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Divya Deshmukh wins World Junior Chess

Source: PTI
June 13, 2024 23:24 IST
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Divya Deshmukh

Immensely gifted Divya Deshmukh of India outclassed Bulgaria's Beloslava Krasteva to clinch the title in the World Junior Girls' chess championship in Gandhinagar on Thursday.

With this win Divya, an International Master, ended the tournament with 10 points out of a possible 11, half-point ahead of the second-placed Mariam Mkrtchyan of Armenia at the Gift City.

Mkrtchyan dashed the medal hopes of Rakshita Ravi in a one-sided game.

The third place went to Ayan Allahverdiyeva of Azerbaijan, who scored a victory over Norman Kseniya of Russia to reach 8.5 points.

In the open section, Nogerbek Kazybek of Kazakhstan defeated overnight sole leader Mamikon Gharbyan of Armenia to win the title on better tiebreak ahead of Armenian Emin Ohanyan.

Ohanyan had a good game against Daniel Quizon but fell short on the tiebreak points and had to be satisfied with the second spot despite both scoring 8.5 points.

Luka Budisavljevic of Serbia (8 points) also found himself on the right side of tiebreak points to close out the tournament with a third-place finish ahead of Tobias Koelle of Germany.

The best Indian performer in the open section was Grandmaster Pranav Anand who ended up on 10th with 7.5 points while winning against Arsen Davtyan of Armenia.

Amongst other Indians, Aditya Samant finished 11th while Anuj Shrivatri ended up on the 12th spot.

But the day emphatically belonged to the 18-year-old Divya, a native of Nagpur.

A Queen Pawn opening by the Indian resulted in a slightly better middle game against Beloslava.

The consistent pressure that she exerted helped Divya increase her advantage, significantly weakening the black's pawn structure.


The exchanges did not bother Divya as in the ensuing Queen and Rook endgame, the Indian pocketed a pawn making Beloslava's king vulnerable.

A timely exchange was about to reach a completely winning king and pawns endgame for Divya when the Bulgarian called it a day.

Later Divya rated her victory over Ayan Allahverdiyeva as the crucial moment for her in the tournament.

“I was not up to the mark in that game. If I had lost that game, I wouldn't have been the champion,” she said.

Top results final round: Open (Indians unless stated): Nogerbek Kazybek (Kaz, 8.5) beat Mamikon Gharibyan (Arm, 8); Emin Ohanyan (Arm, 8.5) beat Daniel Quizon (Phi, 7.5); Luka Budisavljevic (Srb, 8) drew with Jose Gabriel Cardoso Cardoso (Col, 7); Anuj Shrivatri (7.5) drew with Rudik Makarian (Fid, 7.5); Shawn Rodrigue-Lemieux (Can, 7.5) drew with Aditya Samant (7.5); Tobias Koelle (Ger, 8) beat Ozenir Ekin Baris (Tur, 7); Domalchuk-Jonasson Aleksandr (Isl, 6.5) lost to Aleksey Grebnev (Fid, 7.5); Pranav Anand (7.5) beat Arsen Davtyan (Arm, 6.5); L Srihari (6.5) lost to Avila Pavas Santiago (Col, 7.5); L R Srihari (7) drew with Pham Tran Gia Phuc (Vie, 7).

Girls: Divya Deshmukh (10) beat Krasteva Beloslava (Bul, 7); Mariam Mkrtchyan (Arm, 9.5) beat Rakshitta Ravi (7.5); Norman Kseniya (Fid, 7) lost to Ayan Allahverdiyeva (Aze, 8.5); Sachi Jain (7) lost to Shubhi Gupta (8); Mrudul Dehankar (7.5) beat Martyna Wikar (Pol, 7); Kaldarova Ayaulym (Kaz, 7) drew with Balabayeva Xeniya (Kaz, 7); G Tejaswini (7) drew with Sofia Hryzlova (Sui, 7); Bristy Mukherjee (7) drew with Anna Zhurova (Fid, 7); V Rindhiya (7.5) beat Oshini Gunawardhana Devindya (6.5); Sulyok Eszter (Hun, 6) lost to Narmin Abdinova (Aze, 7.5). 

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