Wiener Schach-Schülerliga 2013/2014
The VIS Chess Team represented our school in the 1st Round of the Wiener Schach Schülerliga 2013/14 on Nov 8, which was organized by the Austrian Chess Federation. Despite it being the first chess tournament that VIS was participating in after several years, the team came within ½ a point of qualifying for the semi-finals.
The tournament took place in the Austria Center in a gigantic hall.
The squad that competed for a place under the sun consisted of the following people: Vasily Shcherbinin, Sahil Mishra, Zikuan Bai, Mikhail Mikhno and Dipanshu Kumar.
19 teams were registered for the tournament, but only 9 were present on the day: GRGOG 22 Heustadelg. A; GRGOG 22 Heustadelg. B; Theresianische Akademie A; Theresianische Akademie B; BORG I Hegelg. A; BORG I Hegelg. B; HAK/HAS Floridsdorf; GRG 3 Kundmanng. C and VIS.
It was a baptism of fire –the first round draw had pitted us against one of the favorites, Theresianische Akademie A. All the team members fought valiantly and did their best, with the games at first were going in favor of the VIS Team. Unfortunately, the opponent was very well trained in exploiting the mistakes done by our players. It was a real shame when the round slipped out of our hands with a 3-1 loss for VIS.
This loss was quite useful to us, because it made us remember what we came here for. Next round was played against the GRG 3 Kundmanng. C. After 15 minutes of intense play, VIS emerged victorious in the battle, recording a crushing 4-0 victory over their opponents.
After that very important from a psychological point of view win, VIS was back in the race. Facing the team from BORG I Hegelg. A, our team was motivated unlike anytime before. This was a key moment in the match: with a rather unfortunate start with two losses in the beginning of the round, our team managed to pull it out for a draw. Final score: 2-2.
At this point in time, our team was on the third place. That was enough for us to be in the semi-final. But fortune turned our backs on us. Our final draw was against the best team at the tournament, GRGOG 22 Heustadelg. A, where all the team members had won every single game. We needed just ½ a point to qualify for the semi-final, but unfortunately came up just short in 4 very competitive and tight games. Losing 4-0, we got moved down to 5th place, and therefore eliminated out of the tournament.
Finishing 5th out of 9 teams is a good building block for future tournaments, and is also an achievement on its own, as none of the members in our chess team had played a chess tournament before.
This tournament was a learning experience for all of us and we will definitely use this as a stepping stone to try and perform even better in future tournaments.
Everyone on the squad deserves a big round of applause for their efforts and willingness to fight and not give up. No one can be blamed for the result, and that should not be done in the first place. We came as a team, we played as a team, we won and lost as a team, and we left as a team.
Special credit must go to our team captain, Vasily, leading the team admirably and with distinction. The Chess Club was his brainchild and it was his initiative that led to VIS being able to qualify and enter for this prestigious tournament. Congratulations to Sahil and Dipanshu as well, who suffered only one defeat in the entire tournament and helped VIS achieve its position. A special recognition should be given to Mikhail, who, at his age of 12, was playing if not better, then equal to the 17-19 year old lads present in the competition. In the first game he put up a real fight and was very close to winning against a very strong opponent. He played an important role in the following battles by helping the team calm down and was a great contribution to the teams spirit and motivation, being extremely helpful with his advices about how one should play and behave in a tournament. Thank you, Misha! J And finally, our last team member Zikuan deserves a lot of praise for playing till the very end against some the best players in the tournament and didn’t give up, fighting for every inch of the board.