Russia Leads World Youth U16 With Perfect Score

Russia Leads World Youth U16 With Perfect Score

| 9 | Chess Event Coverage

Russia hasn't won a gold medal at the regular Olympiads since 2002, but with six straight victories it is getting close at the World Youth U16 in Győr, Hungary.

With four rounds to go, Russia has 12 match points, followed by Iran and India who have 10 points. A total of 54 teams are participating, from 37 federations.

The World Youth U16 was opened on Friday, December 12 in the National Theatre in Győr. The first speaker was Miklos Sesztak, who is both the president of the Hungarian Chess Federation and the minister of national development in Hungary.

He came with important news: that Hungary will bid for the 2020 Chess Olympiad.

More speeches were held by Theodoros Tsorbatzoglou, secretary of the European Chess Union (ECU), and Zsolt Borkai, the mayor of Győr.

After a performance by the Botafogo Dance Ensemble, Hungarian chess legend Judit Polgar entered the stage to perform the drawing of colors for the first round.

You can watch a short video with impressions of the ceremony below:

On Saturday, the World Youth started in the gym of the Apáczai Csere János Faculty of the University of West Hungary. At the time of writing, six rounds have been played.

Especially in the first few rounds, most of the matches had big scores, but then the favorites started to meet each other. For example in round four, main favorite India played a close match with the local heroes of Hungary. The latter team was leading 1.5-0.5, but eventually lost the match 2.5-1.5.

Russia was the only other team with four wins, and so it played India in the next round and won: 3-1. Before and after the rest day, Russia added two more wins and so it's now 2 points ahead of India and Iran.

Aleksandra Goryachkina vs Murali Khartikeyan (Russia-India). | Photo Renata Horvath.

Although all participants must be younger than 16 by January 1, 2014, there are no less than 70 titled players, including 1 WGM, 15 IMs and 33 FMs. And so quite a few good games have been played so far!

Here's one, annotated by GM Dejan Bojkov, from the match Germany-Georgia in round five:

Each round one game gets a brilliancy prize, so let's have a look at a few of those as well. From the match Hungary 2-Mongolia in round one:

The playing hall is the gym of the Apáczai Csere János Faculty. | Photo Renata Horvath.

From the match India-Belarus in round two:

From the match Australia-Serbia in round three:

From the match South Korea 1-Sri Lanka in round three:

From Hungary 1-India, round four (not anything spectacular, but simply a very good game from the white player):

Four more rounds will be played, from Friday-Monday. Each team must consist of at least one girl, although not all teams managed to fulfill that requirement.

An excellent way to spend the rest day — Magnus Carlsen would have approved! | Photo Renata Horvath.
Although a simul against GM Zoltan Almasi can't be bad either. | Photo Renata Horvath.

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Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by in October 2013.

As our Director News & Events, Peter writes many of our news reports. In the summer of 2022, The Guardian’s Leonard Barden described him as “widely regarded as the world’s best chess journalist.”

In October, Peter's first book The Chess Revolution will be published!

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