Vachier-Lagrave wins World Youth Championship U20

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Biel 2009Maxime Vachier-Lagrave from France won the U20 World Youth Championship after a dramatic last round, in which he caught Sergei Zhigalko in the standings. The two finished on 10.5/13, but Vachier-Lagrave won the title due to a higher sum of the ratings of the opponents. WGM Swaminathan Soumya from India took gold in the girls section.

The World Youth Championship 2009 took place October 21 - November 4 in Puerto Madryn, Argentina. Originally it was supposed to be held in Mar del Plata but just a few weeks ago FIDE communicated the switch to Puerto Madryn, a city in the province of Chubut in the Argentine Patagonia.

It was a big Swiss of 13 rounds and 84 participants in the boys section and 45 in the girls section. The rate of play was 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an addition of 30 seconds per move starting from move one.

World Youth 09The tournament ended dramatically for Sergei Zhigalko (2646, Belarus), who had been leading the standings throughout the event. In the last round he drew with Ivan Popov (2582, Russia) and in doing so he allowed top seed Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (2718) to finish on the same number of points - the Frenchman beat Dmitry Andreikin (2659, Russia) in round 13.

As it turned out, the first tiebreak rule, the sum of the ratings of the opponents, was in favour of Vachier-Lagrave. Michal Olszewski (2544, Poland) won bronze on tiebreak after finishing shared 3rd with Popov and IM Alex Lenderman (2542, USA).

The girls section was won by WGM Swaminathan Soumya (2297, India) while the silver medal went to WIM Deysi Cori Tello (2361, Peru). Cemre Betul Yildiz (2224, Turkey) who recently played in the 2nd FIDE Women Grand Prix in Nanjing, took the bronze medal. All three ended on 9.5/13.

World Youth Championship 2009 | Final Standings (top 30)
World Youth 2009


World Youth Championship Girls 2009 | Final Standings (top 30)
World Youth 2009


Selection of games rounds 6-13



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