Parallel with the World Chess Chess Championship in Mexico, the Tenth European Youth Chess Championships were held in Sibenik, Croatia, in the age categories 10-18 for boys and girls. This event set a new record for such tournaments: 429 participants in the boys' section, including two girls in the B18 group, and exactly 329 in the girls' section (no boys there).
Sibenik is an ancient Croatian town with a thousand-year history. It's situated in Middle Dalmatia, a region of the Adriatic Sea coast. Do you know the very popular breed of dogs called "Dalmatians"? They have their origin in this region of transparent sea and permanent sun.
Middle Dalmatia. National Park Krka near Sibenik. River Krka
The competitions were held six km from Sibenik, in the big tourist center called Solaris (not from Stanislav Lem's novel), consisting of five hotels: Jakov, Andrija, Ivan, Jure, Niko, and Villa Solaris.
Tourist Center Solaris, view from Sibenik
At the opening ceremony the organizers proudly announced that the players were from 44 countries – a slight confusion, since they counted FIDE as a separate country.
Frankly, and this is not a joke, FIDE helped two children who played in Sibenik. They are friends, living in Estonia, 30 km from each other, and silver and bronze B10 winners of Estonia. Artem Fedorov and Ilja Sirosh played against each other in the first round, Ilja under the Estonia flag and Artem under... FIDE.
Artem Fedorov vs Ilja Sirosh, B10 group
Their chess careers are just beginning, and Artem didn't know the "triangle" approach in pawn endings. He wasn’t able to win the position below. The two friends played down to bare kings on move 61.
The first rounds were rich in unexpected results. For example in the G18 group with 55 participants overall, both ratings favorites, Valentina Gunina 2361 and Daria Charochkina, 2390, lost full points vs not very strong opponents:
WFM Valentina Gunina (RUS), 2361, in the first round
Novosadova,Kristyna (2014) - Gunina,Valentina (2361) [B99]
17th EU-ch U18 Girls Sibenik CRO (1.2), 14.09.2007
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Nbd7 8.Qf3 Qc7 9.0-0-0 b5 10.Bd3 Bb7 11.Rhe1 Be7 12.g4 0-0 13.Qh3 h6
14.Bxh6! Nc5 [gxh6 15.g5 +-] 15.e5? [15.g5 Ne8 16.Rg1+/-] 15...Nxd3+ 16.Rxd3 Nd5? [16...dxe5 17.Rxe5 Nd7 18.Bxg7! Kxg7 19.Rxe6! Qxf4+ 20.Kb1 Bg5 21.Nf5+ Kg8 22.Nh6+ Kg7=] 17.Nxd5 Bxd5 18.Bxg7! Kxg7 19.Nf5+! exf5 20.gxf5 Rg8 21.Rg1+ Kf8 22.Qh6+ [it's forced mate after 22.Rxg8+ Kxg8 23.Rg3+ Bg5 24.Rxg5 Kf8 25.f6||] 22...Ke8 23.Rxg8+ Kd7 24.e6+! fxe6 25.fxe6+ Bxe6 26.Rxa8 and White won on move 48: 1-0.
Kristyna Novosadova (CZE), rated 2014
Van Nies,Pauline (2162) - Charochkina,Daria (2390) [B13]
17th EU-ch U18 Girls Sibenik CRO (2.1), 15.09.2007
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Nf3 Be6 7.c5 a6 8.Bd3 g6 9.h3 Bg7 10.Be3 0-0 11.0-0 Nd7 12.Ng5 b6 13.Nxe6 fxe6 14.Qg4 Kh8 15.cxb6 Nxb6 16.Qh4 Kg8 17.Rad1 Qd6 18.Bb1 Rf7 19.Qg4 e5 20.dxe5 Nxe5 21.Qe2 e6 22.Ne4 Qb8 23.Ng5 Re7 24.f4 Ned7 25.Bd4 e5 26.fxe5 Nxe5 27.Qf2 Nbd7
28.Nxh7! Qd6 29.Qh4 Bh8 30.Ng5 Bf6 31.Kh1 Rg7 32.Qg3 Qe7 33.Nf3 Nc4 34.Rde1 Qb4 35.Bxf6 Nxf6 36.b3 Nd6 37.Qe5 Rf8 38.Ng5 Nf5 39.Bxf5 gxf5 40.Rxf5 Rg6 41.Qe6+ Kh8 42.Ref1 Kg7 43.Qe5 Re8 44.Ne6+ Rxe6 45.Qxe6 Qe4 46.Qxe4 Nxe4 47.Rxd5 Ng3+ 48.Kg1 Nxf1 49.Kxf1 Rc6 50.Ra5 Kg6 51.Kf2 Rc2+ 52.Kf3 Rc6 53.Kg4 Rb6 54.Kh4 Rb4+ 55.g4 Rb6 56.b4 1-0.
Pauline Van Nies (NED) 2162, the 22nd finished with 5 points
WIM Daria Charochkina (RUS), rating favorite of the G18 group
The boys' favorites in the U18 group with 74 participants were more successful:
IM Krisztian Szabo (HUN) 2482, the 14th finished with 5.5 points
Gaehler,Marco (2272) - Szabo,Krisztian (2482) [B85]
17th EU-ch U18 Boys Sibenik CRO (1.7), 14.09.2007
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be2 a6 7.Be3 Nf6 8.0-0 Be7 9.Kh1 0-0 10.f4 d6 11.Bf3 Bd7 12.Nb3 b5 13.a3 Rab8 14.Qd2 Rfd8 15.Qf2 Be8 16.Qg3 b4 17.axb4 Nxb4 18.Nd4 Nd7 19.Rf2 Bf6 20.Rd1 Nb6 21.Bc1 g6 22.Re2 Bg7 23.h4 Qc4 24.Red2 Qc5 25.Nb3 Qc7 26.h5 Nc4 27.Re2 Qb6 28.hxg6 hxg6 29.f5 Nxc2 30.Rxc2 Qxb3 31.Rf2 Ne5 32.Be2 f6 33.fxe6 Qxe6 34.Bxa6 d5 35.Be2 dxe4 36.Rxd8 Rxd8 37.Nxe4 Bc6 38.Nc3 Kf7 39.Rf1 Rh8+ 40.Kg1 f5 41.Qe3 Bf6 42.b4 Rh4 43.b5 Bb7 44.Rd1 f4 45.Qa7
IM Martyn Kravtsiv (UKR) 2492, the 5th finally ranked with 6.5 points
Papp,Tamas (2281) - Kravtsiv,Martyn (2492) [C56]
17th EU-ch U18 Boys Sibenik CRO (1.3), 14.09.2007
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.e5 d5 6.Bb5 Ne4 7.Nxd4 Bd7 8.Bxc6 bxc6 9.0-0 Bc5 10.f3 Ng5 11.Be3 Bb6 12.f4 Ne4 13.Nc3 Nxc3 14.bxc3 0-0 15.Qd2 Qe7 16.Rae1 Rae8 17.Nb3 Bf5 18.a4 Be4 19.Bd4 c5 20.Bf2 c4 21.Nd4 f6 22.a5 Bc5 23.Bg3 Qf7 24.Rf2 Qg6 25.Ref1 fxe5 26.fxe5 Rxf2 27.Rxf2 h5 28.Kh1 Rb8 29.Qc1 h4 30.Bf4 h3 31.Bg3 Bxg2+ 32.Kg1 Be4 33.Qf1 Bxc2 34.Qxh3 Bxd4 35.cxd4 Bd3 36.Qd7 Rb1+ 37.Kg2 Be4+ 38.Kh3 Qh5+ 0-1.
The rating favorite (by more than 120 points!) in G12 group, WFM Marina Baraeva from Russia, lost to not rated Ulviyya Fataliyeva from Azerbaijan:
Baraeva,Marina (2208) - Fataliyeva,Ulviyya [A97]
17th EU-ch U12 Girls Sibenik CRO (1.1), 14.09.2007
1.c4 e6 2.Nc3 f5 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 Be7 5.d4 0-0 6.Nf3 d6 7.0-0 Qe8 8.Bd2 Nbd7 9.Nb5 Bd8 10.Rc1 a6 11.Nc3 e5 12.dxe5 dxe5 13.Qc2 Nc5 14.Be3 Nce4 15.Nd2 Nxd2 16.Bxd2 c6 17.e4 Qg6 18.Rce1 f4 19.Qd3 Nh5 20.gxf4 exf4
21.f3?? Bb6+ 22.Rf2 [22.Kh1 Ng3+! 23.hxg3 Qh5+ with mate], and after mutual mistakes blacks delivered mate on move 40: 21.f3 Bb6+ 22.Rf2 Bh3 23.c5 Rad8 24.Qc4+ Be6 25.Qb4 Ba7 26.Na4 Rf7 27.b3 Rfd7 28.Kf1 Qf6 29.Bc3 Qh4 30.Ke2 Qxh2 31.Bd2 Bh3 32.Kd1 Bxg2 33.Ree2 Qh1+ 34.Kc2 Bxf3 35.Re1 Qh3 36.Qc4+ Kh8 37.Ref1 Rd4 38.Qf7 Bxe4+ 39.Kc1 Qd3 40.Ba5 Qb1# 0-1.
Boys under 14 and girls under 12 groups
Even in the G10 group players demonstrated very good orientation in popular openings. In the following game Katrina Korban, from the Estonian city of Narva, outplayed her rated opponent from Russia:
The girls under ten group
In the second round Kristyna Novosadova beat one more titled and highly rated opponent, WIM Betul Cemre Yildis from Turkey, 2217:
Yildiz,Betul Cemre (2217) - Novosadova,Kristyna (2014) [C45]
17th EU-ch U18 Girls Sibenik CRO (2.9), 15.09.2007
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Bc5 5.Be3 Qf6 6.c3 Nge7 7.Bc4 Ne5 8.Be2 Qg6 9.0-0 d6 10.f4 Qxe4 11.Bf2 Bxd4 12.cxd4 N5g6 13.Nc3 Qxf4 14.Nb5 0-0 15.Nxc7 Rb8 16.d5 Qg5 17.Bxa7 Bh3 18.Bf3 Nh4 19.Qe2 Nef5 20.Kh1 Rbc8 21.Bb6
21...Rxc7! [22.Bxc7 Nd4 23.Qf2 Ndxf3 24.gxh3 Qxd5-+] 22.gxh3 Re7 23.Qd3 Rfe8 24.Rg1 Qf4 25.Raf1 Ne3 26.Rf2? Nxf3 27.Rg3 Ng4 28.Rfxf3 Re1+ 29.Bg1 Nf2+ 30.Rxf2 Qxf2 31.Qc3 g6 32.Rg2 Qe3 33.Qxe3 R8xe3 0-1.
And Krisztian Szabo delivered one more tactical knock-out:
Szabo,Krisztian (2482) - Krstic,Petar (2327) [B48]
17th EU-ch U18 Boys Sibenik CRO (2.5), 15.09.2007
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be3 a6 7.Qd2 Nf6 8.0-0-0 Bb4 9.f3 0-0 10.g4 b5 11.Kb1 Ne5 12.g5 Bxc3 13.Qxc3 Qxc3 14.bxc3 Nh5 15.Nb3 f5 16.gxf6 Nxf6 17.Be2 d5 18.Nc5 Re8 19.Rhg1 Kf7 20.Rg5 Ned7 21.Rdg1 g6 22.e5 Nh5
23.Rxh5! gxh5 24.Nxd7 Bxd7 25.f4 Rg8 26.Bxh5+ Rg6 and White won on the move 85: 1-0.
Searching for subjects for my camera at the beginning of the fifth round, I suddenly realized that I knew this position. Friends of the Volga-Benko Gambit cannot forget the great battle Kramnik-Topalov, Amber rapid, 2000.
Kramnik,Vladimir (2758) - Topalov,Veselin (2702) [A43]
Amber-rapid 9th Monte Carlo (4), 19.03.2000
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 c5 3.d5 b5 4.Bg5 Ne4 5.Bh4 Bb7 6.Qd3 f5N 7.Nbd2
ChessBase Magazine calls this position unclear (B. Alterman) after 7...c4 8.Qd4 Na6 9.Nxe4 fxe4 10.Qxe4 Nb4 11.Rd1 Nxd5! 12.Rxd5 Qa5+ 13.c3 Qxa2. Grigoryan and Beck came to the same position after some deviations: 7.Nc3 c4 8.Qd4 Na6 9.Nxe4 fxe4 10.Qxe4 Nb4 11.Rd1 Qa5 12.c3 Nxd5 13.Rxd5 Qxa2. The Armenian IM Avetik Grigoryan tried to demonstrate that White has some advantage:
Grigoryan,Avetik (2489) - Beck,Frederik (2292) [A43]
17th EU-ch U18 Boys Sibenik CRO (5.9), 18.09.2007
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 c5 3.d5 b5 4.Bg5 Ne4 5.Bh4 Bb7 6.Qd3 f5 7.Nc3 c4 8.Qd4 Na6 9.Nxe4 fxe4 10.Qxe4 Nb4 11.Rd1 Qa5 12.c3 Nxd5 13.Rxd5 Qxa2
14.Qe5 Bxd5 15.Qxd5 Qb1+ 16.Kd2 Qxb2+ 17.Ke3 Qxc3+ 18.Kf4 Rd8 19.Qxb5 g6?! Better 19...Qb3 20.Qh5 g6 21.Qd5 Qb8+ 22.Kg4 h5+ 23.Kh3 Qf4 24.g3 Qf5+ 25.Qxf5 gxf5 26.e3 d5 27.Nd4 with some advantage to White. 20.e4? The position is too complicated for both players; better 20.Kg3 h6 21.Kh3! +/-. 20...Bh6+? The simple 20...h6 leads to a black advantage: 21.Bxc4 g5+ 22.Kg3 gxh4+ 23.Kh3 h5 24.Rd1 a6! 25.Qxa6 Rh6 26.Qb5 e6=/+. 21.Kg4 Rc8 22.Qd5 e6. 22...Rf8 with an unclear play. 23.Qd6 g5! 24.Ne5 Rd8
25.Bg3?? 25.Nxd7 Rxd7 26.Qxe6+ Kd8 27.Bg3 Bg7 28.Bxc4 h5+ 29.Kxg5 Rf8 30.Kh4 Rf6 31.Qg8+ Rf8 32.Qe6=. 25...Bf8-+ 26.Qc7 h5+ 27.Kxg5 Be7+ 28.Kg6.
