The 2012 World Junior Chess Championship began in the Titania Hotel in Athens, Greece. Right from the beginning the top FIDE junior event saw numerous exciting decisive games.
The Chinese champion and favorite of the WJCC GM Ding Liren (2695) started with a convincing victory, just as his compatriot and second seeded GM Yu Yangyi (2635).
Multiple of the top seeded players followed suit and completed a full point in day 1 – GM Yaroslav Zherebukh (2612), GM Richard Rapport (2605), GM Alexander Shimanov (2596), GM Alexander Ipatov (2577), GM Samvel Ter-Sahakyan (2567), GM Nils Grandelius (2562), GM Salem A R Saleh (2546), IM Sahaj Grover (2516), etc.
The only surprising results in the open/boys section top 15 boards were of GM Robin Van Kempen (2565) who made a draw with FM Dmytro Kigel (2276) and the one of IM Mustafa Yilmaz (2543) who drew with Anton Podolski (2246).
The two players over 2400 ELO in the Girls section of the World Junior Chess Championships 2012 – IM Anastasia Bodnaruk (2414) and WGM Deysi Cori (2413) – started with victories in the first round of the event.
Almost all their main competitors for the title, namely the players over 2300 ELO, won their games. WGM Alina Kashlinskaya (2391), WIM Irina Bulmaga (2380), WIM Meri Arabidze (2379), WGM Guo Qi (2358), Wang Jue (2355), WGM Nastassia Ziaziulkina (2342), WGM Jovana Vojinovic (2337), and WIM Lisa Schut (2305) walk away with a full point after day 1.
The girls section certainly contained more surprises than the open/boys one. The youngest player to have completed all WGM norms in the world at the moment Zhansaya Abdumalik (2193) and the previous youngest WGM in the world Alexandra Goryachkina (2361) had a rough start. Abdumalik lost her game versus the untitled Serbian player Bogdana Nonkovic (1950), while Goryachkina drew with Maria Nevioselaya (2057). The U20 girls Panamerican champion WIM Paula Andrea Rodriguez Rueda (2196) was also stunned by the local Alexandra Terzidaki (1958).
Photos by Andres Kontokanis