Shtembuliak, Shuvalova Are World Junior, Girls' Champions 2019
FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich begins the event. Photo: World Junior Championship.

Shtembuliak, Shuvalova Are World Junior, Girls' Champions 2019

Rakesh
IM Rakesh
|
25 | Chess Event Coverage

Unknown Ukrainian GM Evgeny Shtembuliak has won the World Junior Championship. WIM Polina Shuvalova of Russia has won gold in the girls section, her second world championship this month as she won the World Under 18 Girls Championship in Mumbai, India, two weeks ago.

The World Junior Championships (open and girls) were held Oct. 14-26 in the Leela Ambience Convention Hotel in New Delhi. The open section had players from 41 federations, including 15 GMs and 33 IMs, and no fewer than 18 players were rated above 2500.

The top seven juniors in the world did not participate, including the defending champion, Parham Maghsoodloo of Iran. Because most of them were playing at the FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss in Isle of Man., rising Iranian star Amin M Tabatabaei was the top seed, but it was a regrettable event for him.

FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich had an extremely busy schedule with the Grand Swiss and the Global Chess Festival in Budapest, but he made it just on time for the inauguration of the event.

FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich and AICF President Venketrama Raja at the opening ceremony. Photo: World Junior Chess Championship.

As early as round one, the top three seeds were all held to draws. With a smaller but a stronger playing field, only Shtermbuliak and Spanish GM Miguel Santos Ruiz managed to win all their first three games. Their encounter in round four was a draw in 31 moves, but the round was not without action.

IM Aryan Gholami of Iran gave a walkover to his Israeli opponent, FM Alexander Zlatin. This incident was viral and soon discussed widely on social media. The whole incident was undesired but is unavoidable, especially at a world championship. The Iranian recently also played really well at the World Under 18 Championship two weeks ago. But here he drew his first three games and then, after this unfortunate pairing, he quit the event altogether. Norwegian journalist Tarjei Svensen summed it up perfectly:

In round five, we had our first sole leader in Shtembuliak as he beat recently crowned World Under 18 Champion GM Praggnanandhaa in a fine game with the white pieces.

Round six saw another unfortunate incident as above. This time top-seed Tabatabaei was paired against Israeli IM Or Bronstein. The former gave a walkover citing medical reasons. He continued playing but quit the event with two rounds to play as he had no chances of a podium finish.

The top seed Amin Tabatabaei had a regrettable event. Photo: World Junior Chess Championship.

In round seven GM Aram Hakobyan of Armenia played Shtembuliak at five points apiece. Shtembuliak played a beautiful, textbook positional game and gave his opponent no chance whatsoever. In fact, the winner was brutally strong with white as he won all six games when he had the first-move advantage. 

Evgeny Shtembuliak had a dream event. Photo: World Junior Chess Championship.

Santos Ruiz was always in the mix for the medals but was unfortunate to miss out with a last-round loss and finished fourth. But he can be proud of the following game that could easily be the game of the tournament.

The 13-year-old Russian star Volodar Murzin also had a dream event. He scored his first GM norm and also ended up on board one against the eventual winner in the last round. He lost but it's certainly not the last time that we will be hearing about this youngster.

The 13-year-old Volodar Murzin scored his maiden GM norm. Photo: World Junior Chess Championship.

Eventually the Armenian duo of GMs Shant Sargsyan and Hakobyan won the silver and bronze medals respectively. Interestingly, Sargsyan also won the silver at the World Under 18 Championships two weeks ago.

