Dezember 7, 2023

World Junior Championship: No changes at the top after drawish Round 8

It was all draws in the top nine boards in the 8th round of the FIDE World Junior Championship (open), except for Niemann’s victory over IM Konstantin Peyrer. On the black side of a King’s Indian, Hans didn’t really get anything out of the opening, but a poor move by his opponent, 30.e3, allowed him to penetrate his rival’s camp. Peyrer survived the attack but lost three pawns and resigned 13 moves later. 

On the top board, the game between Santiago Avila and Marc’Andria Maurizzi was a Scotch where, surprisingly, we had an entirely new position after just eight moves. However, the heavy pieces were exchanged early into the game, and the ensuing endgame with opposite-colour bishops was a dead draw.

A very similar script followed the game between Gharibyan and Dudin, which ended in a threefold repetition after 31 moves, the same as Schitko-Budisavljevic, in just 28 moves. The fight between Subelj and Makarian was much longer: after White won a pawn on move 34, Subelj kept striving to convert his advantage for thirty more moves, but to no avail. With all the pawns on the same flank, his 3 vs 2 majority was simply not enough to win, but the game continued to bare kings.

Avila, Maurizzi and Dudin keep leading with 6½/8, and the Hungarian IM has almost secured his GM norm, as he will only need a draw in the remaining rounds. Elham Amar of Norway and Diago Saul Flores of Peru also have good chances of leaving Mexico with a GM norm under the belt.

The 8th round at the Girls‘ competition was much more enjoyable. To begin with, Carissa Yip came out of the opening in a disastrous position after she went for the wrong f-pawn advance: 15.f5 instead of 15.f7+ in a very sharp line. By move 20, she was an exchange down, and the engines indicated a +2.1 advantage for Black. However, both kings were very exposed, and Carissa made the most of her chances to create counterplay. Her resilience was rewarded with a very valuable half a point, allowing her to continue leading, half a point ahead of a disappointed Beloslava Krasteva and Roxangel Obregon. 

Roxangel moved up to second place after a fine victory over Trisha Kanyamarala of India. The Cuban WIM played the English Attack in the Scheveningen in an exemplary way.

The current American continent champion among women, 16-year-old Candela Francisco, also moved up in the standings after beating Ingrid Skaslien of Norway. Candela is one of the four players in the field still undefeated, together with Yip, Krasteva, and Obregon. 

Yip’s rival for the 9th round will be the young Chinese Miaoyi Lu, one of the revelations of the event, who beat Sarah Djidjeli with apparent ease.

Gleb Dudin – Santiago Avila, Marc’AndriaMaurizzi – Ivan Schitco, and Hans Niemann – Mamikon Gharibyan are the main pairings for the 9th round in the open category. 

In girls, apart from Carissa Yip – Miaoyi Lu, the most exciting clashes will be Beloslava Krasteva – Roxangel Obregon and Candela Francisco – Mariam Mkrtchyan.

Standings after Round 8:



Written by David Llada

Photos: David Llada

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