Mai 20, 2024

Carissa Yip takes the sole leadership in World Juniors

Carissa Yip is now the sole leader of the World Girls Junior Championship in Mexico after defeating Ravi Rakshitta with the black pieces. The game was a Kraumer variation of the King’s Indian, where white went for a rare move, 10.Bg5. It was precisely this bishop that would cost Ravi the game, as she gave it up (or straight away blundered it?) for little compensation nine moves later. Nevertheless, the way Carissa exploited her opponent’s mistake was truly beautiful, with her rook and knight combo completely dominating the White pieces.

With this victory, Carissa became the first sole leader in the Girls‘ event on 5.5/6, having defeated her two direct rivals, Mariam Mkrtchyan and Ravi Rakshitta, in consecutive rounds. After the setback in round 5, the Armenian returned to her winning ways with a very fine victory against the young  Miaoyi Lu.

The Chinese prodigy, with black, placed her Queen on a8 to reinforce her pressure along the long diagonal to counterweight her opponent’s Catalan bishop. However, as soon as some black pieces blocked the diagonal, the Queen found itself misplaced and far from the action, and Mkrtchyan took advantage of this fact in a masterful way, scoring a very valuable point and bouncing back from her 5th-round defeat in very convincing fashion.

Sofiia Hryzlova, from Switzerland, and Beloslava Krasteva, from Bulgaria, also won in Riybd 6 and are now chasing the leader with 5/6, while Candela Francisco and Barbara Goraj drew their game on board two, which leaves them with 4.5/6. Yip, Goraj and Krasteva have been undefeated in the competition so far.

In the open section, Marc Andria Maurizzi drew with the black pieces against Elham Amar of Norway. Meanwhile, five of his sixteen pursuers scored victories to catch up with the leader. For the first 15 moves, the game followed a well-known variant of the Petroff that has been played by many top GMs, but Elham deviated from known theory with 16.Bh3, which drastically changed the position. However, after the exchange of rooks, the game was completely equal, and the players split the point – probably a satisfactory result for them both.

On board two, Jan Subelj obtained some initiative against Hans Niemann’s Sicilian, but objectively speaking, he never had an advantage, and the game ended in a draw by perpetual check after 36 moves. The same result was reached in the game between Arseniy Nesterov and Luka Budisavljevic after very solid play from both parts in a closed Catalan.

The first decisive outcome was registered on board four, where Ruben Koellner defeated Rudik Makarian with White in a rare line of the London System. The German won a pawn in the opening and converted his advantage by weaving a lovely mating net with his rook and knight.

Andy Woodward lost, with White, to Gleb Dudin, who moved to 5/6, unbeaten. Despite this setback, the hopes for the 13-year-old American to achieve a GM norm are still alive, as he is still on 4/6 and gaining 6 rating points.

Maurizzi, Pranav, Dudin, Koellner, Dushyant and Santiago Avila are now all tied in first place with 5/6.

The main pairings for the seventh round are Maurizzi – Pranav, Dudin – Koellner and Dushyant – Avila, all with 5/6 in the open section. In the Girls‘ competition, the leader, Yip, will have white against one of the tournament’s revelations, Sofiia Hryzlova (pictured above) of Switzerland, while Krasteva will face Mariam Mkrtchyan on board two.

Standings after Round 6:

OPEN

GIRLS

Written by David Llada

Photos: David Llada