Winners and controversy at World Youth

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
World Youth 09This year the competition staged the meeting of 1324 participants from 90 countries all over the world and with the accompanying personnel, parents, coaches and staff this number reached 2380 people. We're talking about the World Youth Championship (U8, U10, U12, U14, U16 and U18) in Anatalya, Turkey which ended yesterday, and which led to some controversy because no national anthems were played at the closing ceremony.

The World Youth Championship took place November 11-23 in Antalya - Kemer, Turkey - just like two years ago. There were 12 different categories (including girls categories):

  • age group under 08 : Birth year 2001 and later;
  • age group under 10 : Birth year 1999 and later;
  • age group under 12 : Birth year 1997 and later;
  • age group under 14 : Birth year 1995 and later;
  • age group under 16 : Birth year 1993 and later;
  • age group under 18 : Birth year 1991 and later.

There were a total of 1324 participants in Turkey from 90 countries all over the world. The tournament was be played using the Swiss system with 11 rounds. The rate of play was 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an addition of 30 seconds per move starting from move one.

We give the names of the participants who finished in the top three places in each category:

U-8 General category
1. Aryan Gholami (Iran) 9 points
2. Tanuj Vasudeva (USA) 8,5 points
3. Mohammad Amin Tabatabaei (Iran) 8,5 points

U-8 Girls’ category
1. Ruotong Chu (China) 9,5 points
2. Samritha Palakollu (USA) 8,5 points
3. Yunshan Li (China) 8,5 points


U-10 General category
1- Jinshi Bai (China) 9 points
2- Murali Karthikeyan (India) 9 points
3- Han Yu Zhang (China) 9 points
U-10 Girls’ category
1- Gunay Vugar Qizi Mammadzada (Azerbaijan) 10,5 points
2- Maria Furtado Ivana (India) 8,5 points
3- Hikmet Qizi Hojjatova Aydan (Azerbaijan) 8,5 points

U-12 General category

1- Bobby Cheng (Australia) 9 points
2- Krzysztof Duda Jan (Poland) 8,5 points
3- Richard Wang (Canada) 8,5 points

U-12 Girls’ category
1- Sarasadat Khademalsharieh (Iran) 10 points
2- Anna Styazhkina (Russia) 9,5 points
3- Aleksandra Goryachkina (Russia) 8,5 points

U-14 General category

1- Jorge Cori (Peru) 9 points
2- Kamil Dragun (Poland) 8,5 points
3- G V Sai Krishna (India) 8,5 points

U-14 Girls’ category
1- Marsel Efroimski (Israel) 9 points
2- Aleksandra Lach (Poland) 9 points
3- J Saranya (India) 8,5 points


U-16 General category

1- S P Sethuraman (India) 9 points
2- Santosh Gujrathi Vidit (India) 9 points
3- Maxime Lagarde (France) 8 points
U-16 Girls’ category
1- Deysi Cori (Peru) 10 points
2- Meri Arabidze (Georgia) 8,5 points
3- Paikidze Nazi (Georgia) 8 points


U-18 General category
1- Maxim Matlakov (Russia) 9 points
2- Ivan Salgado Lopez (Spain) 8,5 points
3- Kacper Piorun (Poland) 8 puan
U-18 Girls’ category
1- Olga Girya (Russia) 8,5 points
2- Tsatsalashvili Keti (Georgia) 8,5 points
3- Kübra Öztürk ( Turkey) 8 points

All photos courtesy of the tournament website, more here.

(Top 10 final standings, scroll to see all)


We received the following open letter from Aviv Bushinsky, Chairman of the Israeli Chess Federation.

This letter was yesterday sent to FIDE, FIDE President Mr. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Honorary FIDE Vice President Mr. Israel Gelfer.

Dear Mr. President,

I write to you with great concern following what seems as a serious incident that occurred today during the closing ceremony of the world junior championships held in Turkey. Happily our girl junior player, Marcel Efroymsky, has won the world title and the gold medal. As costumed in such events, the delegations prepared to stand and salute the national anthem of the winner's country. Astonishingly and without any warning, the organizers decided to cancel the playing of the winners anthem. The Turkish organization has offered a ridiculous explanation that they do not have the time to spend on such event.

This excuse is absurd in light of the same venue hosting this event two years ago where all winner anthems were played! In there actions, the organizers demonstrated disrespect to the junior winners, their federation and their countries. As chairman of the Israeli chess federation, I herby urge you to investigate this incident. I must say that this kind of boycott (if such occurred) strikes as a another example of how politics interferes with chess. I call you as president of the FIDE, for which the tournament carried your flag, to investigate this issue and if the information appeared to be accurate, then to denounce this disrespectful conduct if the information.

My feeling is, that such events hurt chess in general and send the wrong message the children who dream to become chess champions taking pride in representing their countries.

Yours truly,

Aviv Bushinsky Chairman of the Israeli Chess Federation

According to GM Boris Alterman, board member of the Israeli Chess Federation, the absence of anthems is likely to be related to the fact that an Israeli player won, in view of the present delicate political problems among the two countries. He wrote to us: "Two years ago at the same venue (WYCC 2007) all winners' anthems were played during the closing ceremony. This year only the Russian anthem was played during the closing ceremony as the most successful delegation (according medals) in the WYCC. What reason had been cancelled the anthems issue of the all winners this year, if not a political one? It seems as Israeli anthem is not acceptable these days in Turkey."

According to co-editor Yochanan Afek the situation has already led to a big response in the Israeli press, which suddenly puts chess in the spotlights, but as so often, not for the best reasons...


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