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Golden Weather at the World Youth: Medals for Liang & Peng Print E-mail
By GM Ben Finegold   
December 28, 2013
Gold medallist Awonder Liang, Christopher Chen & Logan Wu 
I was trying to think of something nice to say about the 2013 World Youth, and I couldn't think of anything except the weather, so, I asked several others, and it seems we all think alike.  This was not the worst World Youth ever, but it was probably the second worst. And it wasn't due to bad intentions.  The people here are great!  Unfortunately, there were scores of snafus, and they only improved slightly over the course of the tournament.  Hopefully the organizers of next years event learned from the bad organization here, and the 2014 World Youth in South Africa, September 2014, will be much better.

The USA earned two medals, and they were in the same section.  As previously reported, Awonder Liang ran away with the U10 section, scoring 10 points from his first ten games. Though he lost his last game (after achieving a winning position), he still took gold by a full point. 

David Peng won the silver medal with 9-2. David started well, lost 2 games in a row in the middle, and won his last four.  I helped David for his last game, and the preparation worked! David got a great position, and after many trials and tribulations, was able to win.

Peng,David - Abdrashev,Arlen

2013 World Youth U10 (11), 28.12.2013

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.0-0 0-0 9.Be3 Be6 10.Qd3 Nbd7 11.Nd5 Bxd5 12.exd5


This position was still in our prep, and we mainly looked at 12...Nc5, as seen in Nakamura-Topalov from earlier this year. Black plays a very rare move, but it gives white a clear edge.
White gets the d4 square for his knight, and if black wishes to protect his "e" pawn later with f5, then e6 is weak.
13.Qd2 Ne5 14.c4 Nfd7 15.Rfd1 b6 16.Qc2 f5 17.Nd4 Qb8 18.Bf4?!
This gives away some advantage. Better was either 18.Qd2 or 18.Ne6.
18...Qb7 19.f3 exf3 20.Bxf3?!
I think 20. gxf3 is better, since black's knights are tripping over each other, and white maintains the two bishops.
 20...Nxf3+ 21.gxf3 Ne5 22.Bxe5 dxe5 23.Ne6 Rf6 24.Qb3 Rb8 25.Qc3?


This gives the advantage away. White should keep his queen on b3 so that is lined with the Qb7 and Kg8 with various potential pins.
Better was 25...e4!= 26.fxe4? Rg6+ 27.Kh1? Rxe6!! 28.dxe6 Qxe4+ 29.Kg1 Bc5+
26.Rd2! protecting the 2nd rank.
26...Qe7? 27.c5 bxc5 28.bxc5 Rxe6! 29.dxe6 Bxc5+ 30.Kh1 Bd4 31.Rxd4?!

31.Rab1! Re8 32.Qc4 Qxe6=
31...exd4 32.Qc4 Re8?!
The rook was better on b8. Then if black wanted to attack e6 later, he could try Rb6. Better was either 32...a5 or 32...g6
33.Re1 Qb7 34.e7+ Kh8 35.Kg2 Qb6? 36.Re6?

36.Qd5! and white is better with his powerful queen and strong passed pawn. Both players were short of time.
 36...Qb2+ 37.Kg3 Qb8+ 38.f4 Qb2 39.Qa4
39.Qd5 Qc1!=
40.Qxd4 Kg8

The players have reached the time control and white has a big advantage.
41.Qd8! Kf7 42.Re5!±
41...Qb3+?! 42.Re3 Qf7 43.Qd7 Qg6+ 44.Kf2 Qh5 45.Ke1 Qh4+ 46.Kd2 Qxh2+? 47.Kc3


Now David is clearly winning. His king is running to safety and the Re8 is too passive.
47...Qh5 48.Kb4 Qf7 49.Kc5 h5 50.Kd6
Steinitz would be proud!
50...Qf6+ 51.Qe6+ Qf7 52.Re5 g6 53.Qd7 Qf6+ 54.Kc7 Kf7 55.Qd5+ Kg7 56.Kd7

I've heard of activating your king in the endgame, but this is an extreme example! Nice technique from young David!
56...Qf7 57.Qd4

57.Qxf7+ Kxf7 58.Re6 threatening 59.Rf6+ also wins.
57...Kg8 58.Re6 h4 59.Qd6 Kh7 60.Rf6 Qg8 61.Rf8

It looked like USA would win a medal, and possibly gold in the girls u10 section, as Carissa Yip went on a tear winning several games in a row.  She was winning her last game, and made some errors on the way to the point, but still had good winning chances.  In the end she obtained a winning position again, but was exhausted from the long tournament, many long games, and could not find the win, and offered a draw.  

Lakshmi,C - Yip,Carissa

2013 World Youth U10 (11), 28.12.2013


Black should win this quite comfortably. But then again, that's easy for me to say, since I wasn't the one in time trouble!
38...Rf2 39.Rxd6+ Kxh5 40.Re6 Rxf3+ 41.Kd2 Re3 42.Rxe5+ Kg4-+
 39.Rxd6+ Kxh5 40.Re6 Rg5 41.Ke2 Kh4 42.Kf2 h5
Here black offered a draw, which was accepted. Black has a very tricky way to victory....[42...h5 43.Rf6 Kh3 44.Rf5 Rg2+ 45.Kf1 Rh2!! This is a VERY difficult move to find. It is the only way to win. 46.Kg1 (46.Rxh5+ Kg3 47.Rxe5 Kxf3 48.Kg1 Rg2+ 49.Kh1 Re2 50.Kg1 Ke3!) 46...Ra2 47.Rxe5 Kg3 48.Rg5+ Kxf3 49.Rxh5 Ke3!]  ½-½
We all thought Carissa was getting a bronze, but the tiebreaks were cruel, and she missed by the closest margin. Also of note, in the U18 was Daniel Naroditsky, who needed a win to medal, but had black, played very aggressively to try to win, but ended up losing his only game of the event.

I would like to point out some of our kids who scored a lot of points, like Carissa, but just missed the medals (out of 11 games):

U12 girls - Jennifer Yu    8.5
U12 girls - Annie Wang    8
U14 Open - Ed Song        8
U8 Open - Maximillian Lu  8.5

Claudia Munoz
I talked to several players, coaches, and parents about their experience here, and many wished that certain things had been better. Of course, I understand it is a tremendous undertaking to house, feed, and pair thousands of people for 11 days! So, I won't do a lot of complaining. Before my own "thank yous", Jerry Nash, USCF Special Projects Consultant, USCF National Education Consultant, and Member, FIDE Chess in Schools Commission, wrote:

I want to say a special thanks to all the parents, families, and communities who worked together to make it possible for these students to experience the World Youth in the UAE. I also want to say thank you to the coaches who worked diligently under often unusual circumstances to provide assistance to players and families.
Parents on photography duty at the World Youth

A particularly robust thank you is in order for  head-of-delegation and coach Aviv Friedman.  Aviv and I have been friends for a long time, and I saw first-hand a lot of the hassles and technical details Aviv had to deal with. Aviv worked tirelessly every day, and did not get a lot of sleep for 2 weeks. Sometimes there were pairing issues, food issues, Americans not getting paired, not getting picked up at the airport, not getting their passports back (!), not having proper Visas, and Aviv had to deal with all of that, and more. Being the chief is not all it's cracked up to be (as the chief from "Get Smart" knows all too well) but Aviv always had his usual sense of humor and even worked as a coach, along with his other duties.  One of his kids, David Peng, won a silver medal.

Anupama Rajendra is in U14 Girls section
I also want to thank Jerry Nash who worked for months to aid everyone with everything. From passports to money issues with the organizers, Jerry was always working to help our team succeed. Jerry taught ladies who worked in our dorm how to mate with King and Queen versus King.  He showed them all kinds of ideas for at least 20 minutes, and had them play against him, and I even saw one of the ladies checkmate him. 

US vs. Russian in foosball
Even though things could have been better, we come back with two medals and with almost all the kids having an experience of a lifetime. How many American children get to go to Dubai or Abu Dhabi, and play in a chess World Championship with children from all over the world? After the last round, there was even a photo opportunity with Garry Kasparov. Now, we will take a deep breath and start preparing for the 2014 World Youth in South Africa!