August 16, 2012 9:54

Alexander Ipatov & Guo Qi are the new World Junior Champions

Alexander Ipatov & Guo Qi

Alexander Ipatov won the World Junior Championsip on Wednesday in Athens, Greece. The 19-year-old Ukrainian-born grandmaster, who plays for Turkey, edged out Hungarian GM Richard Rapport on tie-break after both finished on 10/13. In the girls' section the title went to Chinese WGM Guo Qi. She had the best tie-break in a group of four that scored 9.5/13, besides WGM Nastassia Ziaziulkina, IM Anastasia Bodnaruk and WFM Aulia Medina Warda.

Alexander Ipatov & Guo Qi | Photos by Anastasia Karlovich & Andreas Kontokanis

Event World Junior Championship | PGN: Open | Girls via TWIC | Chess-Results
Dates August 2-15, 2012
Location Athens, Greece
System 13-round Swiss
Players The strongest players in the Open section were Ding Liren, Yu Yangyi, Yaroslav Zherebukh, Richard Rapport, Aleksandr Shimanov, Alexander Ipatov, Samvel Ter-Sahakyan, Robin van Kampen and Nils Grandelius 
Rate of play

90 minutes for the whole game + 30 seconds increment

The World Junior Championship was held August 2-15 at the Titania Hotel in Athens, Greece. 130 players in the Open section and 66 in the Girls section played a 13-round Swiss - a pretty tough event, as always, with only one rest day.

As the top grandmasters are getting younger and younger these days, and many teenagers are playing in the strongest tournaments, the World Juniors isn't as strong as it used to be. For instance, in the Open section only three players from the world's juniors top 10 were present: Chinese GMs Ding Liren and Yu Yangyi, and Yaroslav Zherebukh of Ukraine. The seven who were missing were Fabiano Caruana, Anish Giri, Parimarjan Negi, Wesley So, Sanan Sjugirov, Eltaj Safarli and Ilya Nyzhnyk. In the Girls' section things were less dramatic, but unsurprisingly World Champion Hou Yifan saw no reason to participate.

Even without the presence of many top players of his generation, Alexander Ipatov's achievement was excellent of course. Besides the gold medal he won a spot in the World Cup in 2013 in Tromsø, Norway, and finds himself in the list of previous winners that includes Viswanathan Anand, Boris Spassky, Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov and Levon Aronian. Last but not least, Ipatov gained 24.4 Elo points to cross the 2600 mark.

A remarkable fact about Ipatov is that, at 19, he has already played for three different federations. Born in Ukraine, he switched federations to Spain in 2009, disappointed by the Ukranian Chess Federation's efforts to stimulate his career. Early 2012 he switched once more and started playing for the Turkey, where the federation made him an attractive offer. Ipatov will have plenty of opportunity to get more experience at the Olympiad, where he'll play first board for this country.

Ipatov's trainer, Efstratios Grivas, was so enthusiastic about his pupil's success that he distributed a PDF document to chess media with the news, including a biography and some games with annotations. We give Grivas' annotations here:

PGN file

Richard Rapport finished on the same score as Ipatov but had a worse tie-break. However, the Hungarian's achievement was arguably even better, considering the fact that he's three years younger! Here's a nice win by the runner-up.

PGN string.

Many norms were scored at the event. We'll mention three GM norms, by IMs K. Grigoryan (Armenia), S. Grover (India) and D. Debashis (India).

World Junior Championship 2012 | Final standings (top 30)

Rk. Title Name FED Rtg Pts. TB1
1 GM Ipatov Alexander TUR 2577 10.0 30375
2 GM Rapport Richard HUN 2605 10.0 30059
3 GM Ding Liren CHN 2695 9.5 30192
4 GM Grandelius Nils SWE 2562 9.5 29832
5 GM Yu Yangyi CHN 2635 9.0 30438
6 GM Ter-Sahakyan Samvel ARM 2567 9.0 30174
7 GM Zherebukh Yaroslav UKR 2629 9.0 29366
8 IM Indjic Aleksandar SRB 2481 9.0 29093
9 GM Huschenbeth Niclas GER 2532 9.0 29017
10 IM Hansen Eric CAN 2472 9.0 28596
11 FM Wei Yi CHN 2418 8.5 30449
12 GM Shimanov Aleksandr RUS 2596 8.5 30109
13 GM Van Kampen Robin NED 2565 8.5 29411
14 IM Antipov Mikhail Al RUS 2462 8.5 29175
15 IM Andersen Mads DEN 2464 8.5 27980
16 IM Grover Sahaj IND 2516 8.0 29774
17 GM Cori Jorge PER 2487 8.0 29751
18 GM Salem A R Saleh UAE 2546 8.0 29260
19 IM Yilmaz Mustafa TUR 2543 8.0 29212
20 IM Holt Conrad USA 2498 8.0 28961
21 FM Schreiner Peter AUT 2444 8.0 28921
22 GM Baron Tal ISR 2451 8.0 28851
23 IM Kovalev Vladislav BLR 2485 8.0 28842
24 IM Heimann Andreas GER 2493 8.0 28812
25 IM Bluebaum Matthias GER 2424 8.0 28809
26 IM Shyam Sundar M IND 2486 8.0 28593
27 IM Gao Rui CHN 2442 8.0 28402
28 IM Kanarek Marcel POL 2487 8.0 27853
29 IM Shyam Nikil P IND 2484 8.0 27693
30 IM Bajarani Ulvi AZE 2446 8.0 27691

In the Girls' section Guo Qi was in sole lead after 12 rounds. A draw in the final round allowed three players to catch her in first place, but the 17-year-old Chinese won anyway, having the best tie-break. Here's her game from the penultimate round.

