World Youth Chess Championship 2019 Kicks Off in Mumbai, India
One of the banners of the World Youth Chess Championship 2019, displayed all across the city. | Photo: Rakesh Kulkarni

World Youth Chess Championship 2019 Kicks Off in Mumbai, India

Rakesh
IM Rakesh
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The World Youth Chess Championship 2019  is being held at Mumbai, India from October 1-13, 2019. This is the first time that India is hosting this prestigious event. After this event, India will also host the World Junior Chess Championship 2019 in New Delhi from October 14-26, 2019.

A wonderful poster of the event. | Photo: Rakesh Kulkarni
A wonderful poster of the event. | Photo: Rakesh Kulkarni

The World Youth Championships includes six events in three age categories split between the open and the girls section. The event will crown six new world champions in the age categories of Under 14, Under 16 and Under 18 in both sections, Open and Girls.

A huge total of 464 players from over 64 countries flocked the city of Mumbai. Several titled players and national champions from over five continents arrived for six world championship titles up for grabs. The tournament began with a colorful and glitetting opening ceremony. The global crowd was treated to several Indian customs, traditions, shows and performances.

The organizers left no stone unturned and made sure everyone in the city of Mumbai knew about the event. Banners and posters of the event were put far and wide and made sure the people knew that this prestigious world championship was happening in Mumbai.

As hosts, India could field upto 1/3 of the total number of foreign participants. The biggest contingent is from India. Countries like the USA, Canada, South Africa, Norway and China have also sent their top players and have atleast more than 10 players.

Local hope Praggnandhaa starts as the second seed in the under 18 event. | Photo: Maria Emelianova
Local hope Praggnandhaa starts as the second seed in the under 18 event. | Photo: Maria Emelianova
India's star prodigy, GM Praggnanandhaa is only 14 years old but is playing in the Under 18 section.
He started off with a win in round one. He scored a smooth win over Massimiliano Botta of Italy.

In the upset of the day, Indian national champion, Vedant Panesar (2219) defeated the defending World Under 18 Champion, IM Viktor Gazik (2546) of Slovakia. 

Vedant Panesar created a flutter on day one.
Vedant Panesar created a flutter on day one.

As hosts, India have fielded their strongest players across all categories. Some of them even start as the top seed in their event.

WIM Divya Deshmukh starts as the top seed in the Under 14 Girls section. | Photo: Rakesh Kulkarni
WIM Divya Deshmukh starts as the top seed in the Under 14 Girls section. | Photo: Rakesh Kulkarni

Yours truly [IM Rakesh Kulkarni] is hosting a Chess.com & Chesskid booth at the event. The booth had several regional and international visitors on day one! 
Big thanks to Fun Master Mike [FM Mike Klein] for the shoutout!

A few more International visitors at the booth included Carol Meyer, Executive Director of US Chess and the South African delegation.

Lastly, little 'Pragg' was gracious enough to stop by. He is our star ChessKid with the ChessKid banner featuring Indian superstar, Viswanathan Anand.

Star Chess kid, Pragg with the ChessKid banner. | Photo: Rakesh Kulkarni

The main man and the brainchild behind this event, CM Ravindra Dongre is also the tournament director. He paid us a visit at the booth and we are grateful to be at this event and have full support from the organizers.

Tournament Director Mr. Ravindra Donge (second from left) and IM Shekhar Sahu, Chairman of Appeals Committee (first from right) visited the Chess.com and Chesskid booth. | Photo: Rakesh Kulkarni
Tournament Director Mr. Ravindra Donge (second from left) and IM Shekhar Sahu, Chairman of Appeals Committee (first from right) visited the Chess.com and Chesskid booth. | Photo: Rakesh Kulkarni

You can find more information on the official website here
Live games from the both the section can be found in our new events page here
Photos from the event can be found here
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