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Round 7: Maghsoodloo Sole Leader Again, Dordzhieva Beats Khomeriki
IMG 6973
2018 World Junior Championship continues with full pace! All games were rich in terms of pure chess content as always and the round turned out to be a crucial one in both sections. The only player with full score, Nino Khomeriki from Georgia was finally beaten by WIM Dordzhieva and together with Maltsevskaya there are now three players with 6 points in girls section. In open section the game of leaders Maghsoodloo and Sindarov ended in Iranian stars favor, in which a theoretical debate resulted in a very sharp position where Maghsoodloo managed to outplay his young opponent. This leeaves Maghsoodloo alone at the top with 6,5 points and he’s followed by his compatriot GM Firouzja and Indian IM Venkataraman from a half a point distance.


The most awaited game of the day was obviously Maghsoodloo – Sindarov. A win by any player would have meant to be sole leader, a feat which was accomplished by the more experienced Iranian grandmaster. Players entered into some wild complications already seen a few times in grandmaster play, most notably in Dubov – Kovalev, Aeroflot 2017. It was Sindarov who went off the beaten path with his 16…Bg4!? instead of Kovalev’s more logical choice 16…exd4 which appears to be more solid and objectively better. However Sindarov’s choice gave black a dangerous initiative and active play as well. Parham Maghsoodloo is a calculating beast who is not afraid of complications and risks however and when he found the great maneuver Bc1-Ba3, followed by Bb3 it was obvious that only white can play for a win. Although there were few slips and a missed drawing opportunity for Sindarov with 37…Rh4! the Iranian grandmaster showed a high level of play in general and gained deservedly the full point.

On second board the game which started as Italian turned out to be a King’s Indian after all, in terms of pawn structure. It was GM Firouzja who played better and he beat Vavulin in a fine game with the theme of absolute positional dominance. If Tabatabaei could have won on third board too it would have been a perfect day for Iran but things are rarely so perfect in life and it was the Indian IM Venkataraman  who got the full point, thanks to a sudden switch to a kingside attack for which Tabatabaei was completely unprepared. A very instructive game!

Other winners of the round on top boards were Hakobyan, Liang, Christiansen and Bai Jinshi. Of these games the most dramatic one was definitely Christiansen – Narayanan. The strong Indian grandmaster was two pawns up in a queens ending but somehow found a way to löse! This could’ve been a nice entry for Dvoretsky’s “Tragicomedies” collection, had Mark Dvoretsky still lived.

In 8th round  we’ll have Venkataraman – Maghsoodloo,  Liang – Firouzja, Bai Jinshi – Christiansen, Sindarov – Hakobyan on top boards, all pretty difficult and even matchups promising great entertainment for chess fans already!


If Khomeriki had won today she could have left a big step behind towards the title but things went wrong for the Georgian and she lost her first point here. To be fair her opponent Dordzhieva from Russia played a good game after she gained the advantage so this loss was definitely not a surprise in the actual sense of the word. A bad result for Georgia but nothing is lost, she’s still at the top and a few wins in the coming rounds will easily settle the score for Nino Khomeriki.

On second board it was a Russian duel between Maltsevskaya and Paramzina which was won by Maltsevskaya in the end. In fact she showed a great level of play, probably on par with Khomeriki in terms of quality, so it wasn’t a surprise. Potapova’s win on fifth board against Sieber of Germany meant a great day for Russian girls actually and as of this round in top 5 we see three Russians!

Pre-championship favorites Assaubayeva and Tsolakidou didn’t have a great day. Bibisara Assaubayeva couldn’t turn her tangible advantage into a win and Tsolakidou probably mixed up something in her preparation as she got a worse position right out of the opening. A major setback for the top seeded Tsolakidou.

In 8th round there are very interesting games on top two boards: Khomeriki – Maltsevskaya and Potapova - Dordzhieva  
The 8th round will start on September 12, 15:00. Don’t miss IM Arduman & FM Selbes’ live commentary and broadcast with surprise guests!

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