Free: Book on "Match of the Millennials"

8/23/2017 – The ever-active FIDE Trainers’ Commission is always shopping around for new ideas. In early February this Michael Khodarkosvky, USA, informed his colleague Efstratios Grivas, Greece, the possibility of staging a match between young players of two teams representing USA and The World, born on/after the year 2000 (U.17) and the year 2003 (U.14). It happened in late July and was a tremendous success. Grivas has written a book on it, 92 pages long, with commentary and analysis. You can download the PDF version free!

How it Started and Ended

By Efstratios Grivas

In the early February of the year, my good friend Michael Khodarkosvky informed me on the possibility to have a match between young players of two teams, representing USA and The World, born on/after the year 2000 (U.17) and the year 2003 (U.14).

Senior FIDE trainers Michael Khodarkovsky and Efstratios Grivas

Well, the idea seemed to be an excellent one, as such events are rare and quite useful and the event was named as the ‘Match of the Millennials’. Agreements & Regulations were made ASAP and the event started rolling. The total cost was over 100.000 USD! FIDE & FIDE Trainers’ Commission were in charge for the World’s line-up and invitations were sent as per selection by Adrian Mikhalchishin and Efstratios Grivas, after approval by FIDE PB.

The invitations were rejected by Bogdan Daniel Deac (Romania - personal reasons) and Sarin Nihal (India - signed obligations), while Parham Maghsoodloo and Alireza Firouzja (both Iran) couldn’t make as they couldn’t obtain USA Visas.

Both delegations arrived in Saint Louis on July 25 th and soon became obvious that by ratings USA was in charge in the U.17 section, expected to win with something like 18½-13½, while The World was stronger in the U.14 section, expected to win with something 10½-5½. That’s a total of 24-24 (!) for those who love statistics and just proved how close could be the event, at least in pre-match expectations…

So, the USA vs. The World match was held in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, July 26 th to 29 th, 2017. It was a great success for the World, winning by a huge margin of 30½ to 17½ in total. The World U.17 team was the under dog as per ratings, but still won with an overwhelming 19-13 total score, winning three matches and drawing five out of the eight scheduled. The World U.14 team also won with a good margin of 11½-4½, winning three matches and drawing one out of the four scheduled. Although the USA teams were fighting well, the World team showed that still is in charge.

The World teams dominated the event, as they won both sections of U.17 & U.14 and the overall of course. In total The World won six matches and drew six, losing none. The World players won twenty-two games, drew seventeen and lost nine games. The World players won sixty-one rating points, while USA lost approximately seventy points rating (difference on the rating K-factor).

For me personally that was an event that I couldn’t miss, as I have worked hard to make it happen. Two days before I had to fly, my doctors forbid me to travel, as I faced some serious heart problems and they warned me that my chances to come back were approximately 50%... Well, you see, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. So I decided to take my chances and just posted to my Facebook: Travelling to St. Louis - Follow your heart. And I didn’t regreated it even once – obviously if I ‘had’ you wouldn’t be able to read this book!

Well, everything was well-done and such events should continue to flow. We need more youth top events; we need to offer possibilities to our future generations.


Grivas Efstratios (Greece) was one of the moving forces on the realisation of the events and he was the main contact person for The World in the pre-event months and as well as during the event. He captained "The World" team U.17 with great success.

Born 30.03.1966, Grivas is a grandmaster and highly experienced chess trainer and chess author. He lives in Athens, and he is also a FIDE Senior Trainer (Secretary of the FIDE Trainers' Commission), an International FIDE Chess Arbiter and an International FIDE Chess Organizer. He has represented his country on a great many occasions, winning the 4th position in the World Junior Championship 1985, an individual gold medal at the 1989 European Team Championship and an individual silver medal at the 1998 Olympiad. In 2010 he was awarded the worldwide highly important FIDE TRG Awards – Boleslavsky Medal (best author) for 2009. His complete CV can be found in pages 89-92 of the attached tournament book, as he is also its author. Grivas has also produced a number of Fritz-Trainer DVDs for ChessBase.

Top boards U.17

Haik Martirosyan (Armenia)
Born 14.07.2000 - Representing The World - Board 1 (IM 2544)

The strong player from Armenia has a similar style like his great predecessor, FIDE World Champion Tigran Petrosian! He started badly with ½/3 but he came back fighting hard in every game and in the end he was able to score 4/7 (+3 =2 -2), against of a field of 2564 average rating, gaining 6.9 rating points. In the one and same day he was able to beat both Xiong and Sevian, something that many players in the world are able to do! A nice and cheerful character he led the World into the victory!


Andrey Esipenko (Russia)
Born 22.03.2002 - Representing The World - Board 2 (FM 2523)

This young lad from Russia was only 15 years old during the match, but he is already a quite mature player with a broad knowledge. He lost in the first and in the last round (!) but in-between he was able to score enough points to have a total score of 4/7 (+3 =2 -2), against a field of 2563 aver-age rating, gaining 8.7 rating points. He has already a broad opening rep-ertory and good feeling for the position, but I think his main minus is his weak tactical territory, something that he has to improve in the future.


JefferyXiong (USA)
Born 30.10.2000 - Representing USA - Board 1 (GM 2642)

The 2016 World Champion U.20 didn’t lived up to the expectations and the name he has already created, as he proved good enough just to score a mediocre 4/8 (+1 =6 -1), against a field of 2514 average rating, losing 13.8 rating points. He ‘lost’ quite many chances as he couldn’t convert winning endgame positions and he even lost a drawn ending, overpressing himself for nothing… He should take his time and work more efficiently in his endgame knowledge and chess psychology.


