Kazakhstan's youngsters impressed at the FIDE World Junior Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships in Pula ©Kazakhstan Chess Federation

Kazakhstan claimed a one-two finish with Kseniya Balabayeva winning by tiebreak score at the International Chess Federation World Junior Blitz and Rapid Chess Championships.

In the girls blitz tournament at Pula in Italy, there was a one-two for the nation with Balabayeva and Amina Kairbekova both finishing on 8.5 points out of 11.

Thanks to a better tiebreak score, gold went to Balabayeva.

Govhar Beydullayeva of Azerbaijan took the bronze medal with a score of 7.5 points.

The blitz open tournament was won by Mahammad Muradli of Azerbaijan.

Muradli won his opening six games and never looked like being caught from this point as he finished with 9.5 points out of 11 to take gold.

Kazakhstan’s Arystan Isanzhulov and neutral athlete Arseniy Nestorov finished tied on points behind Muradli, with Nestorov taking bronze courtesy of a better tiebreak score.

Competition took place across both the rapid and blitz categories in Italy ©Kazakhstan Chess Federation
Competition took place across both the rapid and blitz categories in Italy ©Kazakhstan Chess Federation

In the rapid events, the open category was won by India’s Raunak Sadhwani, who clinched a crucial win in his final game to take the title with 8.5 points.

Behind Sadhwani three players finished with 8 points, with Nesterov taking silver thanks to a superior tiebreak record, finishing as the only unbeaten player in the section.

Dimitris Alexakis of Greece took the bronze medal, while fourth on the same points total was Or Globus of Israel.

In the girls rapid event, victory went to Beydullayeva with a score of 9 points.

Kazakhstan claimed the second to fifth places, with Balabayeva second with 8.5 points.

The podium was completed by her compatriot Zeinep Sultanbek who finished with 7.5 points, holding off Nazerke Nurgali, who finished with the same score, by virtue of a better tiebreak record.