 7,5 0 73 78 1,2
11 FM Antova, Gabriela 2292 7,5 0 66,5 71,5 7,8
46 Bai, Xue 2073 7,5 0 56 59,5 76
23 WFM Caglar, Sila 2208 7,5 0 55 58,5 -24,4
20 WGM Paramzina, Anastasya 2222 7 0 72 76 21,4
32 WIM Varshini, V 2173 7 0 68 72,5 22,2
8 FM Gorti, Akshita 2315 7 0 66,5 72 -4,8
24 WIM Ghukasyan, Siranush 2205 7 0 64,5 69,5 15,2
14 WFM Potapova, Margarita 2277 7 0 64 68,5 7,2
2 IM Nomin-Erdene, Davaademberel 2377 7 0 61 65,5 -19,5
15 WFM Sliwicka, Alicja 2272 6,5 0 68 73 -8,4
28 WFM Kanakova, Natalie 2201 6,5 0 66 70 2,2
10 WIM Unuk, Laura 2299 6,5 0 63,5 68,5 -27,2

(Full final standings here.)

Games via TWIC.

The world junior championship is held since 1951. Former winners include Boris Spassky (1955), Anatoly Karpov (1969), Yasser Seirawan (1979), Garry Kasparov (1980), Viswanathan Anand (1987), Levon Aronian (2002), Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (2003, 2005) and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (2009).

PeterDoggers
Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by Chess.com in October 2013.

As our Director News & Events, Peter writes many of our news reports. In the summer of 2022, The Guardian’s Leonard Barden described him as “widely regarded as the world’s best chess journalist.”

In October, Peter's first book The Chess Revolution will be published!


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