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Birthdays at the World Youth Print E-mail
By GM Ben Finegold   
September 27, 2014
Nate  Shuman, Lucas Foerster-Yialamas and Rohan Trakru

Two birthdays were celebrated on September 27, as Sadie Edelman turned 10 and coach GM John Fedorowicz turned 56.  Both had "Happy Birthday" sung to them at different parts of the day, and both seemed pleased, especially since Sadie won her game!

Thus far nine rounds have gone by and the last two rounds will decide how many medals will go to Team USA.  The following American players are still in the medal hunt:
U18 - Atulya Shetty 6-3
U16 Kapil Chandran 6.5-2.5
U12 - David Peng 7.5-1.5. Aravind Kumar, Rayan Taghizadeh 6.5-2.5
Girls U12 - Jennifer Yu 8-1. Akshita Gorti 7-2.
U10 - Aydin Turgut 7-2, Andrew Hong 6.5-2.5
Girls U10 - Martha Samadashvili 6-3
U8 - Rithik Polavarum, Rohun Trakru, Nathaniel Shuman, Jason Yu 6-3
Girls U8 - Rianne Ke 6.5-2.5.  Rochelle Wu, Aksithi Eswaran 6-3
Kapil Chandran

I hope I didn't miss anyone.  My prediction at the start of the event that the USA would win 5 medals still sounds about right!

There have been a lot of long games and some heartbreaking losses and draws, but all the players seem to be having a great time and there is great fighting spirit with all the players, and very few draws!

Two of my kids were playing in round 9, and since I cannot coach them against each other, they came to prepare together by looking at tactical problems!  A lot of the players on the American Team are competitors, but also great friends.  Most of the kids who finish their games and have them analyzed are happy to stay in the analysis room and help the coaches analyze games of their friends and colleagues.

Here is a great finish from round 5, where young Rianne plays a smothered mate!

Szuscikova (CZE),Natalie - Ke (USA),Rianne [C44]
WYCC 2014  (5), 23.09.2014
24.cxd3 Black is clearly winning, but young Rianne finishes in style! 24...Bc5+ 25.Qxc5 Qxc5+ 26.Kh1 Nf2+ 27.Kg1 Nh3+ 28.Kh1 Qg1+!!

29.Rxg1 Nf2# A smothered mate in a World Championship at the age of 8! 0-1

At the moment, Jennifer Yu and David Peng are our best chances for Gold, and many other kids can win a medal with a 2-0 finish.  The last round starts Sept 30 bright and early at 10AM!

A very interesting game involving a possibly accidental queen sacrifice (!) goes well for Vignesh as he takes everything offered, and his king walks to safely in a nice win with the black pieces.
Agmanov (KAZ),Zhandos - Panchanatham (USA),Vignesh [C13]

World Youth Chess Championships (8), 26.09.2014

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 dxe4 5.Nxe4 Be7 6.Bxf6 gxf6 7.Nf3 f5 8.Ned2 
This is not very challenging. 8.Nc3 and 8.Ng3 are better tries for an advantage.
 8...a6 9.Nb3 b6 10.Ne5 Bb7 11.Qh5 Rf8 12.Be2
White mixes his play between aggression and solid. Better was either 12.Bc4 or 12.0-0-0
12...Nd7 13.Bf3 Nf6! 14.Bxb7? 
White should play 14.Qh3 Ne4 and black is a little better.
Perhaps white missed this move, which gives the e7 square to black's king.
15.c3 Nxh5 16.cxb4 Nf4 17.g3 Ng6 18.Nxg6 hxg6 19.Bxa8 Qxa8 20.0-0-0 Qd5 21.h4 Qc4+ 22.Kb1 Qxb4
Black has a queen and pawn for a rook and knight, but things still get interesting!
23.d5 e5 24.Rhe1 e4 25.Nd4 Kd7 26.h5 Rh8 27.g4 fxg4 28.hxg6 fxg6 29.Nc6 Qf8! 
Black needs to be careful with his king running around.
30.Ne5+ Kd8 31.d6 Qf5! 32.dxc7+ Kxc7 33.Rd7+ Kb8 34.Nc6+ Kc8 35.Rd5 Qxf2 36.Rc1 e3!

Perfect technique by black. White has discovered checks, but they do not amount to anything tangible. Meanwhile, black's e pawn creeps up the board.

37.Na7+ Kb8 38.Nc6+ Ka8 39.Rd7? Qf5+! winning the rook.
37...Rh7 38.Nb4+ Kb7 39.Nd3 Qd2 40.Rd5 Rc7 41.Rg1 Qc2+ 42.Ka1 e2 43.Rb1 g3 44.Ne1 Qe4 45.Rg5 Rd7 

The players are all having fun playing chess, analyzing their games, preparing, and playing some sports (mainly soccer) and swimming in one of the various pools.  The coaches are gearing up for the final push as the last round approaches and we see the great preparation and work from all our fine players.

I think the most fun of the event so far is when the players analyze their games and correct the coaches erroneous suggestions!  Once an 8 year old student of mine did not like my suggested move, since it hung my queen!  Analyzing with great young minds and future GMs is what the World Youth is all about.

For results, standings, games, video, and other info go to: