Info Bulletin

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Round 1: The Battle Begins!
WhatsApp Image 2018-09-05 at 15.45.09
2018 World Junior Chess Championship and World U-
20 Girls Championship have started today. A very important championship historically –just mentioning the fact that world champions Spassky (1955), Karpov(1969), Kasparov (1980) and Anand (1987) have all started as world junior champions is enough- it is definitely the event to follow these days, especially if you want to discover the elite players of future.

This years edition sees a record-breaking number of participation, players from 65 different countries have come to Gebze/Turkeycompete for the most important title U-20. But it’s not just about quantity. In the open section there are 30 players who have an ELO rating higher than 2500, which shows the strength of the competition. As for girls, it might seem to be not as strong as the open category but still in a very evenly matched field anything might happen,so lots of surprises and difficult battles should be expected in this category as well.
Let’s have a short look at first round in both sections.


The first round usually brings heavy favorites against weak players but not here. For example on the first board GM Maghsoodloo (2649) from Iran found himself matched up against FM Wadsworth (2351) of England. Certainly not a championship to be taken lightly, even the very start is quite difficult in this marathon.

That being said still the first round saw few surprises. 12 years old Russian talent Volodar Murzin held against the second seed Jorden van Foreest and thus managed to begin the championship with a draw, usually not a bad result if you are playing with black against a 2624 ELO player! One of the local hopes, FM Tuna Tuncer of Turkey has played a very clean game against GM Martirosyan (2597) of Armenia and in a position with a material imbalance accepted the draw offer of his opponent. Probably a wise decision by the Armenian grandmaster, as black knight and bishop had trouble finding good squares for themselves whereas the same cannot be said of white rook and pawns.

In the second round we’ll see closer matchups than today and we can certainly expect a great amount of hard-fought games! Stay tuned for the live broadcast!


Women chess in general is a lot more exciting than men and this first round was also another occasion proving it. On board number one, the rating favorite Stavroula Tsolakidou from Greece seemed to be cruising to victory but then somehow found herself completely lost! This was not the end of the drama though as her opponent Malatsilava returned the favor and thus lost her chance to inflict a very upsetting defeat on IM Tsolakidou at the start of the championship.

The second board also saw the underdog getting winning chances, this time actually capitalizing on it. The second seed IM Nomin-Erdene from Mongolia found out that her Chilean opponent is not to be underestimated and lost in an uncomfortable position despite opposite-colored bishops to WIM Gomez Barrera. An early setback after which the Mongolian star will have a hard time climbing up the ranks again, but in an 11-rounds event everything’s possible!

There are tough pairings in the second round as Tsolakidou and Assaubayeva will find themselves matched up against Chinese WIM Ruotong and Indian WIM Varshini respectively. If you think about how underrated players from China and India actually are these matches will be quite interesting to follow!

See you all at the second round starting on September 6, 15:00 local time! Don’t miss the live broadcast and commentary by IM Arduman & FM Selbes!

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