World Youth Championships update

After two rounds of the FIDE World Youth & Cadets Championships in Halkidiki, Greece, the two Suffolk players, IM Justin Tan and FM Adam Taylor are on 1½ points and 1 point respectively.

In Round 1 Justin appeared to fall for a neat trick in a Sicilian opening, which cost him a queen and a pawn for three pieces.   This was the position after Justin’s 7th move with Black (… a6?!):

His lower-rated Italian opponent banged out 8. Bb6!, probably to Justin’s surprise.   Justin played 8… axb5   9. Nxb5   Bb4+, when 9 … Ra5 would probably have been better, vacating a square for his queen.   The game continued 10. c3   Ba5   11. Nc7+!   Black is just about forced to take with his queen, as 11… Ke7 would be followed by 12. Bc5+, 13. Nxa8 and 14. Bf8, with a disastrous position for Black.   In the game, Justin fought tenaciously throughout a long game (83 moves), using his three pieces to thwart danger from his opponent’s queen.   No doubt Justin was pleased to have a more straightforward game today, which he won.

Adam won his first round yesterday, but faced a strong Iranian IM today and was ground down in a difficult knight endgame.

Both Justin’s first game and Adam’s second can be viewed in full on the ‘Live Games‘ section of the tournament website.

7 thoughts on “World Youth Championships update
  1. I very much doubt Justin was 'surprised' by 8.Bb6: in fact, the players are following a well-established line of the Sicilian Taimanov that has been played many times at grandmaster level and in which Black scores perfectly respectably.

  2. Hi Bob, Anon is right though about the line being a well-known line – but I agree with you, Ra5 does seem to be better. The Taimanov isn't his usual repertoire, so he only decided 5 mins beforehand to give it a go. But he was pretty unhappy in the end, as he was easily winning (according to engine) and then blundered … so a draw was the best outcome in the end. Kai (not sure who anon is!)

    1. Hi Kai – thanks for your reply. That line seems an odd one to choose, especially against a lower-rated opponent. It would be interesting to known if Justin intended it, or if he was surprised by it. Perhaps you could ask him? Or even better, he could respond on here himself!

  3. Hi Bob, No – Justin was not surprised – as Anon says, it is a well-known line which is meant to be fine for Black. In fact, the first 12 moves were blitzed out on the live game as opening theory. (P.S. don't think he reads this blog!).

  4. Probably a bit late to the party, but anyhow: to be honest, I hadn't seen the Nb5 sideline in about 2 years! Fortunately, I knew what I was doing and in fact, I've analysed this as white myself albeit a very long time ago. Black scores very well after the queen sac (58% win rate) and Bb4-a5 is played almost exclusively. The line is meant to give good winning chances for both sides due to the weird imbalance. In any case, I should reliably inform you that I did not 'fall for a neat trick' 😛 😛 (however, you could claim I was surprised because no one is playing this line as white these days)

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