Samuel Sevian (USA)
Born 26.12.2000 - Representing USA - Board 2 (GM 2633)

The only USA member (of both sections!) that scored a positive result, but still this wasn’t good as per his rating. He proved good enough just to score 4½/8 (+3 =3 -2), against a field of 2516 average rating, losing 7.8 rating points. He already has a mature style, able to play nearly all openings with both colours and his calculation section is already of high quality. But I think that he unnecessary tries to calculate everything, using his time badly, omitting the practical part of the game…


Top boards U.14

Praggnanandhaa Ramesh Babu (India)
Born 10.08.2005 - Representing The World - Board 1 (IM 2479)

The World’s youngest International Master and one of the greatest hopes of India, lived up to his name. He didn’t show his best form, but he was still able to score a good 3/4 (+2 =2 -0), against a field of 2435 average rating, gaining 7.8 rating points. He started slow by drawing his first two games with the white pieces, but then he scored 2/2 with the black pieces! He lost a great chance vs. Liang to score a win in the first game, but he was under pressure vs. Hong in his second.


Bibisara Assaubayeva (Russia)
Born 26.02.2004 - Representing The World - Board 3 (WFM 2386)

The young Russian is the big name in her age category and she has already passed the 2400 rating barrier! She was able to score enough points to have the absolute total score of 4/4 (+4 =0 -0), against a field of 2140 average rating, gaining 17.2 rating points. But shed had to survive some difficult moments at her first game when she mixed up a prepared variation and then to have to win the game twice (!). She was of course the best scoring player of the World’s teams and a mighty power.


Awonder Liang (USA)
Born 09.04.2003 - Representing USA - Board 1 (IM 2536)

Just some days after the event he was awarded the GM-title and days before the event he won the U.20 USA Championship! So, the expectations were high for this young but already matured player. In this event he played badly and he was able to score just a 2/4 result (+1 =2 -1), against a field of 2473 average rating, losing 3.6 rating points. He saved a lost position in the first round, while his opponent rejected a draw by repetition in the last round, so he could score even less points…


Carissa Yip (USA)
Born 10.09.2003 - Representing USA - Board 3 (WFM 2261)

I had greater expectations from the great hope of the USA girls, as she has already a vast experience of top events, but here she didn't make it, scoring just 1/4 (+1 =0 -3), against a field of 2359 average rating, losing 18.4 rating points. She could have had an even worse result, as in the game she won she could get mated in two moves (!); all in all a terrible game that both opponents should forget quickly! She is quite young of course, but the USA expectations are after her and she will have to move quicker…

 

The winners of the Match of the Millennials: The World team

Selection of games

Above are six key games (of 32 in the book) from the match for you to replay.

You can play through the moves right here on our JavaScript board, and make use of many features that are available. You can move pieces to analyse, and even start an engine to help you check your ideas. You can maximize the replayer, auto-play, flip the board and even change the piece style in the bar below the board. At the bottom of the notation window on the right there are buttons for editing (delete, promote, cut lines, unannotate, undo, redo) save, play out the position against Fritz and even embed our JavaScript replayer on your web site or blog. Hovering the mouse over any button will show you its function.

Download and reports

Read or download the full book, FIDE Trainers’ Commission Match of the Millennials, Saint Louis 2017, by Efstratios Grivas, 92 pages. First Edition - 2017 English Copyright © FIDE 2017 © Efstratios Grivas 2017.

ChessBase reports

Match of the Millennials – USA vs. The World
2/23/2017 – There's going to be an extraordinary event in July in Saint Louis: eight American players will face some of the best juniors from around the world – four players under 17, two boys under 14 and two girls under 14 years old. "An extra-ordinary opportunity for the best juniors, both Americans and World, to test their skills and fighting spirit in a prestigious event," said GM Efstratios Grivas, who will be one of the trainers selecting the World Delegation.

Match of the Millennials pits USA vs. the World
7/26/2017 – Yet another interesting new event put on by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, the Match of the Millennials sees eight young American players face off against some of the best juniors from around the world. World Junior Champion Jeffery Xiong leads the USA squad, and Haik Martirosyan from Armenia heads the World team.

Match of the Millennials: World leads US 13-11
7/28/2017 – Part of a "summer of chess" at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, the Match of the Millennials, is a wonderful idea, pitting top US Juniors against a selection of international juniors representing the ‘World’ team. The US brings some of it hottest names such as Jeffery Xiong, Samuel Sevian, and Awonder Liang, while the World includes Praggnanandhaa, Bibisara Assaubayeva, and more. At the midway point, here is the illustrated report.

Match of Millennials: World smashes USA
7/31/2017 – The Match of the Millenials was astonishing to say the least. On paper, the US under-17 team had such an Elo advantage that some bemoaned the lack of stronger foreign juniors to make it more ‘competitive’. Instead they had already lost a full round in advance, as had the under-14. A great result for the World team, winning 30.5-17.5, and a tribute to their team spirit and their captain. Full illustrated report.

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RayLopez RayLopez 8/23/2017 05:26
Nice free e-book. GM Efstratios Grivas does not follow the modern pop trend of being super-positive on everything and is critical of the players performance, which is good.
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 8/23/2017 08:38
"Efstratios Grivas does not follow the modern pop trend of being super-positive." Ray Lopez.

Indeed. For example, about Babu, who was 12 years-old at the time of the event: "He didn’t show his best form, but he was still able to score a good 3/4 (+2 =2 -0), against a field of 2435 average rating."
fgkdjlkag fgkdjlkag 8/24/2017 07:22
Too many chess-players have died young because of not taking care of their health; GM Grivas, please take care of your serious heart problems.

Very interesting event and book, very good insights from GM Grivas.
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