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Yu The Best at World Youth Print E-mail
By GM Ben Finegold   
September 30, 2014
Jennifer Yu stole the show at the 2014 World Junior Championship, scoring 10 out of 11 in the Girls U12. I was most impressed with her last round game, where, after already clinching Gold, she simply crushed her opponent.

Yu (USA),Jennifer - Antova (BUL),Gabriela [A36]

1.c4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.e3 d6 6.Nge2 Nh6 7.0-0 Nf5 8.a3 h5 9.h3 
I wanted to show this game to show the class Jennifer has over the field. By avoiding theory, and playing a purely positional game, she easily builds a winning advantage. All the more amazing, since she already clinched Gold, "Yu" would expect a meltdown, as happens so often, when the game "does not matter."

This makes little sense.
10.Rb1 b6 11.d4 cxd4 12.exd4 Bb7 13.d5 Ne5?

13...Ncd4 14.Nxd4 Nxd4 15.Be3 Nf5 16.Bg5 is better for white, but the text move leaves black almost lost!
14.b3! Qc8 15.Bb2 0-0 16.Nb5 Re8 17.Ned4 a6? 
This loses immediately, but black, without doing anything that looks too bad, is almost lost in any case.
18.Nxf5! Qxf5

18...gxf5 19.Nd4! And black is strategically and tactically lost!
19.Nc7 Rac8?
19...Nd7 20.Bxg7 Kxg7 21.Nxa8 Bxa8 would last longer, although there is little doubt to the correct result.
20.Nxe8 Rxe8 21.f4! Nd3 22.Bxg7 Kxg7 23.g4! hxg4 24.hxg4 
An amazing crush in the last round after already clinching Gold. 1-0

I expect Jennifer will be a force to reckon with in many future US Women's Championships.

Unfortunately many of the kids did not capitalize on medal chances, and America only got 2 medals (the same as in 2013 in Al Ain) as Rayan Taghizadeh scored 8.5-2.5, winning his last round to win Bronze in the U12.

It looked like David Peng would win Gold in the U12, as he was in first and winning his game (although he was completely lost in mutual time trouble first!), but David made a blunder around move 45 and things turned around quickly.  David also was winning in round 10 and allowed a perpetual, so, things could have gone differently.  Luckily, David won Silver last year, so, unlike most players he still has a medal from a previous World Youth.

Also disappointing was Awonder Liang, who only scored 6.5-4.5 after winning Gold in the U10 last year.  But, as was pointed out to me by other coaches, Awonder always gets Gold his second time playing in an age group.  He did it in the U8 the second time and the U10 the second time, so, I guess he will be the favorite next year in the U12 on his second try.

A few kids tied for 3rd or 4th, but did not get one of the 36 medals, as only 1st, 2nd, and 3rd get the big prizes, and tiebreaks are not always kind.  But most Americans scored 50% or better (many much better!) and competed at the highest levels.

Okay, now for my complaining.  The organizers could have had the best tournament ever with a few simple changes.  Hopefully next years organizers in Greece are reading this and pay attention!

-- Better internet is required.  Most people are thousands of miles from home and also need to use several websites to prepare.  The internet was lousy, and often did not work at all

--Better food is required.  The organizers did not spend enough money on food, and the lunch and dinner at the various hotels was simply not good at all. That is not just my opinion, but I would say 80%-90% of the players/coaches/parents agreed.

--The Opening and Closing ceremonies last WAY too long.  The closing ceremony had so much stuff not related to the World Youth, that it took 2 hours to finish, and kids under age 10 were not going to be able to eat dinner or go to sleep before 9:45PM. 

--Too many incompetent arbiters. Often in these events, the arbiters are chosen by who they know, rather than competency.  There were several bad rulings and the appeals committee was meeting all the time!  Once, the Head of Delegation, FST Aviv Friedman, had to appeal a terrible arbiter ruling and missed the birthday dinner we had for Coach GM John Fedorowicz.  It was either meal or appeal for Aviv.  Luckily, the appeal was successful and the American player who won on time was actually awarded the win!

---Rounds start too late!  4PM is silly for a round time.  If the game goes 4-5 hours (normal for about 25% of the games) then the kids don't get back to the hotel until 9PM or later!  And dinner is ending around then, and this causes all kinds of problems.  Also, having two days with double rounds is simply awful.  The rounds should be at 2PM or 3PM, and only one double day, or 0.

