Naroditsky in Action in Young Stars
By Michael Aigner   
May 11, 2009


The opening ceremony of the Somov Memorial

The 7th Somov’s Memorial, better known as the “Young Stars of the World” tournament, honors the memory of a promising Russian talent who passed away at too young of an age.  The prestigious event began on Saturday in Kirishi, near St. Petersburg, Russia, with one American star among the invitees.  


The twelve participants have an average FIDE rating of 2368—not quite as strong as 2005 when Sergey Karjakin took first place ahead of fellow Grandmasters Evgeny Alekseev, Rauf Mamedov and Parimarjan Negi.  Still, this year’s combatants, all age 16 or younger, include one Grandmaster, defending champion Aleksandr Shimanov (Russia), followed by a pair of International Masters, Alexander Ipatov (Spain) and Srinath Narayanan (India).  IM norms are possible due to the mix of titled players and foreigners.  The format is a 12-player round robin at a time control of G/90 plus 30 second increment.

The honored American player is FM Daniel Naroditsky from the San Francisco Bay Area.  As the 2007 World U12 Champion, Danya fits right in with the other invitees, most who have also won international or Russian youth championships.  In fact, Danya already faced several of the players before, notably IM Narayanan, FM Ivan Bukavshin (Russia) and FM Daniel Yi-Ren Chan (Singapore).  

After the first three rounds, Danya is tied with untitled Vladimir Belous (Russia) for the lead with 2.5 points.  He easily outclassed two opponents before drawing with black against FM Chan in round 3.  In the first game below, Danya strikes in the center with the thematic Sicilian pawn push d6-d5 and then exploits the bishop pair in an open position.  The second game features a classic kingside attack by white in the closed Sicilian.

There is no live coverage for the tournament, but the organizers have done a good job of updating the bilingual website after each round.  Check out the latest standings, Java game viewer and photos.