2019 World Juniors | Final Standings (Top 20)

Rk. SNo Title Name FED Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3
1 7 GM Shtembuliak Evgeny 2577 9 0 73 77.5
2 6 GM Sargsyan Shant 2580 8.5 0 67 72
3 9 GM Hakobyan Aram 2561 8 0 69 73.5
4 10 GM Santos Ruiz Miguel 2560 7.5 0 71.5 76
5 2 GM Karthikeyan Murali 2617 7.5 0 69 74
6 50 Wang Shixu B 2370 7.5 0 68.5 72.5
7 3 GM Aravindh Chithambaram Vr. 2609 7.5 0 66 71.5
8 25 IM Costachi Mihnea 2463 7.5 0 65.5 70.5
9 8 GM Praggnanandhaa R 2567 7 0 68.5 74
10 32 IM Murzin Volodar 2433 7 0 67 70.5
11 46 IM Mendonca Leon Luke 2388 7 0 65 67
12 4 GM Kollars Dmitrij 2587 7 0 64 68.5
13 37 IM Bronstein Or 2413 7 0 63.5 68
14 30 IM Raghunandan Kaumandur Srihari 2449 7 0 63.5 67
15 18 GM Kuybokarov Temur 2501 7 0 62 66.5
16 13 GM Harsha Bharathakoti 2530 7 0 60.5 65
17 31 IM Raja Harshit 2440 7 0 56.5 60
18 53 IM Pogosyan Stefan 2364 6.5 0 65 70
19 22 IM Drygalov Sergey 2470 6.5 0 63.5 68
20 26 IM Haria Ravi 2463 6.5 0 63.5 67.5

(Full final standings here.)


The girls section saw the reigning World Under 18 Girls Champion, WIM Polina Shuvalova of Russia, rated 2412, win her second world title in as many events. Shuvalova started slowly but simply took off after the rest day. She scored a massive 9.5/11 and could have won the event even with a last-round loss.

Iranian WIM Mobina Alinasab finished comfortably in clear second to win silver, while there was a three-way tie for the bronze medal. After tiebreaks were applied, WIM Elizaveta Solozhenkina of Russia was awarded third.

Shuvalova (center) with her trainer, GM Sergey Zagrebelny (back row), with the commentators. Photo: World Junior Chess Championship.

2019 World Juniors | Girls, Final Standings (Top 20)

Rk. SNo Title Name FED Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3
1 4 WIM Shuvalova Polina 2412 9.5 0 73 77.5
2 25 WIM Alinasab Mobina 2239 9 0 71 75.5
3 17 WIM Solozhenkina Elizaveta 2283 8 0 67 72.5
4 10 Berdnyk Mariia 2349 8 0 66.5 71
5 33 WIM Aakanksha Hagawane 2181 8 0 63.5 67.5
6 15 WIM Song Yuxin 2292 7.5 0 61.5 65
7 16 WFM Li Yunshan 2289 7.5 0 60.5 65
8 2 IM Tsolakidou Stavroula 2431 7 0 73 78
9 6 WGM Assaubayeva Bibisara 2381 7 0 71.5 76.5
10 11 WIM Dordzhieva Dinara 2335 7 0 67.5 73
11 24 WIM Priyanka Nutakki 2248 7 0 67 72
12 13 FM Antova Gabriela 2318 7 0 65.5 69.5
13 36 WIM Chitlange Sakshi 2175 7 0 64.5 68.5
14 23 WFM Protopopova Anastasiya 2263 7 0 62.5 67.5
15 27 Diakonova Ekaterina 2231 7 0 62 66.5
16 12 WIM Munkhzul Turmunkh 2332 7 0 61 65.5
17 35 WIM Cervantes Landeiro Thalia 2176 7 0 60.5 65
18 45 WFM Katkov Michelle 2106 7 0 60.5 63.5
19 19 Yakubbaeva Nilufar 2281 7 0 57.5 61.5
20 30 WIM Kiolbasa Oliwia 2223 7 0 57 61

(Full final standings here.)


The tournament offered live commentary throughout the event with world-class commentators such as GM Abhijeet Gupta, GM R. B. Ramesh, GM Marian Petrov and IM Tania Sachdev.

IM Tania Sachdev and GM Abhijeet Gupta provided excellent commentary throughout the event. Photo: World Junior Chess Championship.

You can replay all the games here:
World Junior Championship 2019
World Junior Girls Championship 2019

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