Organizing the World Youth is quite an undertaking, and I think the organizers, for the most part, did a good job. There were a lot of pluses as well.  Hotel was very nice, breakfast was great, pick-up at the airport upon arrival was fantastic, view of the Ocean and beach was awesome, playing site was fantastic, and there was a lot to do in Durban.

Also of note, was the "side event" The Durban Open, which had about 15 GMs and somehow got American GM Vinay Bhat out of retirement!  Vinay tied for 4th place with 4 wins and 7 draws, playing 8 GMs in all.  A nice undefeated performance for the American GM.

I want to thank everyone involved with getting the American kids to Durban, to all the great coaches, all the parents, and especially the kids, who make the event so special.  I want to end the article with one of my favorite games from the event, a totally crazy draw, which I am sure anyone can analyze variations for hours and come to different conclusions.  Enjoy this exciting game!

Chandran (USA),Kapil - Van Foreest (NED),Jorden [C45]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Bc5 5.Nxc6 bxc6

Instead, ...Qf6 is more common
6.Bd3 Qh4 7.Qf3

Carlsen had this position once, and preferred 7.Qe2.
7...Nf6 8.Nc3 Ng4!? 
The Dutch IM is very aggressive with black, but Kapil shows he can also be aggressive!
9.g3 Ne5 10.Qe2!?
10.Qxf7+ Nxf7 11.gxh4 should be enough for a small edge for white, but Kapil wants more.
10...Qf6 11.f4?!

Both players seem a bit too aggressive! Oh wait, this is Junior Chess.... nevermind.
11...Nxd3+ 12.Qxd3 Rb8
12...Qd4! is promising for black.
13.Na4 Be7 14.Bd2 0-0 15.0-0-0
Kapil and I analyzed this game after the round, and he said the computer likes black, but that he and his opponent thought white was pressing throughout. I was too confused to give an opinion.
15...d5! 16.exd5 (16.Bc3 Qg6 17.Rhe1 Re8!³) 16...cxd5 17.Bc3 (17.Qxd5? Bb7) 17...Qc6 18.Rhe1 Be6
16.c4?! Qa6!

I guess I was thinking white's king was a bit more open than black's when first shown this game. I still think this is the case.
17.Nc3 Rb4?
18.Nd5! Better was 18...Rxc4+ 19.Bc3 Bd8 20.b3 Rxc3+ 21.Nxc3±

This position is so difficult to play, I am trying not to give any question marks to the moves. But when the players find the absolute best moves, they certainly deserve exclamation marks!
19.Nxc7 Qxc4+ 20.Qxc4 Rxc4+ 21.Bc3 Rxe4 22.Rhe1 should be equal.
19...c6 20.b3 Rxc4+!
20...Rxa3 21.Nxa3 Qxa3+ 22.Kb1 d5! 23.Bc1 Qa5 24.Bb2 and it's anyone's game!
21.bxc4 cxb5 22.cxb5 Qa4 23.Qc2 Qxa3+ 24.Qb2 Qa4 25.Bc3 Qc4 26.Rhe1 d6 

The computer says this is best! Amazing! I once had a game with my student, Matthew Larson, and he played Kd2 after castling queenside, and it was also very interesting. [27.Kb1? Bg4 28.Rd2 Rb8-+]
27...Rd8 28.Bxg7 d5! 29.exd5 Bg4 30.Ra1?

If white had played 30.Qc3 Qxd5+ 31.Kc1 Bxd1 32.Rxe7 Bh5 is equal! It seems like both sides have managed the tactics very accurately, and a draw is the correct result. However, Kapil should have lost with the move played in the game.
As I tell my students, "never play f6!" 30...Qxd5+! 31.Kc1 Qf3!!-+ threatening Rd1+ with mate soon to follow.
Now all things are drawn once again!
31...Rxd5+ 32.Ke3 Rd3+ 33.Kf2 Qd5 34.Kg1 Rd2 35.Qxd2 Qxd2 36.Rexe7 Qd4+ 37.Kg2 Qb2+ 38.Kg1 Qd4+ ½-½

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