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World Youth Championships

  • 30-10-2018 3:10pm
    Closed Accounts Posts: 954 ✭✭✭ Tim Harding

    The World Youth Chess Championships finished today in Greece and the final results of our eight-strong contingent can be seen at:

    The "rolling report" on the ICU website has made for some entertaining reading, with pictures, though unfortunately so far it only goes up to round 7. These tournaments were played over 11 rounds, one game per day with a rest day, so probably provided the first taste of championship chess for most of the youngsters, invariable experience for the future.

    The ICU and its junior organising team certainly deserve a lot of credit for sending this squad to the tournaments, which were arranged in three age categories (U18, U16 and U14, Open and Girls).
    Ireland was represented in each of the six tournaments. Scotland and Wales only sent two players each while England, though they sent 14 players, had nobody in the Girls U16 and U18. Of course a tournament lasting nearly two weeks during school term undoubtedly means that some promising young players could probably not go, depending on where they are in their school exam cycle.

    Looking at the individual results, it may seem disappointing at first that none of the Irish players made 50% but these tournaments were undeniably very strong. Most of the English players also finished below 50% and the best any achieved was 6/11.
    All three Irish girls had an Rp higher than their rating, as did Fiachra Scallan with 5/11 in the U18 and Jordan Felix in the U14 with 3/11. Daniel Dwyer's rating performance was almost exactly his FIDE rating before the event.

    The outstanding Irish result, to judge from the figures, was the 5/11 by Dayna Ferguson in the Girls U14, for an Rp of 1664, 230 points above her initial rating. Eibhia Ni Mhuireagain (U18) and Mercedes Plaza Reino (U16) also made rating gains.
    Probably the most disappointed players will be our two in the Open U16: Tom O'Gorman (4.5/11) and Peter Carroll (3.5). This was a very strong tournament where English FM Koby Kalavannan (2365) could only score 6. There were nine IMs in the tournament, including the winner from Armenia, and Russia's Andrey Esipenko (GM 2609) "only" scored 7 points.
    The U18 event had several GMs and IMs and even the Open U14 had two IMs and several FMs. The Girls events also had several titled players, even two WIMs in the U14. None of the tournaments was won by the top seed.