World Junior

I'm representing the US right now at the World Junior (under 20) Championship in Athens. I have 6/8 so far and there are still 5 rounds to go. Today was the first day that I played against a Grandmaster; in previous rounds I always played a lower-rated player. In those rounds I was on an annoying pattern where I would play relatively high-rated players (over 2350) with black and lower players (under 2350) with white, which is the exact opposite of what I want. But in round 8 I was lucky and got a second white in a row, against Yaroslav Zherebukh (2629) of Ukraine, the tournament's no. 3 seed.

We reached the following position which was part of my opening preparation:

Here Black played 16...Rd8, forcing White's queen to retreat.

17. Nd6! Bxe5 18. Nxe5 Rxd6 19. Qf4

Turns out I didn't have to retreat the queen after all. I got a strong attack for the pawn, as I had worked out on my computer long before.




My game the previous round was also interesting. I was happy with how I played in the middlegame and I won a bishop for 2 pawns. But then I blew it by losing all my pawns. It was uncannily similar to my round 6 game. In that game I was also up a piece, and somehow managed to blunder away all of my pawns. But unlike this one, I was still able to win in that game, with bishop, knight and rook versus bishop and knight.

Now after winning against the highest-rated player I have played so far, guess who I will play? A 2100-rated player! Mark Lapidus, my opponent for round 9, will be the lowest rated player I have played. However he is also the champion of Estonia. He also defeated a GM in round 8, with black to boot.

You can read more about the tournament at


  • 4 years ago


    am i to understand that zherebukh resigned? why didnt he play 37 ... Bc4?

  • 4 years ago

    NM Petrosianic

    Congratulations on the great result and on producing some dynamic, interesting games.

  • 4 years ago


    Hey, you're in my city? I had no idea this is going on here. Oh man, the worst time to be in Athens is in the summer! :D Couldn't this take place on one of our many beautiful islands..?

    Anyway, i wish you win all the following games :)

  • 4 years ago


    Fantastic!  Great game, keep up the good work!


  • 4 years ago

    IM dpruess

    wow great game!! and very exciting to hear that right in the middle of the event. good luck in the last rounds!!!

  • 4 years ago


    Very impressive games. I thought you game against GM Yaroslav Zherebukh was truely well played.


    In your game against Zhou why didn't you protect your pawn on move 21?

    Btw, the game against Zhou was good until later in the midlegame when Zhou got some momentum and was able to goble up those pawns. All in all, keep up the great work and good luck!

  • 4 years ago


    Yes!-Your game vs Zherebukh is really fantastic-You played like CapablancaWink GOOD LUCK!

  • 4 years ago

    GM dretch

    Some of them might have turned 20 but yes they are definitely all under 21.

  • 4 years ago


    Thank you IM Dretch for that update and you said the junior championship, so all those strong players are under 20 years old ?

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