Maghsoodloo won World Junior Championship

 Right after his 18th birthday Parham Maghsoodloo from Iran arrived on the world stage by bulldozing his way to the World Junior Championship with a staggering 9.5/10. Despite losing the final game to Andrey Esipenko he still gained 20 rating points to reach 2684.5 and a place in the top 60.   

 Abhimanyu Puranik from India took silver and Sergei Lobanov from Russia bronze. The Women’s Junior Champion is 16-year-old Aleksandra Maltsevskaya from Russia, who finished on an unbeaten 8.5/11. 

 

Perhaps the star until now has been the youngest, Alireza Firouzja, who won the Iranian Championship at the age of 12. At 15 he may well still have the greatest potential, but he’s got a lot of local competition. The Olympiad team also features 17-year-old Tabatabaei (Idani Pouya and Masoud Mosadeghpour are the “veterans” in their very early twenties), and of course Parham Maghsoodloo, who has been the Iranian Champion for the last two years.

Parham entered the World Junior Championship in Gebzem, Turkey as the top seed, with only Wei Yi, Jan-Krzysztof Duda, Vladislav Artemiev and Jeffery Xiong rated higher on the September Junior FIDE rating list. The first three of those have begun to play in far more lucrative tournaments, while Xiong won the event in 2016. Seeding often means little in such a talented field where most of the participants are underrated almost by definition, but Maghsoodloo more than lived up to his status as no. 1.

 

That left just one relatively meaningless game against the World U16 Champion from Russia, Andrey Esipenko, though Parham will have been a bit disappointed to lose it. Despite that setback he’s up to 2684.5 and world no. 58 on the live rating list. There’s no-one younger and higher-rated above him, so it’s understandable that the Iranian lists winning the overall World Championship as one of his goals. He’s vowed to work harder, though that may be a tough ask, since he already claims to work a minimum of 10 hours a day!

Esipenko missed out on a bronze medal to compatriot Sergei Lobanov, who finished in style against Norway’s Johan-Sebastian Christiansen (the consolation for Johan is that a great performance earned him a GM norm).

 Young Indian stars Praggnanandhaa and Nihal Sarin were missing this time round, but the conveyor belt of Indian talent never stops turning, and it was 18-year-old Abhimanyu Puranik who stepped up to claim a silver medal that included wins over Jorden van Foreest and Firouzja. 

 Among the other talents on display 12-year-old Javokhir Sindarov from Uzbekistan stood out, with his 4/4 and then 5.5/6 opening up the prospect that he might go on to win the title and with it the grandmaster title, thereby making him the second youngest grandmaster in history.  

 The women’s event was much less predictable, with 2234-rated 19th seed Aleksandra Maltsevskaya taking first place with an unbeaten 8.5/11 and a 2423 rating performance.  

 Will Maghsoodloo be able to take his form into the Batumi Olympiad? We might get to see him play some very strong players on top board in just a week's time! 

 Will Maghsoodloo be able to take his form into the Batumi Olympiad? We might get to see him play some very strong players on top board in just a week's time! 

 

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source: chess24.com

Parham Maghsoodloo World Junior Champion!

Parham Maghsoodloo World Junior Champion!