Kolay Surges in World Youth; Niemann Stumbles

IM Hans Niemann has suffered two tough losses in Rounds 9 and 10 of the 2019 FIDE World Youth, putting any medal chances the Open U16 section in serious jeopardy. He is currently tied for shared fourth place at 7/10, a point back of leader IM Rudik Makarian with one round to play.

Hans Niemann (photo Carol Meyer)

Niemann led the tournament by a half-point after eight rounds, but a loss to Ghosh Aronyak (IND) in Round 9 allowed Aronyak and Makarian (RUS) to catch the American at 7/9.

His problems were compounded by Friday’s Round 10 loss to FM Arash Daghli (IND).

Niemann retains an outside chance of medaling, although he will need some help to do it. Makarian is alone in first place with 8/10, with three players (Aronyak, Daghli, and IM Stefan Pogosyan of Russia) trailing by half a point at 7.5/10. Niemann plays FM Jose Gabriel Cardoso (COL) with Black in Saturday’s final round.

Alex Kolay (photo Carol Meyer)

America’s best hope for a medal in Mumbai may now be Alex Kolay, who shares second place in the Open U14 with four others at 7.5/10, a half-point behind IM Aydin Syleymanli (AZE).

Tied for ninth place after eight rounds, and a point and a half off the pace, Kolay has hit stride at just the right time, winning in both Rounds 9 and 10 to climb the table. His Round 9 victory over FM Anand Pranav (IND) shows the dangers of opening lines to one’s own king.

Kolay then took a messy point from Filip Luczak (POL) in Round 10. He plays Black on Board 3 against Austrian FM Marc Morgunov in tomorrow’s eleventh and final round.

With one round to play, Kolay has an expected FIDE rating jump of 74 points, showing the quality of his results thus far. Others are exceeding expectations as well – Jake Wang is up 54 points in the O18 with a round to go – but special mention must be made of Logan Wu’s performance, who stands to gain a whopping 145.6 rating points after 10 games!

Logan Wu (photo Carol Meyer)

Wu’s aggressive play – only one draw in the tournament! – has given him a performance rating of 2294, 300 points above his rating of 1994 at the start of play. He has defeated two FMs and drawn another in Mumbai, and in the final round he will try to keep his good run alive against Aditya Samant (IND).

American Rankings after 10 Rounds

Pairings for Round 11

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