Chess

Russia wins World Youth Chess Olympiad 2017 with a round to spare

The way things were moving, it should not come as a surprise at all. They came, they saw, they conquered. Russia has scored the maximum possible 16 match points in 8 matches (2 match points per win) to stake claim on the first spot.

Before the start of the event, the Russian coach had mentioned that he was worried about the India Green team more than anybody else. Once the Greens were out of the way, the Russians effortlessly marched to take the Gold.

In the penultimate round, the Russians played Armenia and the first two boards finished in draws. On the third board, FM Artur Gaifullin, rated 2417, was completely winning but could only draw. But it did not matter.

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On the fourth board, Russian FM Timur Fakhritdinov, rated 2408, won comfortably to take Russia home once again. Russia won 2.5-1.5.

India Green was playing Uzbekistan. GM Aryan Chopra’s torrid form continues as he lost his fifth game, this time to Uzbek IM Nodirbek Yakkuboev.

IM Praggnanandhaa kept pressing with black until his Uzbek opponent IM Shamsiddin Vokhidov, rated 2412 cracked and lost. IM Nihal Sarin also kept pressing against Saydaliev Saidakber, rated 2362, until the Uzbek lost the thread and lost.

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IM Iniyan P., rated 2452, smashed Daler Vakhidov, rated 2250. Iniyan is clearly the unsung hero for India Green as he has scored 6.5/7 on the third/fourth board.

With the Gold already confirmed, Iran and India now are fighting for the Silver medal. With 13 match points, India is ahead of Iran who has 12 match points.

Photos by Priyadarshan Banjan

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Standing after round 8:

1. Russia – 16
2. India Green – 13
3. Iran – 12
4. Armenia – 10
5. Belarus – 10
6. Kazakhstan – 10
7. India Red – 10
8. India Blue – 9
9. Uzbekistan – 9
10. Turkey – 9
11. Malaysia – 9
12. South Africa A – 9
13. Canada – 8
14. Argentina – 8
15. Indonesia – 8
16. Sri Lanka – 8
17. Mongolia – 8
18. Iraq – 8
19. Israel – 8
20. Kyrgyzstan – 7
21. Kenya – Simba – 7
22. Bangladesh – 6
23. Nepal A – 6
24. Australia – 6
25. South Africa B – 6
26. Thailand – 5
27. Mozambique – 4
28. Nepal B – 3
29. Kenya – Ndovu – 1
30. Uganda – 0

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