Tari World Junior Champion; Praggnanandhaa Earns 1st GM Norm
Since Saturday Norway doesn't have one, but two world chess champions. Magnus Carlsen and other (Norwegian) fans saw GM Aryan Tari winning the World Junior Championship in Tarvisio, Italy. 12-year-old Indian prodigy IM Praggnanandhaa R scored his first GM norm.
The World Junior Championship and the World Junior Championship for Girls took place 13-25 November in Tarvisio, Italy. It was open for players born on or after 1 January 1997.
The format was an 11-round Swiss; the time control was 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from the first move. No draw offers were allowed before move 30.
Because of the special character of this tournament (being a world championship!) it was possible to score titles, not just norms. The winner, if not a grandmaster yet, would automatically achieve the GM title and the silver and bronze medalists would receive the IM title.
This led to an interesting side story because of the participation of IM Praggnanandhaa R, the Indian prodigy who still has a chance to break Sergey Karjakin's record of youngest ever GM at 12 years and 7 months. Praggnanandhaa had about three more months to gain three GM norms, but winning the World Juniors would do the trick as well!
The Indian IM didn't win but finished in shared fourth place with 8/11 which was good for his first GM norm. One down, two to go!
Here's Praggnanandhaa's slow endgame grind victory over the top seed in the tournament:
Praggnanandhaa scored his first GM norm. | Photo: Ruggero Percivaldi/Official Facebook page.
congrats to @rpragchess on a great performance. I liked his wins with Sunilduth Lyna and Van Foreest— Viswanathan Anand ( @vishy64theking) November 25, 2017
he was undefeated, but fell just a bit short of winning the event.Aravindh put up a sparkling show with nice technical wins against Basso and Alekseenko and a tactical (1/3)
win against Xu Xiangyu in the last round to tie for first. Impressive recovery given his first round defeat and congrats to Aryan Tari for a deserved win. Strong winning streak from round 2-6 and a pleasing win vs Oparin. a little bit of nerves in the last round, reminds (2/3)— Viswanathan Anand ( @vishy64theking) November 25, 2017
me of my own wobbles in the last round versus Gad Rechlis back in 1987, but hung in there well to clinch the title. I hope we saw the beginning of some beautiful rivalries— Viswanathan Anand ( @vishy64theking) November 25, 2017
The tournament was won by GM Aryan Tari of Norway, who edged out GMs Manuel Petrosyan (Armenia, silver) and Aravindh Chithambaram Vr. (India, bronze) on the Buchholz tiebreak.
Tari, who was fifth seeded in the tournament, started with a draw (but so did e.g. top seed GM Jorden van Foreest of the Netherlands). The Norwegian then won five straight games, one of them against Jorden's younger brother Lucas, before conceding a draw to GM Awonder Liang of the USA.
The win in round eight against the strong Russian grandmaster Grigoriy Oparin was a big one. The pawn break on move nine was a bit similar to some lines in the French, where Black improves his central control at the cost of a pawn. It worked out perfectly for Black.
Two draws followed, vs Praggnanandhaa and then against Chinese IM Xu Xiangyu.
Going into the final round, Tari was the sole leader with 8/10. A group of six players was trailing him by half a point, among them Van Foreest but also e.g. Praggnanandhaa.
Tari held a slightly worse knight endgame to a draw to reach 8.5 points and got Aravindh and Petrosyan (who both won as Black in the final round) beside him on the podium.
Aryan Tari, the new World U20 Champion. | Photo: Ruggero Percivaldi/Official Facebook page.
2017 World Juniors | Final Standings (Top 20)
|3||7||GM||Aravindh Chithambaram Vr.||2572||8,5||0||66||70,5||2645||8,5||10,9|
|5||1||GM||Van Foreest Jorden||2616||8||0||71||77||2631||8||2,2|
|14||22||GM||Tran Tuan Minh||2538||7,5||0||64,5||69||2577||7,5||6,3|
|16||12||GM||Martirosyan Haik M.||2561||7,5||0||63,5||68,5||2599||7,5||5,7|
(Full final standings here.)
The amazing @aryan_tari is the new junior world champion!! Kept his cool in a difficult position in the last round-the mark of a champion— Magnus Carlsen ( @MagnusCarlsen) November 25, 2017
Thanks everyone, really happy to be the 2nd world champion from Norway😀!!— Aryan Tari ( @aryan_tari) November 25, 2017
Tari and Van Foreest will meet again in January as both will be playing in the Challengers group of the 80th Tata Steel Chess Tournament.
17-year-old IM Zhansaya Abdumalik of Kazakhstan finally won gold in the Girls section after taking silver in 2013 and bronze in 2015. She took over the title from her compatriot IM Dinara Saduakassova, who won last year.
After seven rounds Abdumalik was tied for first place with WGM Anastasya Paramzina of Russia. With a very convincing finish, with three straight wins, Abdumalik scored 9.5/11 (a 2599 performance!) and finished a full point ahead of the pack.
Here's her win in the penultimate round, where White castled queenside in a Hedgehog position but forgot to attack and then responded badly to a typical pawn break in the center:
Zhansaya Abdumalik, World Girls U20 Champion. | Photo: Ruggero Percivaldi/Official Facebook page.
2017 World Juniors (Girls) | Final Standings (Top 20)
(Full final standings here.)