28...0-0?? Castle for opposition! After 28...Qd2! 29.f4 h4 30.Nf3 Qc3 Black wins. 29.f4?? 29.Qxc4+- Qb2 30.Kxh5 Rxf2 31.Qd3, and now White wins! 29...h4?? 29...Qe3! with mate. 30.Bxc4?? 30.Qxc4 Qxc4 31.Bxc4 Rf6+ 32.Kh5 hxg3 33.hxg3 Rc8-/+. 30...Rf6+ 31.Kh5
31...hxg3?? The last mistake. After 31...Kh7! Black wins. 32.Bxe6+ Kg7 33.Qxc3 Rxe6 34.Kg4 Bf6 35.hxg3 Rg8 36.Kf3 Rf8 37.Ke3 d6 38.Qc7+ 1–0. An incredible game!
Two girls were found in the main and strongest B18 tournament: WFM Sopiko Guramishvili, 2273, from Georgia and WIM Valentina Golubenko, 2316, awaiting the WGM title and representing the Croatian Chess Federation now.
WFM Sopiko Guramishvili 2273, playing in the B18 group
Likely, Sopiko decided to getting more experienced in men's chess after her unhappy first round in the Dresden Women's European Championship, when she had a winning position vs GM Hoang Thanh Trang but managed to lose it. As to Valentina she came back to the boys' section after an eight-year interval, when she played together with Portuguese girl Ana Filipa Baptista in the World Championship B10 in Spain, 1999, and shared the sixth place among 100 participants.
IM Sabino Brunello, 2475, (right) vs WIM Valentina Golubenko 2316. In the 88 move struggle after five and a half hours Black won.
Ana Filipa also played in Sibenik and took 20th place in the G18 group with five points:
Ana Filipa Baptista (POR) 2055
The last round in the G18 section was unbelievably black for White: they lost all the eight first boards!
The winners of all 10 groups are:
G10: Cecile Haussernot (FRA) 1809, 7.5/ 9, alone
The fifth round, and a decisive game for the first place: Anna Styazhkina (RUS) 1869-Cecile Haussernot (FRA) 1809. Cecile won.
G12: Aleksandra Lach (POL) 2016, 7/ 9, sharing with Anna Iwanow 1906, also from Poland:
Aleksandra Lach 2016 vs WFM Diana Samigullina (RUS) 2087 in a very important game of the 5th round. Aleksandra won.
G14: WFM Nazi Pakidze (GEO), 2230, 7.5/9, alone
G16: WFM Kubra Ozturk (TUR), 2167, 7.5/9, alone.
The name is on the shirt: Kübra Öztürk
G18: WIM Inna Ivakhinova (RUS) 2251, 7.5/9, alone.
Inna in the first round. Who knew she'd be a winner?
B10: Kirill Alekseenko (RUS) 2056, 7.5/9, alone.
B12: FM Illya Nyzhnyk (UKR) 2341, 8.5/9! Naturally alone.
Boy wonder: Illya Nyzhnyk, just ten years old, scored 8.5/9 in the under 12 section
B14: IM Sanan Sjugirov (RUS) 2407, 8.5/9, alone.
B16: Vugar Rasulov (AZE) 2297, 7.5/9, alone.
And to the glory of Croatia in the B18 group, the strongest and most prestigious: IM Ivan Saric (CRO) 2442, 7 points out of 9, sharing with IM Romain Edouard (FRA) 2483 and IM Aleksandr Rakhmanov (RUS) 2489:
IM Ivan Saric in his extreme expedition to victory
Chief Arbiter Vladimir Sakotic: managing 758 players and still has time to relax
Herculean task: Ratomir Petrov (left) and Andrija Babic entering the games
About the author
Dr Valery Golubenko was born in 1961. In 1978 he proposed his own definition of the unit of imaginary numbers in higher mathematics, and in 1991 he completed a PhD in mathematics and database search.
Valery was the Champion of Estonia in rapid chess from 1993–1995, and three times winner on board one in Estonian Team Championships, in 1986 (ahead of Jaan Ehlvest and Lembit Oll), 2003, and 2004. He is married and has two daughters.
Valery Golubenko runs the Chess Club Diagonaal, Kohtla-Järve, Estonia.