PGN string

World Junior Championship Girls 2012 | Final standings (top 30)

Rk. Title Name FED Rtg Pts. TB1
1 WGM Guo Qi CHN 2358 9.5 27845
2 WGM Ziaziulkina Nastassia BLR 2342 9.5 27790
3 IM Bodnaruk Anastasia RUS 2414 9.5 27475
4 WFM Medina Warda Aulia INA 2218 9.5 26562
5 WIM Arabidze Meri GEO 2379 9.0 27533
6 WGM Cori T Deysi PER 2413 8.5 27647
7 WIM Bulmaga Irina ROU 2380 8.5 27570
8 WIM Sihite Chelsie Monica INA 2162 8.5 26794
9   Wang Jue CHN 2355 8.5 26777
10 WIM Abdulla Khayala AZE 2217 8.5 25626
11 WIM Kulkarni Bhakti IND 2159 8.0 26927
12 WGM Goryachkina Aleksandra RUS 2361 8.0 26598
13 WIM Rodriguez Rueda Paula Andrea COL 2196 8.0 26171
14 WFM Osmak Iulija UKR 2171 8.0 25637
15 WGM Vojinovic Jovana MNE 2337 7.5 27215
16 WFM Kulon Klaudia POL 2259 7.5 27046
17 WIM Varga Klara HUN 2181 7.5 26607
18   Ibrahimova Sabina AZE 2091 7.5 26053
19 WFM De Seroux Camille SUI 2101 7.5 25468
20 WGM Kashlinskaya Alina RUS 2391 7.0 26988
21 WGM Mona Khaled EGY 2121 7.0 26357
22   Manelidou Maria GRE 2056 7.0 25601
23 WIM Semenova Elena RUS 2134 7.0 25584
24 WIM Schut Lisa NED 2305 7.0 25544
25 WIM Abdumalik Zhansaya KAZ 2193 7.0 25148
26 WCM Orozco Lina Yomayra COL 2150 7.0 25059
27 WCM Narva Triin EST 2028 7.0 25022
28   Unapkoshvili Nani GEO 2011 7.0 24657
29 WFM Ivana Maria Furtado IND 2102 7.0 24362
30 WIM Pavlidou Ekaterini GRE 2237 7.0 24349

Source: Chess-Results

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers


Anonymous's picture

Wei yi was one of the great surprise of this event.

Thomas's picture

"Ipatov will have plenty of opportunity to get more experience at the Olympiad, where he'll play first board for this country."
This might be based on an ambiguous statement in Grivas' report ("he will be on the top boards of the team") - actually he will play board 2 behind Dragan Solak, another recent import.

sulutas's picture

You are right. According to the official website of the Olympiad, Solak will play for the first board. Actually his addition to the Turkish federation is slightly different since he married a Turkish lady and then started to live in Turkey before he changed federations, as far as I know. I hope Ipatov (who tries to learn Turkish nowadays) will stay with the Turkish federation until his last chess game.

sulutas's picture

Since the Olympiad is mentioned in this article, I like to attract you guys' attention to the fact that the Turkish team will be composed of three teams of men and women (six in total); the first teams will be the regular teams with the regular GMs and IMs and the second and third teams are named as "Turkey 2016', and 'Turkey 2023' - 'Turkey 2016' team is maybe OK but the average age of the 'Turkey 2023' is only 8,2 years old. Please go to the website of the Olympiad and check the photos of this team and imagine the scene where these little kids would have to face the Russian A team in the first round of the Olympiad!

I think our federation is trolling the chess world!

David Smerdon wrote a nice piece about this unusual situation in his blog here at ChessVibes; I suggest you to check it out if you have not yet:

Anonymous2's picture

Congratulations should also be given to 13 year old Wei Yi who achieved his first GM norm.

Michel83's picture

Even though he didn't break 2700 here and played a few draws too much I am looking forward to Ding Liren continuing to go up and getting invitations to bigger tournaments in the long run.

He's got quite an agressive and creative style, would love to see him clash with the elite some day.

Longyearbyen's picture

Not to have a tie break is preposterous. This is not more than rolling a dice. What is wrong with Fide? I know, it only is a rhetorical question.

Anonymous's picture 's a bit tuff to be second for rapport or any player in these conditions

redivivo's picture

Ipatov would of course never offer draw in an easily winning position in the last game unless he knew that he was winning on tiebreak.

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